No. 5 Northern State downs Beavers, 79-55
Saturday, February 16, 2008
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Wachs Arena)The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team got 16 points and five rebounds from freshman forward Patrick Cassidy (St. Paul, Minn.) which tied a career-best, but it would not be enough as the No. 5 Northern State University Wolves shot 51-percent from the floor (31-60) en route to a 79-55 victory in their 70th meeting versus the Beavers Friday evening at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, S.D.

In addition to Cassidy’s double-digit scoring performance, Seth Haake (So., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) chipped in 13 points on 3-of-6 from the field and, 1-of-3 from the three-point arc and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Brady Fairbanks (Fr., F, Bena, Minn.) rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Beavers as he had 12 points. Jimmy Johnson (Fr., C, Andover, Minn.) led the Beavers with a team-high seven rebounds.

The Wolves were paced by the hot shooting of Derek Hoellein and Robert Thomas who each had 14-points in the win. Hoellein was 5-of-10 from the field while Thomas went 6-of-8 grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Kevin Ratzsch and Levi Hamilton were also in double-figure scoring netting 11 and 10 points, respectively. Kyle Schwan led the Wolves with four assists.

It took the Wolves just :33 seconds into the game to get on the board as Schwan netted a layup to give the Wolves the early 2-0 lead. BSU then went on a 8-0 run to go up 8-2 with 17:16 remaining in the half. Zach Eastman (Fr., G, Chaska, Minn.) and Fairbanks hit back-to-back three’s followed by a Cassidy jumper to cap off the BSU run.

BSU continued to apply pressure as the Beavers built its lead to seven-points (15-8), their largest of the game with 14:15 left in the frame. The Wolves tied the game at 18-18 with at 10:45 of the half as they went on a 10-3 run in 4:30. NSU regained its early 2-0 lead and closed out the final 10:45 of the half on a 24-8 run to push its lead to 42-26.

Cassidy netted 14 of the Beavers 26 points in the half while the Wolves were led by Ratzsch who had nine points. The Wolves dominated the paint as they outscored the Beavers 10-to-0 in the lane and outrebounded the Beavers 24-to-15.

Northern State opened the second half on a 22-15 run to stretch its lead to 23 before 12 minutes expired in the second half. But the Beavers were not done. During the next 4:59 BSU gnawed at the NSU lead out scoring the Wolves 14-6 cutting its deficit to 15 (70-55) on a jumper by Cassidy. But that was all the Beavers could muster as they went 0-for-3 from the filed during the final 3:48 as Northern State coasted to the 79-55 victory.

BSU finished the night 19-for-55 (.345) overall converting 5-of-19 (.263) shots from beyond the arc. The Wolves shot 31-of-60 (.517) from the field and 29.2 percent from the three-point arc (7-of-24).

NSU won the battle of the boards collecting 43 rebounds to BSU’s 29 with each team turning the ball over 14 times each.

The Beavers fall to 6-19 overall on the season and 3-13 in conference play with the Wolves improving to 24-2 overall and 15-2 in the NSIC. NSU picks up their 50th win in the all-time series as the Wolves hold a 50-20 lead in the series.

The Beavers will wrap up the regular season next weekend as they will host Winona State and Upper Iowa at the BSU Gymnasium. BSU will entertain the Warriors on Feb. 22 and will wrap up regular season play on Feb. 23 versus the Peacocks. Tipoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. for both contests.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).