MOORHEAD, Minn. – Senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) is making the most of his final games as a collegiate basketball player, scoring a career-high 30 points in a Bemidji State University men’s basketball 79-75 win against Minnesota State University Moorhead. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game was played at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. The Beavers ended a four-game losing skid.
“After the St. Cloud State game I challenged the guys in practice and they responded well,” said head coach Matt Bowen. “We were focused, had energy and competed. In the second half when Minnesota State University Moorhead came at us and got up nine we didn’t cave. Seth has huge. He played like a senior at the end of his career tonight. It has been a pleasure coaching him.”
Freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) scored the first two points of the game on two free throws, returning to the line-up after missing two games due to injury. The Beavers then maintained the lead through most of the first half, gaining a lead as large as eight at 20-12 with 9:12 remaining. The Dragons then chipped-away at the BSU lead and tied the game at 33-33 with 1:45 left in the frame. A MSUM 3-pointer gave the home team its first lead of the game. With seven seconds left, sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) knocked-down a jumper to head into the locker room down one at 35-36. Haake had 10 points at the half to lead the Beavers.
Haake hit the first shot of the second half to give BSU the lead. After trading quick baskets the two teams were tied 42-42, 45 seconds into the half. MSUM then went on a 13-4 run to snatch a nine-point lead with 15:12 remaining. BSU then caught fire and rattled-off 10 unanswered points to retake a one-point lead with 12:21 left. During the run, Haake scored five points to lead the four different Beavers that contributed to the stretch.
Haake scored five points on consecutive possessions to give BSU a 63-57 lead with 9:05 remaining in the half. The Beavers were able to maintain a small lead over the following three minutes, stretching it to seven on Haake’s 28th and 29th points of the game that tied his career-high, making the score 70-63 with 6:19 left. MSUM wouldn’t go down without a fight and went on a 7-1 run to be down just one-point with 3:59 remaining in the game. Freshman Burke Lendl (F, St. Michael, Minn.) increased the lead to two with a free throw with 2:46 remaining and then junior Patrick Cassidy (F, St. Paul, Minn.) knocked-down a jumper to get the Beaver lead to four with 2:13 left. The Dragons created a turnover and hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one with 1:34 remaining. Cassidy was fouled with 1:11 left and hit both free throws to increase the lead to three. Haake came-up big on the defensive end on the next MSUM possession with a block of what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer and Cassidy pulled-down the rebound to give BSU the ball. The Dragons created a turnover and had a chance to tie the game. They hit a jumper to cut the deficit to one at 75-76 and then immediately fouled. Cassidy was put at the line and he the first before a MSUM timeout. Cassidy came back to the line and missed the second, giving the home team 15 seconds to score. The Dragons took a jumper with seven seconds left, but missed it and Tesdahl came down with the board, his ninth of the game. MSUM was forced to foul and Tesdahl, who is the 15th-ranked free throw shooter in the nation, went to the line and drained both shots to give BSU the two-possession lead at 79-75 and only one second on the clock.
Haake tied his career-high for 3-pointers made with five, efficiently shooting a 62.5 percentage from beyond the arc. He shot 11-of-16 from the field, establishing a career-high in field goals made. He played every minute of the game. Cassidy and Tesdahl posted 14 points and Rongstad added 13. Tesdahl led the team in rebounds with nine rebounds and Rongstad added eight. Both teams shot the ball well in the game. BSU went 48.2 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point land. MSUM shot 44.4 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from beyond the arc. BSU outrebounded the Dragons 40-32, finally winning the battle of the boards after losing battle the last five games.