Bemidji State escapes MSU-Moorhead with a 74-73 victory
Friday, January 13, 2006
MOORHEAD, Minn.– [box score] Strong perimeter play aided in gaining a tough road win as the Bemidji State men's basketball team, led by Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland, Ill.) and Duane Fields (Sr., G, Los Angeles, Calif.), earn 74-73 win Friday over Minnesota State University-Moorhead at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

BSU's pair of Muse and Fields combined for 58 percent of the Beavers' offense as each recorded season-high scoring efforts. In the game Muse led all players with 23 points hitting 10 of his 13 attempts including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Muse's jumper with 23 seconds to go put the Beavers ahead for good 74-73.Fields poured in 20 points hitting a game-high four threes while leading the Beavers at the line draining 4-of-5.

In a game that saw the score tied seven times and the lead change hands on 11 occasions, BSU would bounce back from an early 5-2 deficit to take a 15-9 lead over the Dragons with 12:57 left in the half.

Muse returned from sitting out of last weekend's contests to net seven of the Beavers' first 15 points hitting each of his first three attempts.

The Beavers would hold the lead until the Dragons would string together six consecutive points to grab a three-point advantage (31-28) with 3:36 remaining in the first half.

BSU responded by ending the half on a 8-2 run to take a 36-33 edge into the break.

During the second half the teams match basket for basket. Four times in the second half alone the score was tied, while the lead changed hands eight times.

BSU jumped out to its largest lead of the final stanza (46-41) when Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.) dunked home two of his four points on the night to cap off a 7-1 run.

Two minutes later it was the Dragons' Cedrick Hensley dunking to break a tie and put MSUM back in the lead (50-48).

The Dragons would increase their lead to as many as seven points (59-52) with 9:11 to go in the game, but the Beavers would not back down scoring 14 of the next 19 points, aided by a pair of Muse threes and a Sherwin Johnson (Sr., F, Macon, Ga.) three-point play, to take a 66-64 lead with just over five minutes left on the clock.

BSU would hold the lead until Marcus Ebow found Kyle Nelson for a layup off a rebounds to put MSUM in front 73-72 with 32 seconds to play.

The Beavers would call a 30-second time out to develop a plan to regain the lead. Who better to get the ball to than BSU's hot hand, Muse. Out of the time out, Spencer Carter (Sr., F, Chicago, Ill.) found Muse for the open look and he drained the jumper to give the Beavers a 74-73 lead with 21 seconds to go.

An MSUM turnover and a quick foul put Fields at the line with a chance to extend BSU's lead to three points with seven seconds to go, but the senior missed the front half of the one-and-one leaving the door wide open for the MSUM comeback.

MSUM would grab he rebound and get two shots off before time expired, but neither would fall as BSU escaped with the win.

In addition to Muse and Fields, Will Watson (Sr., G, Baton Rouge, La.) added eight points while Carter returned from his two-game suspension to net six points and collect a game-high 11 rebounds.

Jamal O'Neal paced four Dragons in double-figures with 14 points while grabbing a team-high eight boards.

Bemidji State improves to 7-8 on the year while it moves into a tie with Winona State and Concordia-St. paul for second place in the NSIC standings after three games with record of 2-1 in conference play. The Dragons fall to 10-4 while posting a 1-2 mark in league play.

The Beavers will be back in action tomorrow as they travel to Aberdeen, S.D. to battle No. 6 Northern State University (13-1; 3-0 NSIC) in another NSIC match-up. The contest is set for an 8 p.m. tip-off at the Barnett Center.