GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center) -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball made a late charge, but fell short falling to Division I University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, 73-60 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D. The Fighting Sioux rode a 13-point halftime lead to help extend its win streak to five games over the Beavers.
Bemidji State’s valiant comeback got them within eight points with 2:11 remaining but costly turnovers by the Beavers allowed UND to push its lead to 15 twice before the end of the game helping the Fighting Sioux hold on for a 73-60 win.
The Fighting Sioux connected on nine more free-throw attempts and shot nine points higher from the field than the Beavers which proved to be the two major differences in the win. UND was 24-of-47 (.511) from the field and 17-or-26 (.654) from the free-throw line while the Beavers shot 42.6-percent from the field (23-54) and 50.0-percent from the free-throw line.
Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) led the Beavers with his first double-digit point performance of his young career with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field. He also grabbed three rebounds and had three block shots and two steals in 29 minutes of play for the Beavers. Freshman Bryce Tesdahl (G/F, Crosby, Minn.) also posted a career-high eight points and lead the Beavers with three assists.
Four Fighting Sioux players recorded double-digit point totals in the win. Darius Joseph recorded a game-high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting with five rebounds and a game-high five assists while Travis Mertens chipped in 12 points with five rebounds. Daniel Hawkins and Pat Mitchell each had 11 points while Hawkins grabbed a game-high seven rebounds and Mitchell had a game-high four blocks.
BSU’s Patrick Cassidy (So., F, St. Paul, Minn.) and Sergej Baskow (Jr., C, Ludwigsburg, Germany) put BSU up 4-0 on the Beavers first two possessions, but the Fighting Sioux battled back and took its first lead at 5-4 on a Travis Mertens three-pointer just 1:54 into the game. With the score tied at 9-9 with 16:52 left in the half the Fighting Sioux went on a 26-7 run over a 11:27 span to push its lead to 35-16 with 5:25 left in the half.
The Beavers were held to just three field goals during the Fighting Sioux run and were held scoreless for 6:14. Tyler Wruck (So., G, Foley, Minn.) snapped the scoring drought for the Beavers knocking down his first three-point basket of the season. BSU closed out the half on a 9-5 run reeling the Fighting Sioux back to within 13-points (40-27) at halftime.
BSU came out in the second half and closed UND’s lead to nine points (45-36) at the 16:17 mark on a layup by Baskow, but UND once again went on a run and pushed its lead back to 16 points by the under 10-minute media timeout (56-40).
The teams continued to trade baskets for much of the remainder of the game. The Beavers closed the gap to eight points (64-56) with 2:11 left in the game but BSU ran out of steam as the Fighting Sioux pushed its lead back to 13 points (73-60) by the final horn.
UND outscored the Beavers 18-12 in the paint while BSU’s bench netted 15 more points than the Fight Sioux (23-8). UND outrebouded Bemidji State by the narrowest of margins 35-32 in the game.
The loss moves BSU to 0-2 overall and 0-0 in the NSIC, while North Dakota improves to 2-1 overall. With the loss the Beavers fall to 10-29 all-time versus the Fighting Sioux. BSU also falls to 0-16 all-time versus Division I opponents and 1-11 all-time when playing in Grand Forks, N.D.
Bemidji State will be back in action next weekend as the Beavers travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. for the first ever NSIC HoopsFest on Nov. 29-30. BSU will open up the HoopsFest against Upper Iowa at 3 p.m. on Nov. 29 from the Elmen Center and will wrap up the HoopsFest on Nov. 30 against Northern State 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