|January 20, 2012||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MSU||BSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.463 (25-54)||.521 (25-48)|
|3P FG Percentage||.400 (6-15)||.417 (5-12)|
|FT Percentage||.733 (11-15)||.909 (20-22)|
Whitehead - 1
BEMIDJI, Minn. – Senior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz) helped the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team do something it hadn’t since 1969. Beat Minnesota State University, Mankato. Friday at the BSU Gymnasium the Beavers found a 75-67 victory behind Ellisor’s 34 points to end an 0-23 run against the Mavericks that dated back to 1969. Ellisor’s mark tied a career-high he established Jan. 7 at Augustana College and improved BSU’s record to 13-5 overall and 8-4 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Ellisor went 13-for-17 (76.5%) from the field in the game, that included an unconscious 8-for-9 in the second half. The league-leader in points entering the game upped his season average to 21.8 with his second 30 point performance of the season and his conference-best 10th game with 20 or more points. He went 7-for-7 from the line, hit on his only 3-point attempt and added five rebounds and four steals in 34 minutes of play.
The Beavers used 68.2 percent shooting in the second half to turn a five point deficit at the break into an eight point win. BSU shot just 38.5 percent in the first half, as it never had a lead and found itself down 9-2 just 2:33 into the game. The Beavers cut the deficit to three at 11-8, but the Maverick (5-11, 4-8 NSIC) lead with 9:41 left in the half was 10 at 23-13. BSU got six points from Ellisor in the half’s last five minutes to get the deficit to a manageable five at 34-29 entering the locker room.
After playing out of their normal offense and making uncharacteristic mistakes, the Beavers righted the ship and played the brand of basketball it was used to and opened a three point lead with a 7-1 run to start the first 4:48 of the second half. BSU got its first lead of the game on a soaring fast break dunk from Ellisor with 16:48 left that got the season-high 1,351 crowd off their seats. The dunk proceeded a lay-up by the forward from Glendale, Ariz. that handed the Beavers their three point lead.
With the game knotted 38-38, BSU posted a 12-2 run that handed the home team a double-digit lead at 50-40 with 9:50 left in regulation. MSU knocked down a couple 3-pointers to get back into the game and eventually would be within three at 56-53 with 5:13 showing on the clock. After struggling a bit from beyond the arc during the game, the Beavers found a couple key bombs from downtown as junior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) and senior guard Bryce Tesdahl (Crosby, Minn.) tickled the twine on back-to-back possessions to get Beavers a seven point lead at 62-55 with 3:48 left. Solid defense, a free throw from junior forward Mason Walters (Milton, Wis.), two more from the charity stripe from Ellisor and the Beavers owned a 10 point lead with 2:12 remaining. The Mavericks cut the BSU lead to four at 69-65 with 29 ticks remaining, but it was too late and the home team iced the victory with free throws.
Walters was the only other Beavers in double-figures, as he posted 11 points with three rebounds. Junior Dermaine Crockrell (G, Mesa, Ariz.) totaled nine points, four rebounds and three assists. Tesdahl had seven points, seven assists and three rebounds.
The Beavers shot 52.1 percent from the field and picked-up their first win of the season when trailing at the half. The team shot 41.7 percent (5-for-12) from downtown and posted a 20-for-22 (90.9%) performance from the charity stripe. The No. 2 team nationally in turnovers per game (10.4 TOpg) handed the ball over 10 times, while creating 14 MSU miscues to own an 18-9 advantage in points off turnovers. BSU had 30 points in the paint, compared to MSU’s 20. The Mavericks won the boards 29-26.
The 13 wins is the most in a season under head coach Matt Bowen, who is in his sixth year with the Beavers. Bowen now has just Augustana left on his list of NSIC teams yet to defeat as the BSU bench boss.
Bowen and the Beavers will get a shot at SMSU as the Mustangs (9-7. 8-4 NSIC) visit BSU Gymnasium for a 6 p.m. tilt Saturday.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).