Beavers handle Wayne State 75-66
Saturday, January 21, 2006
BEMIDJI, Minn. – [box score] Bemidji State University's Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland, Ill.) paced the Beavers with 17 points, including a 4-of-5 effort from beyond the arc, as BSU pushed past Wayne State College Saturday, 75-66, in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play at the BSU Gymnasium.

The Beavers battled back from an early 8-4 deficit, to rattle off five consecutive points capped by a Muse jumper at the 15:25 mark to give BSU its first lead of the game, 9-8. The Beavers would never trail again in the game evening their record at 9-9 overall and sliding past Wayne State into sole possession of third place in the NSIC standings with a 4-2 mark in play within the league.

Although trailing for the remainder of the game, the Wildcats would keep BSU within reach during the first half. BSU increased its lead to nine points twice in the final three minutes of the half, but would coast into the halftime break up eight (40-32) after back-to-back threes by the Wildcats to end the stanza.

Sherwin Johnson (Sr., G/F, Macon, Ga.) paced BSU during the first 20 minutes leading all players with 11 points on five-of-six from the floor. The Beavers out shot WSC 50 to 48 percent in the half while holding a 17-15 edge on the glass thanks to four quick boards by Manuel Guzman (Sr., C, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). BSU also took better care of the ball during the first 20 minutes of play turning it over just four times while forcing the Wildcats into nine miscues. The Beavers turned those turnovers into 12 points.

After scoring first in the second half and increasing its lead to 11 (45-34) on a use three with 14:15 to go, BSU hit a funk, missing its next two shot attempts and turing the ball over three times during a span of 2:08.

Meanwhile, Wayne State rattled off eight consecutive points to pull to within two (45-43) of the hosting Beavers, but a Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill) triple with 11:07 on the clock would end the WSC run and spark an 11-1 run to give the Beavers their largest lead of the night, 56-44.

During the final 10 minutes of play, WSC would battle to within six points (66-72) late.

Despite the Beavers hitting just 5-of-8 from the line during the final minute, it was enough to hold off the Wildcats and protect their home court with a NSIC win.

Muse led a quartet of Beavers in double-figures with 17 points. Johnson added 13 and Guzman 12 while Spencer Carter (Sr., F, Chicago, Ill) rounded out BSU's top scorers with 11. He combined that with a game-high 10 rebounds for his team-leading fourth double-double of the season. It also marked the eighth time in 16 games played that he has grabbed at least 10 boards.

Tom Sherlock paced WSC with 14 points while equaling Guzman's game-high of 10 rebounds. matt Rathje added 13 points hitting 9-of-10 free-throw attempts.

The Beavers finished the game shooting 47.5 percent (28-59) while draining 8-of-18 three-point attempts (.44%). The team also held a 38-28 edge on the boards.

BSU improves to 7-8 all-time at home versus WSC while closing the gap in the all-time series to 11-19. The Beavers have now defeated WSC in five consecutive contest and have won 20 of its last 21 regular season home games versus NSIC opponents.

The win evens the Beavers' record to 9-9 on the season while vaulting the team into third place in the NSIC standings at 4-2. Wayne State falls to falls to 5-9 overall and 3-3 within the league. The Beavers will be back in action Tuesday when they host the Grand Forks Air Force Base in a 7 p.m. non-conference tip-off. The team will then get back into conference play Saturday when it wraps up its current four-game homestand with the first of two consecutive tilts verses the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Tip-off is slated for 8 the BSU Gymnasium.