Bemidji State topples No. 24 St. Cloud State
Saturday, January 10, 2009

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) --Seth Haake (Jr., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) netted career-highs of 23 points and nine made field goals to pace the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team to a 69-66 win over St. Cloud State Saturday evening at the BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers knocked off the Huskies, ranked 24th in the NABC Division II men’s basketball poll, snapping a 14-game losing streak to the Huskies dating back to Dec. 2, 1993.

Haake’s 20-point game was his third of the season and paced a trio of Beavers in double-figures. Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) added 14 points while Brady Fairbanks (So., G, Bena, Minn.) recorded 11 points and led the team with eight rebounds, tying his career-high.

St. Cloud State was led by a 21-point, six assist, five steal performance from Taylor Witt. Andrew Bernstetter chipped in 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the games lone double-double while Brett Putz added 16 points in the loss.

St. Cloud State jumped out to a quick 13-3 lead just 3:15 into the game behind the hot shooting of Burnstetter who tallied seven of the Huskies 13 points. The Huskies also hit three of its eight three pointers during the run.

BSU would counter with a 25-5 run pushing their lead to 10 (28-18) over the next 10:43 as Fairbanks and Haake would both collect seven points, while the Beaver defense held the Huskies to 2-for-15 shooting from the floor during the run.

The Huskies would rally in the he final six minutes of the half as they went on a 9-3 closing the Beavers lead to three (30-27) heading into the locker room.

BSU finished the half shooting 40.6 percent (13-32) from the field while holding SCSU to just 32.4 percent (11-34).

The Huskies quickly reeled BSU in and took the lead (34-30) as the second half got underway and after the Beavers reestablished their lead to 46-40, SCSU rattled off eight of the next 10 points and scored 10 of the next 12 to regain the lead at 50-48 with 9:33 to play.

During the next 4:07 the teams would trade baskets as their were five tied scores during the games final nine minutes, but a layup by Patrick Cassidy (So., F, St. Paul, Minn.) with 5:01 left in the game sparked a 8-0 run seeing BSU push its lead to 67-59 with 1:39 left.

The Huskies did not give up as they closed the Beaver lead to three (67-64) with just over a minute to play. SCSU gave themselves a chance to tie or win the game in the final minute of play but Haake would put BSU up by three (69-66) with a pair of free-throws with 10 ticks on the clock and a desperation three-pointer by Bernstetter would sail long seeing BSU snap a 14-game losing skid to the Huskies which spanned over 16 years.

BSU out shot the Huskies 44.3 (27-61) to 35.7 (25-70) percent in the game despite struggling from beyond the three-point arc hitting just 4-of-16 (.250).

SCSU grabbed a 44-39 edge on the glass.

The win over No. 24 SCSU marks the Beavers’ first win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season and the first under head coach Matt Bowen. It is also BSU’s first win over a nationally ranked opponent since Feb. 17, 2006 when BSU upended No. 16 Northern State, 58-55. BSU improves its record to 5-11 versus ranked opponents since becoming a Division II institution.

The win improves BSU to 6-9 overall and 4-4 in NSIC play while SCSU falls to 10-4 and 5-2 in the league. BSU is currently on a three-game winning streak which is the longest under head coach Matt Bowen and the longest since the 2005-06 season. BSU’s six wins matches the most by any of Bowen’s squads while their 6-9 mark is the best start to a season since 2005-06 when BSU was 7-8 through the first 15 games.

BSU is now 41-87 all-time versus the Huskies.

The Beavers will be back in action next weekend when they travel to the Dakota’s to face the Northern State University Wolves and the University of Mary Marauders. BSU will face NSU on Friday, Jan. 16 and UM on Saturday, Jan. 17. Both games are scheduled for 8 p.m. starts.

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