Bulldogs steal 126-124 quadruple overtime victory over Beavers
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- In the longest game in school history the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team held a lead over Minnesota Duluth for the first 37:50 of play Wednesday evening at the BSU Gymnasium, but a stubborn Bulldogs team fought back to tie the game with one second remaining on the clock sending the game into the first of four overtime periods. A jumper by the Bulldogs John Vaudreuil with four seconds left in the fourth overtime proved to be the game winner as UMD stole a 126-124 4OT Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory from the Beavers at the BSU Gymnasium.

The Beavers led by as many as 17 in the first half and held a nine-point advantage mid-way through the second, but a 28-19 run in the final 11:01 by the Bulldogs tied the game at 81-81 sending the game into the overtime sessions.

Bemidji State was led by a trio of twenty-point scorers. Patrick Cassidy (So., F, St. Paul, Minn.) posted a career-high 26 points tying his career high with 11 made field goals on 16 attempts while grabbing a season and team-high eight rebounds. Brady Fairbanks (So., G, Bena, Minn.) added his third twenty point game of the season with 25 tying his career-high of nine made field goals on 15 tries. Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) posted his third twenty point game of the season with 21 on a career-high 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 from behind the three-point arc. Junior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) netted his fourteenth consecutive double-digit game with 12 while Jake Lindstrom (Fr., G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) added 11.

Bryce Tesdahl (Fr., G, Crosby, Minn.) paced the Beavers offensive attack with a career-high nine assists.

The duo of Brian Sykora and John Vaudreuil combined for 70 of the Bulldogs 126 points and 34 of UMD’s 57 rebounds as Sykora netted 37 points while grabbing 20 boards while his counter part added 33 points and 14 rebounds for the only two double-double performances of the game. Steve Klass was the Bulldogs outside threat as he poured in 27 points connecting on all six of the Bulldogs three-pointers in the game. He finished the contest 6-of-12 from behind the arc. Ron White was an assists and two points shy of a triple double as he added eight points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

BSU burst out of the gates to claim a 10-2 lead just 3:33 into the game as Hall notched five of his 21 points during that span. The Bulldogs cut the lead to three on three separate occasions before the 13-minute mark of the first half but a 16-2 run over a span of 4:52 by the Beavers gave BSU its largest lead of the half (31-14) with 8:49 left in the first frame.

The Beavers offense went stagnant during the 4:10 allowing the Bulldogs to climb back into the game as UMD used a 11-0 run to cut BSU’s lead to six (31-25) with 4:39 left to play in the first half. The teams traded baskets during the last four minutes of play, but by the halftime horn the Bulldogs had closed BSU’s lead to two (39-37) heading into the locker rooms.

Minnesota Duluth came out of the locker room connecting on three of its first five field goals of the second half, cutting the BSU lead to one point (44-43), but a 18-10 run by the Beavers gave BSU a nine-point cushion with 11:01 remaining in the game.

UMD’s Ryan Rasmussen hit a jumper less than 30 seconds later to spark the team’s 21-11 run that was capped off by a Sykora jumper with 2:10 left giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the game (74-73).

The Bulldogs lead only lasted nine seconds as Haake netted his lone three of the game reclaiming a 76-74 lead in favor of the Beavers. With the game tied at 78-78, Bemidji State’s Fairbanks pulled up from well behind the three-point arc knocking down which was sought to be the game winning three giving BSU a 81-78 lead with eight ticks left on the clock. UMD called a time out to set up a play and with one second on the clock the Bulldogs Klass drained a three from the corner sending the game into overtime.

Cassidy led the Beavers in the first overtime scoring ten of BSU’s 13 points in the overtime session. With BSU clinging to a one point lead with four seconds left the Beavers put Rasmussen on the line with a chance to win the game with two seconds left but he clanked the back-end of a pair of free-throws forcing the game into the second overtime period.

The second overtime saw Minnesota Duluth jump out to a four point lead (100-96), but a lay up by Haake saved BSU at the 00:23 mark to notch the score at 105-105. That is how it stood going into the third overtime.

The third overtime period was back and forth with both teams holding two point leads twice. Tesdahl was BSU’s savior in the third overtime session as he calmly stepped to the free-throw line hitting on both attempts to tie the game at 115-115 with 13 seconds left on the clock.

The fourth and final overtime period saw the Bulldogs push its lead to three (120-117) off a Sykora lay up wit 2:52 left. The Beavers answered with a 7-0 run over the next 1:13 to take a 124-120 lead but a pair of free-throws by Sykora tied the game at 124-124 with 48 seconds remaining. BSU turned the ball over on its next possession giving the Bulldogs 27 seconds to run its offense. With four seconds left John Vaudreuil hit the game winner just as expected in the paint were UMD outscored BSU 56-38 to earn the dramatic 126-124 quadruple overtime victory.

Overall, BSU shot 50.6 percent (40-79) and held Minnesota Duluth to 49.5 percent (46-93). The Beavers hit 12-of-24 (.500) from the land of deep and 32-of-43 (.744) from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were just 6-of-22 (.273) from beyond the arc and 28-of-36 (.778) in free throws. BSU was outrebounded 57 to 43 in the game and committed just 12 turnovers to the Bulldogs 16.

BSU falls to 82-35 all-time versus the Bulldogs and are currently on a seven game losing streak to UMD. The Bulldogs improve to 19-10 overall and 13-6 in NSIC play while the Beavers fall to 8-18 overall and 6-13 in conference action.

Bemidji State will wrap up its 2008-09 season on Saturday, Feb. 28 when the Beavers host the Wayne State College Wildcats from the BSU Gymnasium. Game time is slated for a 8 p.m. start.

Notes: Minnesota Duluth’s 126 points is the most points scored ever in NSIC history...The teams combined for 250 points which is also a NSIC record for combined points in a single game...UMD tied a NSIC single game best with 33 assists...the 126 points scored by the Bulldogs is the most points scored by a BSU opponent in history, the previous mark was 114 set by Minnesota Duluth on Jan. 5, 1957...the Beavers 124 points is the most scored by a BSU team since Dec. 31, 1991 when BSU poured in 126 points versus Northland College...the quadruple overtime game is the longest game in BSU history.

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