The University of Northern Iowa used a 13-0 run to push its lead to thirteen points early in the first half and never looked back. The Beavers were able to close the lead to as close as seven points in the second half but the Panthers were able to hold off the comeback attempts by BSU and push forward for the 19 point victory.
Bemidji State was led offensively by Alex Smith (Jr., C, Miami, Fla.) and Arron Evans (Sr., G, Minneapolis, Minn.). Smith led the Beavers with 16 points, eleven which came in the first half, on 7-of-16 from the field while Evans garnered 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Sergej Baskow (So., F, Ludwigsburg, Germany) also finished in double-digits with 10 points on the afternoon. Seth Haake (So, G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) led the Beavers in rebounds with four defensive rebounds in just 13 minutes of work.
The Beavers were able to cut down on the turnovers from its first exhibition contest as they only had 11 turnovers to the Panthers 12 and BSU scored eight more points than the Panthers off of those turnovers (15-7). The thing that seemed to hurt the Beavers this afternoon were points scored in the paint along with being out-rebounded 37-to-20. The Panthers out-scored the Beavers in the paint 30-to-14 in the game.
UNI was led by the duo of Adam Viet and Eric Coleman. Viet led the Panthers as he netted 22 points, 7-for-9 shooting and 6-for-8 from three point land while Coleman added 14 for the Panthers on 7-of-9 from the field. Jordan Eglseder led the Bison on the boards with seven rebounds.
Slow starts have been a bit of a problem for the Beavers in their first two exhibition games. This afternoon the Beavers were a little bit sluggish out of the gates and 4:51 seconds into the contest the Beavers found themselves in a thirteen point deficit (16-3). Smith stopped the run for the Panthers as he knocked down a jumper at 13.31 of the first half. The Beavers cut the Panthers lead to nine twice in the first half, the first time coming at 5:41 left in the first half on a jumper once again by Smith to cut the lead to 30-21. Just minutes later Smith knocked down his fifth field goal of the half to bring the Beavers with-in 32-23.
UNI built its lead back to fifteen points at 39-24 with 1:37 left in the half but Andre Bell (Sr., G, Chicago, Ill.) found Brady Fairbanks (Fr., G/F, Bena, Minn.) for three with :39 second left to bring the Beavers with-in striking distance going into halftime.
In the second half the Beavers came out and extended its 3-0 run to end the first half as they scored six of the first eight points in the half to cut the UNI lead to seven points at 41-34. Baskow hit a three just :30 seconds into the half for the Beavers to get things started followed by Kyle Scott (Jr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) two free throws and Evans jumper which enabled the Beavers to climb back into the contest at 41-34.
The Beavers and Panthers traded buckets for the next couple minutes to keep the Panthers lead at seven points at 45-38 with 16:43 left in the game. UNI went on a 13-3 run over the next 3:00 to push its lead to 58-41 the largest of the game for the Panthers.
UNI eventually pushed its lead to as large as 20 points on a three point play by Kerwin Dunham to give UNI a 63-43 lead with 9:53 remaining in the contest. The young Beaver team continued to fight as they cut the Panthers lead to 13 points going on a 15-to-8 run of their own highlighted by two consecutive three point shots by Evans to bring the Beavers to 71-58 with 2:46 left on the clock.
The Panthers were to much and pushed its lead back to 19 as the Beavers started to foul and send the Panthers to the line. The Panthers closed the game out on a 7-3 run to give UNI 79-61 victory over BSU.
The win for UNI evens the series at 2-2 as the Panthers have won the last two contest between the two teams. The Beavers fall to 0-14 all-time versus NCAA Division I opponents and are 0-3 in exhibition games under the tutelage of Matt Bowen.
The Beavers will wrap up exhibition play on Saturday, Nov. 10 when they travel to River Falls, Wis. to rekindle a series with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons at 3:00 p.m.. The Beavers officially get their season underway Nov. 16-17 when they draw St. Cloud State University and University of Nebraska-Omaha in the St. Cloud State Tournament hosted by SCSU in St. Cloud, Minn.