Southwest Minnesota State drops Beavers in first round of tournament play, 86-43
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
MARSHALL, Minn. (R/A Facility) -- Marshall, Minn. was the end of the line for the Bemidji State University men's basketball team as the seventh-seeded Beavers dropped their 2007 NSIC Red Baron Classic quarterfinal game to No. 2 Southwest Minnesota State University 86-43, Wednesday at the R/A Facility.

The Beavers ran into a red-hot Mustang team that came into the tournament ranked 10th in the North Central Region, earned wins in its last two games and was comfortable on it home court riding a five game wining streak into the contest.

SMSU set the tone for the game early. After an Alex Smith (Jr., F, Miami, Fla.) layup got BSU on the board just 12 seconds after the tip, the Mustangs got a three-pointer from Travis Krinske to snag the lead and spark a 10-0 run to put the hosts up eight just 2:25 into the game.

BSU would rebound to knot the match-up at 11-11 with 13:06 to play in the stanza, but back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by the Mustangs, who were 7-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half, followed by a Nic Hogan jumper, swung momentum back in SMSU's favor, 22-11.

The Beavers would keep the Mustangs within 10 points for the next five minutes, but a 10-0 run to end the half put BSU in a 45-25 hole at the break.

The second frame began very much the same way the first one ended. After a lay-up by Smith broke the seal on the half at the 17:48 mark, SMSU rattled off the next 11 points to extend its lead to 29 before the midway point of the half.

The Beavers were unable to make up any ground during the final minutes, dropping the game and out of the tournament.

Bemidji State was led by Dan Sowu (Sr., G, Chicago, Ill.) who netted 10 points in his final game in the Green and White. He also matched Smith with a team-leading four rebounds while Smith poured in eight points. Brandon Fields (Fr., PG, Los Angeles, Calif.) paced the team with four assists.

SMSU's Krinske led all players in the game with 23 points. Krinske hit 9-of-13 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point land to pace a quartet of Mustangs in double-figures. Ryan Krome added 12 points while Hogan and Andrew Peschong added 11 and 10 points respectively. Chad Orum grabbed a team-high six boards in just 24 minutes of action.

The Mustangs proved every bit as tough as they were billed on defense. The top-ranked NSIC squad defensively, holding opponents to 61.3 points per game and just 40 percent from the field, lived up to its billing forcing the Beavers into 20 turnovers which SMSU turned into 37 points.

BSU was held to 17-of-49 (.354) from the field, 4-of-17 from beyond the arc (.235) and 5-of-10 (.500) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile SMSU was an efficient 27-of-49 (.551) from the floor, 11-of-23 (.478) from downtown and successfully recorded 21-of-26 (.808) free-throw attempts.

The Beavers wrapped up the 2006-07 campaign at 5-23 overall after posting a 5-13 mark in NSIC play. A young and newly assembled team played 14 games before earning its first win, but under first-year head coach Matt Bowen and his staff, grew in leaps and bounds during the second half of the season rallying to go 5-9 its final 14 games.