BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team saw its two game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as the visiting University of Wisconsin-River Falls went on a 20-to-5 run over the last 4:19 of the game to erase a 10-point deficit and steal a win from Bemidji State.
The Beavers fall to 3-7 overall with the loss while the Falcons improve to 6-4 on the season.
In a game where neither team was hot from the field the Beavers out shot the Falcons by the slimmest of margins as BSU shot 27-60 (.450) from the field while the Falcons were 27-63 (.429). Despite getting a career-high 25 points and six rebounds from guard Jake Lindstrom (Fr., Cottage Grove, Minn.) the difference in the game came from outside the three-point arc. Lindstrom made three of the four three point field goals by the Beavers who went 4-of-13 (.308) while the Falcons went 8-for-18 (.444) from behind the arc in the game.
Junior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) added 16 points and seven rebounds. Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) chipped in 14 points while Hall led the Beavers with a career-high four assists.
UW-River Falls was led by Jontae Koonkaew who netted a game-high 27 points and nine assists. After the standout performance by Koonkaew the scoring was pretty even for the Falcons. Wade Guerin added 14 points while Jake Voeltz and Spencer Shelman each chipped in 10 points to round out the double-figure scoring for UWRF. Voeltz grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for the Falcons who were outrebounded by the Beavers (38-33).
BSU’s Jimmy Johnson (So., C, Andover, Minn.) got the Beavers on the board first with a jumper at the 19:36 mark of the half. The Falcons Brady Hannigan tied the contest just 24-seconds later that sparked a 10-0 run by the Falcons pushing their lead to 10-2 at the 13:59 mark of the half. BSU turned the ball over seven times in the first six minutes attributing to the Falcons run.
The Beavers continued to play sluggish and with 4:43 left in the half UWRF had stretched its lead to 15 points (33-18) the largest of the game.
Keeping BSU in the game in the first half was its free-throw shooting as BSU went 13-of-14 from the stripe. A pair of free-throws by Lindstrom at the 4:26 mark sparked a 19-6 run by the Beavers and by the halftime horn BSU had closed the gap to two points (39-37). Lindstrom led the Beavers in the half as he netted 14 points in 14 minutes of play. Haake added eight points while Hall had seven, keeping the Beavers close.
Bemidji State opened up the second half netting the first four points to take a 41-39 lead, its first lead since the opening basket by Johnson. UWRF regained its lead on the next possession off a three-pointer by Koonkaew, and pushed its lead to five two times before the 16:00 mark of the second half. After a layup by Koonkaew gave the Falcons a 50-45 lead with 16:02 left in the game BSU slowly started to real in UWRF.
BSU went on a 26-12 run over the next 11:43 pushing its lead to 72-62, the largest of the game for the Beavers, with 4:19 left. But the Falcons were not done as they went on a 11-0 run led by Koonkaew who netted nine of the Falcons 11 points giving UWRF a 73-72 lead with 2:12 left. BSU tied the game one last time at 73-73 but a three-pointer by Koonkaew followed by solid free-throw shooting in the last minute of play lifted the Falcons to a 82-77 win.
The Beavers fall to 5-5 all-time versus UWRF while it is the first win ever for the Falcons at the BSU Gymnasium.
Bemidji State (3-7; 2-2 NSIC) will be back in action after the turn of the calender year when the Beavers travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. and Wayne, Neb. on Jan. 2-3. BSU will battle NSIC newcomer Augustana College on Friday, Jan. 2 while wrapping up the weekend versus the Wildcats from Wayne State College on Saturday, Jan. 3. Both games are scheduled for 8 p.m. starts.
Notes: Lindstrom nets a career-high 25 points, six rebounds, two assists and four steals...Fairbanks grabs season-high six rebounds...Beavers score most points ever under head coach Matt Bowen (77)...Hall and Haake net fifth double-digit scoring games of season...Lindstrom nets third consecutive double-digit scoring game of season...Beavers drop fourth game by five points or less, most since the 2002-03 season.
State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference