Hot-shooting Beavers scorch Southwest Minnesota State 84-71
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Less than 24 hours prior stepping onto the court Saturday, the Bemidji State University men's basketball team posted one of its worst shooting performances of the season hitting just 20-of-67 shots. But Saturday at the R/A Facility in Marshall, Minn., BSU made good on its first three attempts of the night en route to a season-high 57 percent shooting effort and a 84-71 win over Southwest Minnesota State University.

Manuel Guzman (Sr., C, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) paced the red-hot BSU sharp-shooting Beavers netting a game-high 18 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field while adding 2-of-3 free-throw attempts. His 18 led a quartet of BSU players with double-figure point totals. Alvin Muse (Sr., G, South Holland, Ill.) drained 5-of-6 three-point attempts for 15 points while Stacy Pearson-Taylor (Sr., F, Miami, Fla.) and Duane Fields (Sr., G, Los Angeles, Calif.) netted 13 and 11 respectively.

Spencer Carter (Sr., F, Chicago, Ill.) led all players on the glass hauling down seven rebounds while pacing the team with a career-best six assists and four steals.

Southwest Minnesota State got 17 points out of Matt Fletcher while Travis Krenske and Ross DeMasi grabbed a team-high four rebounds and recorded 14 and 11 points respectively.

It didn't take the Beavers long to light their half of the scoreboard. Fields made good on his first shot of the night just eight seconds into the game.

The Mustangs Krenske would respond with a three-pointer to give SMSU its only lead of the game 10 seconds later, but a lay-up by Guzman would put the Beavers up 4-3 and BSU would never look back.

With six and a half minutes to go in the half, a pair of Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.) free-throws would put BSU up by 16. BSU would stretch its lead to as many as 19 points (47-28) as the halftime horn sounded.

It was more of the same for BSU as the second stanza got underway.

After quick bucket by the Mustangs, BSU's Hollyfield drained a jumper and was fouled. The senior made good on the follow-up free-throw to complete the old fashion three-point-play and give the Beavers their largest lead of the game, 20 points (50-30), with 17 minute to play.

But the Mustangs were not about to give up. SMSU put together a 7-2 run to reel the Beavers to within 14 (56-42) with 14:30 remaining on the clock and would slice to Beavers' advantage to nine (66-57) midway through the half.

Bemidji State responded by scoring eight of the next 10 points to go up 16 with just over four minutes to go and would cruise to the 13-point victory, 84-71.

The Mustangs held a 29-24 edge on the boards in the game while BSU took better care of the ball forcing SMSU into a season-high 20 turnovers while committing just 14 of their own.

The victory over SMSU helps BSU to improve to 35-42 all-time versus the Mustangs, 12-27 all-time in Marshall, Minn. and extends BSU current winning streak over SMSU to six games. It also snapped the Mustangs four game winning streak.

Bemidji State improves to 12-10 overall and 7-3 in NSIC. The team clings to third place in the NSIC standings and created a cushion above the fourth-place Mustangs and Wayne State who each own 5-5 NSIC records. BSU also remains just one game out of second place facing 8-2 Northern State University next weekend.

SMSU falls to 12-10 on the year and 5-5 versus the league.

The Beavers return to the BSU Gymnasium next weekend to begin a four-game homestand to cap off the 2005-06 season. Friday the team welcomes NSU and is set to host Minnesota State University-Moorhead Saturday. Both games are set to begin at 8 p.m. in the BSU Gymnasium.