HOUGHTON, Mich - The Bemidji State University men's basketball team fell in its season opener Tuesday 101-88 at Michigan Tech University. BSU was led by junior transfer James Ellisor's (Glendale, Ariz.) 25 points.
“In the first half we didn’t play at the level we need to win Division II games,” said head coach Matt Bowen. “I give credit to Michigan Tech, they came out with better execution and got us down early. With our youth and amount of new guys at different positions it took a few minutes to find a rhythm, but as the game went on we got better.”
First game tendencies showed for BSU to start the game, as sloppy play and a lack of early offense by the Beavers put the road team in a hole they would never get out of. After five minutes of play, two free throws from junior Jake Lindstrom (G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) put BSU down 14-5. In the first five minutes of the season, the Beavers shot 1-for-5 from the field and committed three turnovers. Lindstrom’s two free throws started a 6-3 run for the Beavers that made the score 17-9, putting BSU down eight with 13:52 remaining in the first half.
The eight point deficit would be as close as the Beavers would get for the remainder of the game as the Huskies consistently shot the ball well, posting 54.5 percent from the field in the first half and 51.4 percent in the second, while committing just 11 turnovers to BSU’s 15 and grabbing nine steals. The Huskies outscored BSU 26-12 in the points off turnovers category and 16-7 in second chance points.
The Beavers won the second half 57-52, thanks mostly to finding a rhythm offensively and shooting 7-for-10 from beyond the arc in the frame. Ellisor scored 19 of his 25 in the second half, shooting 7-of-7 from the line in the second and 9-of-9 overall.
Ellisor also led the team in rebounds with six. Senior forward Pat Cassidy (St. Paul, Minn.) scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Sophomores Mason Walters (F,Milton, Wis.) and Burke Lendl (G/F, St. Michael, Minn.) posted 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Beavers (0-1) continue nonconference play tomorrow at Finlandia University at 5 p.m. CT.