|February 23, 2013||1st||2nd||Final|
St. Cloud State
|Stats at a Glance||SCSU||BSUM|
|FG Percentage||.483 (29-60)||.424 (25-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.273 (3-11)||.296 (8-27)|
|FT Percentage||.526 (10-19)||.895 (17-19)|
Rongstad - 17
Fort - 6
Jensen - 6
Edwards - 2
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) – With 12 points, senior forward Mason Walters (Milton, Wis.) landed right on the 1,000 career points mark and helped the Bemidji State University men's basketball team to a 75-71 victory against visiting No. 22 St. Cloud State University Saturday in the regular season finale.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory improved the Beavers to 15-11 overall and 13-9 in league play to finish the conference season third in the NSIC North. The win secured the No. 3 seed in the NSIC North and pits BSU against the No. 6 seed of the NSIC South. The Beavers host Wayne State College Wed., Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at BSU Gymnasium.
Walters is the 17th player in Bemidji State program history to reach the 1,000-point mark. He follows teammate, senior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.), who joined the club earlier this season. With two players reaching the milestone this year, it marks the third time two teammates have eclipsed 1,000 points in the same season. Kevin Nichols (1,125, 1992, 1994) and Scott Kramer (1,361, 1991-94) did so in 1994, while David Lee (2,034, 1984-88) and Dale Harper (1,158, 1983-87) each moved past 1,000 career points in 1987. Rongstad surpassed Harper on the list Friday night and recorded 17 points against SCSU to reach 1,178 career points and rank 12th all-time.
Walters also brought down a career-high 15 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season and to move into ninth all-time at Bemidji State in career rebounds with 468. He brought in seven offensive rebounds, while the rest of the team totaled five offensive rebounds.
BSU earned its second win against a ranked opponent this season to improve to 2-2 against nationally ranked opponents. The Beavers defeated then-No. 5 Minnesota State University, Mankato 82-74 on the road Feb. 8. BSU is now 9-24 in the last eight seasons against the nation’s top 25.
Rongstad added six rebounds, four assists and went 8-for-9 from the free throw line to guide the team to a 17-for-19 (89.5%) performance from the charity stripe. Senior guard Dermaine Crockrell (Mesa, Ariz.) also scored 17 points and hit three, 3-pointers. The game served as senior day for five student-athletes, Crockrell, Jason Edwards (G, Phoenix, Ariz.), Sean Jones (F, Seattle, Wash.), Rongstad and Walters. Junior Zach Noreen (F, Avon, Minn.) added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench.
The contest started evenly, as both teams posted little runs to sit tied 8-8 with 15:32 left in the first half. SCSU then posted a 7-0 stretch to own a 15-8 lead with just under 13 minutes to go. The Beavers responded with a 12-2 run to turn the deficit into a three-point lead at 20-17 off a 3-pointer from Edwards.
The Beaver lead went to six at 25-19 on a fastbreak dunk by Rongstad from Crockrell with 6:58 showing on the game clock. BSU then went cold and the Huskies turned on the burners and went on an 11-0 run that handed it a 30-25 lead with 4:10 remaining in the first half.
BSU got the lead back with an 8-0 stretch that moved BSU to the three-point lead on a Noreen 3, Crockrell bucket from beyond the arc and a lay-up from junior guard Jake Schalow (Kaukauna, Wis.). The Huskies closed the half with an 8-0 run of their own and ran into the locker room with a 38-33 lead.
The road team held a lead no larger than four for the first seven minutes of the second frame and owned a 51-47 advantage with 13:07 remaining. A Rongstad 3-pointer cut the SCSU lead down to one, then a Noreen layup gave BSU its first lead of the second half at 52-51 12:27 left.
The back-and-forth affair continued into the last four minutes of play, as the contest sat tied for the 10th time at 64-64 with 3:11 left. The senior leadership and experience then came through and the Beavers grabbed a lead two at 66-64 with 2:28 to play. Two more freebies from Rongstad gave BSU the three-point lead at 68-65 with 1:53 remaining.
A SCSU lay-up cut the home team’s lead to one, then Rongstad hit the first of two free throws and the lead was two. BSU forced a turnover on the defensive end and then it was Crockrell’s ball. He drained the clock down to under 40 seconds left and then drove the lane and converted on a layup to give BSU a four-point lead at 71-67 with 37 ticks left. The Huskies came back with a layup with 18 seconds to play and then had to resort to fouling. BSU hit 4-of-4 free throws down the stretch to keep a two possession game and earn the win. Edwards made the first two free throws after attempting just 29 all season and Schalow iced the game with the last two after just eight previous attempts.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).