BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- For the second consecutive game the Bemidji State University Beavers saw a overtime lead slip through their fingers as Wayne State College used a last second 35-foot buzzer beater by Marcus Messersmith to down the Beavers 88-87 spoiling BSU’s senior night at the BSU Gymnasium.
Jonathon Thomas paced the Wildcats in the win netting a team-high 21 points on 7-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-3 from three-point land and a 5-of-6 effort from the line. Brian Metz added 18 points while Marcus Messersmith added 12 points for WSC. Thomas led all players with nine rebounds while dishing out a game-best six assists.
Brady Fairbanks (So., G, Bena, Minn.) and Seth Haake (Jr., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) each had 20-point performances for the Beavers.
Fairbanks recorded his fourth 20-point game of the season with a game-high 28 points, 16 of which came in the first half tying his career-best of nine made field goals and four made three pointers. Haake netted his 15th double-digit scoring performance with his sixth 20-point scoring performance of the season with 24. He shot an efficient 6-of-9 from the field and was 12-of-13 from the charity stripe.
Fairbanks also garnered a game and career-high six steals in the loss.
The Beavers found themselves down by nine points in the early going as the Wildcats came out of the blocks scoring 11 of the first 13 points to hold a 11-2 lead before the 15-minute mark of the first half. Fairbanks kept the Beavers in it single handily as he scored the Beavers first 14 points of the game helping BSU cut Wayne State’s lead to one (15-14) with 10:49 left to play in the half.
A three-pointer by Marcus Trueblood ignited a 11-4 run for the Wildcats at the 10:06 mark of the half which was capped off by back-to-back three’s by Messersmith to give WSC a 26-18 lead with 6:33 left to play in the frame.
BSU held the Wildcats to just six points the remainder of the half allowing the Beavers to close out the half on a 18-6 run to take a 36-32 lead into the intermission.
Wayne State’s Brian Metz scored four of the Wildcats six points to start the second half tying the game at 38-38 for the fourth time of the game. The next 14:30 neither team wanted to take control of the game as their were 15 lead changes and four tied scores. Fairbanks gave the Beavers the lead (71-70) with 2:25 left which was built to five off a pair of Haake free-throws with just 49-seconds to play in regulation.
BSU clung to a 78-75 lead with 26-seconds remaining but with 12-seconds left in regulation and the shot clock winding down the Wildcats Jonathan Miller launched a three from straight on which found the bottom the net to tie the game at 78-78. BSU had one last shot to win it in regulation but a last second three by Jake Lindstrom (Fr., G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) fell short sending the game into overtime.
In the overtime session the Wildcats built a four-point lead (85-81) with 3:08 off an Elijah Miller lay up. BSU battled back to tie the game at 85-85 off a pair of Haake free-throws and then took the lead when Bryce Tesdahl (Fr., G, Crosby, Minn.) drove into the lane and connected on a off balance left handed lay up with nine second left giving BSU a 87-85 lead.
WSC called a time out to set up a play but the Beavers defensive pressure forced the Wildcats to fumble the ball and with one second remaining on the clock Messersmith launched a 35-foot prayer that found the bottom of the net for his fourth three of the game giving the Wildcats a 88-87 win.
BSU ended the 2008-09 season 2-2 in overtime games.
Wayne State out shot the Beavers on the night as the Wildcats shot 58.5 percent (31-53) from the floor, 50.0 percent (9-18) from behind the three point arc and 85.0 percent (17-20) from the charity stripe. BSU was 28-of-64 (.438) from the field, 22.7 percent (5-22) from beyond the three point line and 83.9 percent (26-31) from the free-throw line.
The biggest difference in the game was on the boards as the Wildcats pulled down 18 more rebounds than the Beavers (40-22).
The Beavers record is now 13-24 versus the Wildcats all-time.
Bemidji State ended the 2008-09 season with a 8-19 overall record and a 6-14 mark in the NSIC.
State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference