SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Elmen Center) -- The Upper Iowa University men’s basketball team led for 34:26 Saturday afternoon at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. as it defeated Bemidji State University 84-68 to earn its third straight win over the Beavers.
The Upper Iowa offensive attack, which shot better than 55 percent in the game (32-58), was paced by Matt Lesan’s 31 points. Dylan Diedrach added 16 points while AJ Adkins added 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Seth Haake (Jr., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) netted his second 20 point performance of his career with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, 3-of-8 from the three point arc and 5-of-6 from the line. He also grabbed a career-high five steals. Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) chipped in a career-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Bryce Tesdahl (Fr., G, Crosby, Minn.) had his best day in the green and white with 11 points while grabbing a game-high six rebounds and a career-high five assists. Zach Eastman (So., G, Chaska, Minn.) rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Beavers with 10 points.
BSU opened up the scoring jumping out to a 4-0 lead off a layup by Hall and Patrick Cassidy (So., F, St. Paul, Minn.). Upper Iowa eventually tied the game at 7-7 off a jumper by Lesan and took the lead at 9-7 on the next possession on a jumper by Adkins and never looked back.
UIU continued its 16-0 run, pushing its lead to 18-9 with 11:56 left in the half. BSU kept the UIU lead at nine points up until the 7:31 mark of the first half (24-15) but the Peacocks closed out the half on a 17-6 run pushing its lead to 20 (41-21) heading into the break.
In the second half UIU would lead by as many as 22 (57-35) but a 9-1 run by the Beavers, capped by a Brady Fairbanks (So., G, Bena, Minn.) would slice the deficit to 12 (75-63) with just over four minutes to play. UIU quickly responded by rattling off five consecutive points to go back up 17 (80-63) with 1:57 left on the clock and would roll to the 16-point win, 84-68.
Upper Iowa finished the afternoon with an edge in virtually every statistical category. The Peacocks out shot the Beavers 55 to 51 percent and held a 34 to 21 edge on the glass.
The loss was the third consecutive for the Beavers to open up the 2008-09 season and the third consecutive to the Upper Iowa University Peacocks.
Bemidji State (0-3) will wrap up the NSIC HoopsFest tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. as the Beavers face the Northern State University Wolves at 2 p.m. from the Sioux Falls Arena.
University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference