Evans' last-second free-throw lifts BSU over Upper Iowa, 60-59
Friday, February 23, 2007

FAYETTE, Iowa (Dorman Gymnasium) -- In a game that saw the lead change hands 11 times and the score tied on four occasions, the Bemidji State University men's basketball team held the lead when it mattered, gaining a 60-59 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory over Upper Iowa University (3-23; 2-15 NSIC) in Fayette, Iowa Friday.

After gaining a 50-49 advantage on an Alex Smith (Jr., F, Miami, Fla.) layup with 7:35 left in the game, the Beavers needed a free-throw from Arron Evans (Jr., G, Minneapolis, Minn.) with three seconds to go to secure their fifth win of 2007.

The Peacocks out scored the Beavers 7-3 during the last 2:30 and capped the run with a Mohammed Animashaun old fashioned three-point play to knot the score at 59-59 with 21 seconds to play. But Evans was fouled in the act of shooting a three by Animashaun and did what he needed to do, sinking one of the three freebies.

The Beavers were led by Seth Haake (Fr., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) who scored a career-high 21 points to lead all players in the game. The freshman was 7-of-12 form the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 from the line while dishing out a team-best four assists and pulling down four rebounds. Smith added 10 points, a game-high nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

Animashaun paced UIU scoring 20 points. Nick Larson chipped in 11 while Josh Handke grabbed a team-best seven boards.

Upper Iowa set the tone early netting the first five points of the game, but the Beavers responded by scoring eight of the next 10 points, capped by a Haake jumper with 13:03 to play in the frame, giving BSU an 8-7 lead.

The lead would change hands nine times during the next seven minutes as the teams matched basket-for-basket. But when Animashaun hit a three with just over six minutes to play in the half, he would tip the score in the Peacocks' favor for the remainder of the half.

UIU hit the locker rooms at the break owning a 34-31 lead.

The Peacocks would hold BSU at bay for the first 12:26 of the second stanza, but when Smith capped a Beaver 5-0 run with a layup and Haake hit a pair of technical foul shots 12 seconds later, BSU would own a 52-49 lead.

Bemidji State would extend its advantage to five points, 57-52, on an Evans three with 2:30 to play, but UIU would battle back to tie the game at 59-59 before Evans iced the game from the line.

The Beavers finished the contest 21-of-53 (.396) from the floor, 8-of-22 (.364) from beyond the arc and 10-of-17 from the line (.558) while UIU was 22-of-48 (.458) from the field, 9-of-20 from downtown (.450) and 6-of-9 from the line (.667).

BSU held a slight edge on the backboards grabbing 32 rebounds to the Peacock's 31.

With the victory, Bemidji State climbs into a tie with the University of Mary (N.D.) for seventh in the NSIC standings with a league mark of 5-12 while the team is 5-21 overall. BSU has already assured itself of a place in the 2007 NSIC Tournament but its first-round opponent remains unclear. Behind regular season champion Winona State University, the No. 2, 3 and 4 spots are still up for grabs so as of right now BSU could be at Concordia-St. Paul, Northern State or Southwest Minnesota State Wednesday with the time to be determined.