Jan. 2, 2010
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team were within three points of No. 24 Augustana College with 2:51 remaining in regulation but fell to the Vikings 80-73 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game played at the BSU Gymnasium Saturday. Senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) recorded his fourth consecutive game with 20-plus points, scoring a game-high 24.
“We played well, but unfortunately Augustana played better,” said head coach Matt Bowen. “They hit shots at the opportune moments. I’m proud of our effort, we battled with one of the top teams in the conference and in the nation.”
The Beavers (5-6, 2-3 NSIC) and Vikings (10-1, 3-1 NSIC) ended the game almost shooting the same percentage from the floor as BSU shot 47.9 percent and AC shot 47.5 percent. The Beavers shot better from 3-point land (41.2-36.4 percent), but struggled from the line, shooting just 20-of-28 (71.4 percent). BSU came into the contest shooting 76.3 from the charity stripe.
BSU started the game hot out of the gates, earning a 5-0 lead two minutes into the contest. With 12:34 remaining in the half, the Beavers owned a 16-8 lead thanks to eight points from freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) and seven from Haake. The eight point advantage would prove to be the largest for BSU in the game, as Augie kept chipping at the deficit, finally tying the game at 23-23 with 6:26 left in the frame. The Beavers responded with a 9-2 run to make the score 32-25 with 4:42 on the clock. BSU would go on to only score two more points in the half and a buzzer beater from the Vikings gave them the three point lead heading into the locker room and the momentum for the second half. The two teams traded hoops to start the half, then the Vikings used a 7-0 run to gain a 10 point lead with 14.36 left in regulation. They again traded scores until BSU used a run of its own. From the 10:09 to the 6:44 mark, the Beavers posted a 12-5 run to cut the Augustana lead to just two. The Vikings got the lead back to a two possession game at 69-63 with just under four to play. With 2:51 ticks on the clock, Haake made it a three point game with a free throw. AC responded with a jumper, a defensive stop and then a 3-point dagger that put BSU on its heels with 1:39 remaining. The Beavers tried to get some steals without fouling, but ended up putting the Vikings to the line to ice the contest and ruin any hopes of an upset.
Rongstad also added six rebounds, two assists and a block. Sophomore guard Bryce Tesdahl (Crosby, Minn.) posted eight rebounds, seven points and four assists. Freshman forward David Berthene (Lakeville, Minn.) came off the bench to add 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting. Augie’s bench outscored the Beavers’ 26-13.
BSU continues the NSIC home weekend with a contest against Wayne State College at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).