ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team was unable to recover from an overtime loss from the night before and fell to Concordia University, St. Paul 79-73 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game at Gangelhoff Center. Junior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) had six assists in the game, tying BSU’s all-time career assists record (Since 1976) with 314 career helpers.
“We had good energy and hung in there really well,” said head coach Matt Bowen. “We had an opportunity with a couple minutes left to make a basket and take the lead, but we missed and they came down and hit a 3-pointer and that was it. We just need to be more consistent on the offensive and defensive end.”
The first half was all BSU after the road team took a 3-2 lead two minutes into the game. The Beavers held a lead as large as nine in the half, en route to a six point advantage at the half with the score reading 38-32.
BSU continued its strong play into the early minutes of the second half, but an eight point lead quickly disappeared and turned into a seven point deficit as the Golden Bears rattled off 15 unanswered points. Despite getting knocked down the Beavers did what they know how to do and got back up, going on a 7-0 run to knot the contest at 51-51 with 12:08 remaining in regulation.
The game then turned into a back and forth battle as both teams traded baskets, but BSU was never able to regain a lead, just tie the game on multiple occations. A 3-pointer from Tesdahl with 6:31 left tied the game at 66-66 for the sixth time in the game. After two minutes of scoreless basketball CU hit a 3-pointer to take the lead. The teams then traded baskets before BSU had an opportunity to take lead with under two minutes to go.
With the scoreboard reading 71-70 CU, sophomore Burke Lendl (G/F, St. Michael, Minn.) had a 3-point attempt with 1:58 remaining, but missed. A sophomore Lance Rongstad (F, Eleva, Wis.) offensive rebound gave the Beavers another chance, but before they could take another shot, the Golden Bears stripped the ball from senior Patrick Cassidy (F, St. Paul, Minn.) and knocked down the dagger 3-pointer to earn a four point lead with 1:16 left.
The Beavers wouldn’t be able to rebound and CU made free throws down the stretch to pick-up the conference victory. The Golden Bears shot 50.9 percent from the field and went 10-21 from 3-point land in the game. BSU shot just 43.8 percent and was 9-of-27 from 3-point land.
Junior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) scored a team-high 15 points and added a team-high nine rebounds. Tesdahl added 13 points to his six assists and four rebounds. Lendl posted a season-high 12 points. Sophomore Mason Walters (F, Milton, Wis.) also scored in double-figures with 10 points.
The Beavers (7-8, 4-7 NSIC) continue a conference road trip Jan. 21 at Minnesota State University, Mankato at 8 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).