|January 13, 2012||1st||2nd||Final|
|St. Cloud State||28||44||72|
|Stats at a Glance||SCSU||BSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.473 (26-55)||.459 (28-61)|
|3P FG Percentage||.308 (4-13)||.400 (6-15)|
|FT Percentage||.842 (16-19)||.667 (8-12)|
Bergstraser - 8
Rostampour - 8
Levandoski - 1
Rostampour - 2
Walters - 1
Ellisor - 1
BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team brought No. 21 St. Cloud State University all the way down to the wire, but fell on a shot that left just 0.7 showing on the game clock, losing 72-70 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference battle at the BSU Gymnasium Friday. Senior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) led all scorers with 24 points.
Senior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) knocked down a running jumper in the lane with 29 seconds left in the game to knot the contest at 70-70 - the seventh tie in the evening. The Huskies (11-2, 8-2 NSIC) then had the last say in getting the win or moving the game to overtime, but SCSU guard Shaun Jensen decided the 40 minutes was enough as he banked home a driving jumper in the lane to hand the Huskies the lead and leave BSU (11-5, 6-4 NSIC) with under a second to work with. Ellisor got a shot off before the buzzer from past half court, but his effort fell short and the Beavers moved to 0-4 in 2011-12 in games against ranked opponents.
A season-high 1,011 fans came out to see the physical battle between two of the top four teams in the NSIC, but it wouldn’t be enough to get past the Huskies that gave the Beavers their first loss at the BSU Gymnasium this season (6-1). Ellisor tied his career-high for field goal attempts (20) that he set just a week ago in the 103-93 double overtime loss to then-No. 21 Augustana College Jan. 7. He hit nine shots from the field, went 2-for-3 from downtown and was 4-for-5 from the line, adding four rebounds in 35 minutes of play. Junior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) battled with the bigs down low on defense in the first half before being assigned to the shifty Jensen in the second half, but managed to score 15 points on the offensive side of the floor. Junior Mason Walters (F, Milton, Wis.) had 11 points for BSU and sophomore Zach Noreen (F, Avon, Minn.) tied a season-high with 10 points. Tesdahl posted a season-high nine assists and turned the ball over zero times, as he played in a game-high 37 minutes.
The No. 4 team in the nation in turnovers (10.7 TOpg) allowed just six giveaways, while taking 12 from SCSU and outscoring the road team 13-3 in points off turnovers. BSU shot 45.9 percent from the field, while allowing 47.3 percent on the other end in a game that saw 11 lead changes and seven ties. SCSU (16-for-19) got to the line seven more times than the Beavers (8-for-12). BSU was outrebounded 40-26.
The Beavers got out to an early 13-6 lead with 13:41 left in the first half before SCSU turned it on and went on a 11-2 run over the coarse of almost five minutes of game time to take a 17-15 lead. The teams then traded hoops all the way to the end of the half where the Beavers found a 29-28 advantage heading into the break.
The early second half play continued to be physical with both teams vying for a lead. The Huskies started to pull away mid-way through the frame and handed the Beavers an eight point deficit at 51-43 with 8:56 showing in regulation. But the home team wasn’t going to give up that easy and BSU started to chip away at the SCSU lead and eventually tied the game at 58-58 on a Rongstad lay-up with 5:14 left.
The game went back to a see-saw match with the teams answering every time the other called. With 1:33 remaining the Beavers found themselves facing a four point deficit at 70-66, but a jumper from Ellisor cut the disadvantage in half. After a huge defensive stop, Tesdahl found the ball in his hands with the shot clock starting to tick below 10 and he drove the lane and converted on the runner. With 29 seconds left the Huskies ran the clock down to 15 before calling a timeout. After the break, SCSU came out and got the ball to Jensen and let him decide the fate of the game, unfortunately for the Beavers he would find the bottom of the net to hand the Beavers their fifth overall loss of the season.
A four-game homestand continues Jan. 14 when Concordia University, St. Paul visits BSU Gymnasium for 6 p.m. tilt.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).