Bemidji State holds on for 67-63 win over Minnesota, Crookston
Saturday, February 10, 2007
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- The Bemidji State University men's basketball team outlasted the University of Minnesota, Crookston Saturday to claim a hard-fought Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win, 67-63, at the BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the first stanza and stretched its lead to 16, 34-18, heading into the break--a cushion they would need as the game wound down and the Golden Eagle offensive attack heated up in the second half.

Dan Sowu (Sr., G, Chicago, Ill.) matched his career-high of 14 points, on 4-of-6 from the field, a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and was 3-for-4 at the stripe, to lead the Beavers. He was joined in double figures by Alex Smith (Jr., C, Miami, Fla.) and Arron Evans (Jr., G, Minneapolis, Minn.). Smith netted 13 points and led all players with 10 rebounds for the game's only double-double while Evans posted a matching 13 points netting 11 in the first half on 3-of-6 from downtown. Brandon Fields (Fr., PG, Los Angeles, Calif.) dished out a game-high five assists while Andre Bell, (Jr., PG, Chicago, Ill.) paced the BSU defensive effort forcing two of the team's six steals.

UMC had three players record double-figure scoring totals and was led by Joey Kollar who tallied a game-high 15 points. Bryce Cummings added 14 points and Aaron Smith chipped in 10. Mario Bonner forged the Golden Eagle rebounding effort with seven boards as UMC was out manned 37-35 on the backboards.

Smith put a dent in the BSU half of the scoreboard first as Fields found the six-foot, nine-inch post player standing alone in the middle of the lane. Smith slammed it home with authority.

UMD responded on the other end of the court with a pair of layups to knot the game at 4-4, but when Evans hit the first of his triples, it would ignite an 18-4 run that saw the Beavers stretch their lead to 22-4 by the eight-minute mark of the half.

The Golden Eagles would begin to pull it together as the final eight minutes ran off the clock hitting 5-of-10 field goal attempts, whittling the BSU advantage to as few as 13 points, 29-16, with just under two minutes left on the clock. But BSU would use five points from Sowu before the half expired to take the 34-18 lead into the break.

The Beavers faced its share of shooting woes during the final 20 minutes.

BSU was 4-of-12 from the field in the half's opening 10 minutes and turned the ball over five times.

Meanwhile, UMC orchestrated a 24-10 run to reel the Beavers to within four points, 44-40, and 10 minutes on the clock.

A Smith's old-fashioned three-point play would begin a stretch of time in which BSU would extend its cushion to 12 points on the strength of a 11-of-12 effort from the line in the game's final moments capped by a pair of Bell freebies to make it a three-possession game with only 25 second to play.

BSU improves to 31-12 all-time versus the Golden Eagles. The team extends its current winning strand over UMC to eight games dating back to Feb. 8, 2003 and has not lost to its neighbor to the west on its home court since Nov. 11, 1994--a streak reaching 13 contests.

Bemidji State (4-19; 4-10 NSIC) will be back in action next weekend when it hosts Northern State University and welcomes NSIC newcomer University of Mary (N.D.) to the BSU Gymnasium. Both games are slated for 8 p.m. tip offs.