MSU-Moorhead steals 82-76 overtime win from the Beavers
Saturday, February 18, 2006

BEMIDJI, Minn. – [box score] Playing overtime without the services of Spencer Carter (Sr., F, Chicago, Ill.), Derik Hollyfield (Sr., G, Aurora, Ill.) and Manuel Guzman (Sr., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), who each fouled out of the game, the Bemidji State University men's basketball team was out scored 10-4 in the extra period as Minnesota State University-Moorhead stole an 82-76 upset win from the Beavers Saturday night at the BSU Gymnasium.

Marcus Ebow paced the Dragons in the win netting a game-high 28 points on 9-of-14 from the floor, 5-of-8 from three-point land and a 5-of-6 effort from the line. Blake Strouth added 23 points while Cedrick Hensley and Jamal O'Neal shared the team's top-rebounding honors with eight. O'Neal also picked up a game-best three blocks in the contest.

BSU had four players in double-figures led by Hollyfield who scored 17 despite playing just 23 minutes. The senior was was 6-of-9 from the floor and hit 4-of-6 three-point attempts while leading the team with three steals. Fellow senior Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.) added 16 points and the BSU post players, Stacy Pearson-Taylor (Sr., Miami, Fla.) and Guzman collected 14 and 10 respectively. The duo helped the Beavers gain an edge on the glass (44-38) combining for 23 of the team's 44 rebounds as Pearson-Taylor grabbed a career-high 15 caroms to notch his team-best fifth double-double of the season.

The Beavers found themselves down 10 points to the hot shooting hands of MSUM midway through the first half. Strouth ignited a key run for the Dragons at the 16:37 mark of the half hitting a three to nab a 11-10 lead. The Dragons would get threes on each of their next two possessions to put BSU down seven (17-10) and the Beavers were ever really able to recover during the first 20 minutes as the visiting Dragons nailed 50-percent of their shots fro the field (13-26) including a 7-of-12 performance from three beyond the arc.

Bemidji State used a six-point run, capped by a Fields three with 8:32 to go in the first, to trim the MSUM advantage to four (27-23), but that was as close as BSU would come before the halftime horn sounded as MSUM put together an eight-point run as time ran out on the half to take a 40-30 lead into the locker room.

Down 11 (58-47) with 14:26 to go in regulation, BSU began to mount its comeback. Sherwin Johnson (Sr., F, Macon, Ga.) hit a jumper that kick-started a 17-2 run that saw the Beavers not only reel the Dragons to within reach, the team used a 9-of-10 performance from the line during the stretch to blow past MSUM and take a four-point lead (64-60) with 6:31 to play.

But MSU-Moorhead hung around responding with nine consecutive points to regain a five-point edge (69-64) with less than four minutes to play.

The Beavers would then make a run of eight points to go up by three (72-69) with 98 seconds on the clock, but three free throws by Johnie Seals during the final minute would bring the teams neck and neck with 46 seconds to play. After an errant Muse three-point attempt, MSUM gathered the rebound and pushed it up the court. With the shot clock off and the score knotted at 72-72, MSUM had a chance to take the last shot to win the game in regulation. Strouth found a streaking O'Neal in the lane, but his lay-up attempt was met by the outstretched arm of Carter who blocked the shot as time expired to get the Beavers into over time.

MSU-Moorhead controlled the overtime period from start to finish. Scoring first and going 4-for-4 from the field, the Dragons forced BSU to play catch up.

The Beavers could not find an answer for the MSUM offensive attack and were 2-of-11 from the field so resorted to fouling the Dragons in order to save the clock. MSU-Moorhead was 2-of-4 from the line during the final minute of overtime icing the 82-76 win.

Bemidji State is now 0-2 in overtime games this season an has been outscored 21-4 in the extra period. In the first game of the 2005-06 season BSU dropped an overtime contest to Minnesota Duluth in which the team failed to score as single point in the extra stanza and lost the contest 77-66.

The loss also marked the Beavers' first lost to an NSIC opponent in the BSU Gymnasium this year (4-1) and was just the third loss to a conference opponent at home in the Beavers last 26 games.

With both Winona State and Northern State handling their opponents tonight, BSU drops back into sole possession of third place in the league standings win conference record of 8-4.

The Beavers are 13-10 overall and wrap up the 2005-06 regular season next weekend by hosting a pair of NSIC opponents. Friday night the nationally-ranked Winona State Warriors come to town to avenge their only loss of the conference season. Saturday, the Beavers welcome Concordia-St. Paul to the BSU Gymnasium for the season finale. The teams will hit the floor at 8 p.m. each night.