DULUTH, Minn. (Romano Gymnasium) -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team made a late charge, but fell short, losing a 87-79 decision to the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Romano Gymnasium. The Bulldogs rode a 16-point halftime lead to earn its sixth consecutive win over Bemidji State.
Bemidji State’s valiant comeback got them within five with 13:08, but Brian Sykora answered with four of his 31 points on the night to put the Bulldogs lead back up to eleven. The Beavers got back within four on a three-pointer by Brady Fairbanks (So., G, Bena, Minn.) with 20-seconds to play, but that would be the last field goal made by BSU.
Four Beavers posted double figures with Brady Fairbanks (So., G, Bena, Minn.) posting 22 points, including a career-high 9-of-15 from the field. The freshman duo of Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) and Jake Lindstrom (Fr., G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) each had 16 points, while Seth Haake (Jr., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) chipped in 12 points. Hall led the Beavers on the boards as he was one rebound away from a double-double with nine. Bryce Tesdahl dished out a team-high five assists.
The first half started with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 24-13 lead after the first 12-minutes and BSU didn’t recover until early in the second half. UMD took a 46-30 edge into the intermission.
A 17-6 run by the Beavers to open the second frame put them back into the dogfight, but Minnesota Duluth seemed to answer with Sykora, Steve Duncan and Jordan Schade who each posted 12 points in the game to go along with Sykora’s 31. The Bulldogs also got a double-digit performance from Steve Klass with 10 points. Sykora led all players with a game-high 13 rebounds for the games only double-double performance.
Minnesota Duluth made the difference in the game from the field, shooting 54.7-percent, while BSU respectively shot 44.3-percent from the floor, but only shot 30-percent (6-20) from the three-point line. The Bulldogs shot 8-of-21 (.381) from downtown but outscored BSU 25-9 in bench points.
The loss moves BSU to 5-6 in the NSIC and 7-11 overall, while Minnesota Duluth improves to 14-7 on the season and 8-3 in the NSIC.
BSU will be back home for their next two games, with conference matches versus Minnesota State University and Southwest Minnesota State University. The Beavers will host the Mavericks on Friday, Jan. 30 and will welcome the Mustangs to the BSU Gymnasium on Saturday, Jan. 31. Both games are slated to tip off at 8 p.m.
State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference