|March 02, 2013||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||BSUM||WSU|
|FG Percentage||.419 (26-62)||.400 (24-60)|
|3P FG Percentage||.360 (9-25)||.360 (9-25)|
|FT Percentage||.765 (13-17)||.600 (15-25)|
Noreen - 1
Johnson - 1
Vette - 1
WINONA, Minn. (McCown Gymnasium) – The Bemidji State University men's basketball team used a 74-72 victory against host No. 21 Winona State University Saturday to return to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament Semifinals March 8 in Rochester, Minn. against Upper Iowa University at 2:30 p.m.
The win made five in a row for the Beavers, who improved to 17-11 overall. The Beavers are 3-2 against nationally-ranked opponents this season.
The Beavers got a monster night from forward Mason Walters (Milton, Wis.), as he posted 21 points on 8-for-17 (47.1%) shooting from the field and a career-high 18 rebounds. Junior Zach Noreen (F, Avon, Minn.) recorded 10 points in the first four minutes of the game to get BSU going and finished with 18, which included a 4-for-6 (66.7%) effort from downtown. Senior Dermaine Crockrell (G, Mesa, Ariz.) finished with 14 points.
The Beavers shot 41.9 percent from the field, while Winona State posted a 40 percentage. BSU outrebounded the Warriors 46-35. Both teams went 9-for-25 from downtown.
The first five minutes saw a fast-paced contest with a back-and-forth battle between the squads. Noreen was good from inside and out, as he knocked down a 3-pointer with 16:07 remaining to reach 10 points and hand the Beavers an 18-12 lead. The advantage was erased during the next five minutes of play, as a Winona State 9-2 run gave the home team a 21-20 lead.
With just over nine minutes left in the frame, BSU held a slim 23-21 lead, but a 3-pointer from Winona State started a 5-0 run and the home team regained the lead at 26-23. The Beaver defense responded and held the high-powered Warriors scoreless for more than four minutes and used it to own a 31-26 lead with just under five to play in the opening 20 minutes.
The BSU lead hit eight on a Crockrell 3-pointer, followed by a WSU turnover and a Walters bucket on the other end with 3:30 to play. A senior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) wide open look from beyond the arc tickled the twine with 2:16 showing on the clock and the Beavers led 41-31.
Bemidji State closed the half even with the Warriors and went into the locker room with a seven-point advantage at 43-36. Walters had 10 points and nine rebounds at the break, while Noreen was stuck at 10 after getting into foul trouble. The Beavers shot 47.2 percent from the field and hit four 3-pointers. BSU also owned the boards in the first frame, 27-14 with nine offensive rebounds that turned into 10, second chance points.
The Beavers came out in the second half with the same energy and held a 47-38 lead following two Walters free throws with 18:32 showing on the game clock. The Warriors then went on an 8-0 run that cut the BSU lead to just one at 47-46 with 16 minutes to go.
The game of runs continued and BSU posted a stretch of its own with seven unanswered points to take the 54-46 advantage with 14:07 remaining. With 11:52 left, junior guard Jake Schalow (Kaukauna, Wis.) went to the line after being fouled on a 3-point attempt and knocked down all three from the charity stripe to increase the Beaver advantage to six at 60-54.
At the media timeout with 9:58 remaining the road team’s lead was just four at 60-56. The Warriors came out of the break with a vengeance and posted a 5-0 run the handed the home team a 61-60 lead and forced BSU head coach Mike Boschee to call timeout with 7:21 to go. A nearly five minute drought in scoring by the Beavers was ended by a Crockrell free throw and the Warrior lead was 63-61 with just over six to go.
A Walters 3-pointer from the wing capped a 7-3 run by Bemidji State and forced a timeout by WSU with the Beavers lead at 67-66 and 5:13 to play. A Crockrell layup on a sweet dish from Rongstad with 2:15 to go gave the Beavers a 71-68 advantage.
Winona State countered, but with just two ticks left on the 35-second shot clock, Noreen stepped back and hit a cold-blooded 3-pointert to propel Beavers to 74-70 lead and just a minute to go. Winona State got within two with two free throws and just 26 ticks left and was forced to play the foul game.
Rongstad missed the open end of a one-and-one and Winona State came down with the rebound. With 10 seconds to go, WSU inbounded to its star player Clayton Vette, but senior Jason Edwards (G, Phoenix, Ariz.) wrapped him up and created a jump ball. The possession arrow pointed to the Warriors and they inbounded under the basket. As the clock ticked away, WSU’s Xavier Humphrey pulled up in the paint and was smothered by two BSU players and the shot fell short and the Beavers celebrated a repeat trip to the NSIC Tournament Semifinals.
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).