LA CROSSE, Wis. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team shot 60 percent in the second half to propel it to a 69-44 victory against Viterbo University in the Viterbo University Pepsi Tournament championship. Sophomore guard Bryce Teshdal (Crosby, Minn.) was named All-Pepsi Tournament Most Valuable Player. Senior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was also named to the all-tournament team. The 2-0 start is the first in head coach Matt Bowen’s four years at BSU and is the first for the Beavers since 2003-04.
“We had solid team defense,” Bowen said. “Our defense kept us in the game for three halves this weekend until our offense let loose in the final half. What we see so far this year that is different from last is that our defense is enabling us to stay in games until our offense starts hitting shots.”
BSU shot just 32 percent from the floor and 22 percent from the 3-point line in the first half, but only trailed by one point at halftime by the score of 23-24. The Beavers got it done on both ends of the floor in the second half, winning the second frame by 26 points (46-20). BSU shot 60 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from 3-point range and went a perfect 4-4 from the line in the second half and held Viterbo to a dismal 28.6 percent shooting from the floor and just 12.5 percent from beyond the arc. A 3-pointer from Haake 51 seconds in to the second half gave BSU a two point lead and the Beavers never looked back. BSU held V-Hawks scoreless in the second half until the 16:19 mark. Three consecutive points by Tesdahl after the VU bucket gave the Beavers a 10 point lead and then it was of to the races. BSU had an 18 point lead at the 10 minute mark and then a 25 point lead with five minutes left that held through the final buzzer.
Haake led all players with 15 points, while tying a career-high in rebounds with eight and adding two steals. Tesdahl posted eight points, eight assists and four rebounds without committing a turnover in 32 minutes on the court. Sophomore Jake Lindstrom (G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) led the BSU bench with eight points, helping the Beavers own a 27-6 advantage in bench scoring.
Pepsi Invitational MVP Bryce Tesdahl (Bemidji State)
All-Pepsi Invitational Team
Jared Howerton (College of the Ozarks)
Eric Ambrose (Viterbo)
Scott Buschman (Viterbo)
Seth Haake (Bemidji State)
Pepsi Invitational Hustle Award
Alex Koeller (Viterbo)
The Beavers open the home portion of their schedule Tuesday, Nov. 24 against Jamestown College at 7 p.m.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).