March 08, 20131st2ndFinal
Upper Iowa283361
Bemidji State253964
Stats at a GlanceUIUBSUM
FG Percentage.439 (25-57) .587 (27-46)
3P FG Percentage.333 (5-15) .273 (3-11)
FT Percentage.750 (6-8) .438 (7-16)
Offensive Rebounds75
Defensive Rebounds1925
Total Rebounds2630
Turnovers1115
Steals85
Bench Points911
LeadersUIUBSUM
PointsWentzien - 18
Crockrell - 17
ReboundsWentzien - 7
Noreen - 7
AssistsWoods - 4
Crockrell - 4
StealsElgin - 3
Rongstad - 2
BlocksWentzien - 1
Walters - 2
Crockrell - 2
Noreen - 2
Beavers win defensive battle with UIU 64-61 in NSIC Tournament Semifinals
Friday, March 8, 2013
Beavers win defensive battle with UIU 64-61 in NSIC Tournament Semifinals

ROCHESTER, Minn. (Taylor Arena) – The Bemidji State University men's basketball team missed nine free throws and hit just three 3-pointers, but played well enough on the defensive end to prevail 64-61 against Upper Iowa University Friday in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Semifinals in Rochester, Minn.

The Beavers now advance to the NSIC Tournament Finals for the first time since the current format begin in 2000. BSU will play the winner of the second semifinal tonight between Augustana College and Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Senior Dermaine Crockrell (G, Mesa, Ariz.) led the Beavers with 17 points on 7-of-11 (63.6%) shooting from the field and added five rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Both senior Mason Walters (F, Milton, Wis.) and junior Zach Noreen (F, Avon, Minn.) scored 13 points, while Noreen posted a team-best seven rebounds. Senior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) scored all of his 10 points in the second half on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and a 4-of-4 effort from the line.

Bemidji State went 7-of-16 (43.8%) from the charity stripe and 3-for-11 (27.3%) from downtown, but shot 58.7 percent from the field – its second highest field goal percentage this season. BSU was just 1-of-9 from 3-point range until hitting two big 3-pointers in the final 1:25 of game time. Upper Iowa shot 43.9 percent from the field. The lead changed 13 times in the second half, while the Peacocks tied the game seven times.

The Beaver offense struggled in the first eight minutes of play and with only a bucket from Noreen and junior forward Maxie Rosenbloom (St. Paul, Minn.) trailed the Peacocks 11-4 with 11:59 showing on the clock. A 3-pointer by UIU with 9:36 remaining handed it an 18-8 lead, but the Beavers countered with buckets on consecutive possessions and trialed by six at 18-12.

The teams traded buckets until a 4-0 run by UIU handed it a 28-20 lead with 2:34 left in the opening half, but the Beavers posted the final five points of the frame to cut the deficit to just three at 28-25 heading into the locker room. Rongstad didn’t score in the first half and Walters had just two points.

The Beavers came out of the break with a purpose and used an 8-1 run to take a 33-29 lead with 16:59 showing on the game clock. Rongstad scored the first four points of the half for BSU. Upper Iowa battled back and scored four straight to knot the contest up 33-33.

With 11:04 left Rongstad drove hard to the hole and converted on a layup to put the Beavers ahead 41-40, but the Peacocks followed with a 4-0 run that gave it a 44-41 advantage. Buckets from Walters and Noreen, then a 3-pointer from Noreen swung the lead back to BSU 48-44 as the seesaw match continued with 8:01 to go.

After a 4-0 run by UIU to tie the game for the seventh time, Walters scored on a runner and was fouled, but missed the and-one opportunity. Right away on the other end, Jake Hughes converted on a layup and was fouled, as he made his free throw it gave Upper Iowa the lead 51-50 with just over five minutes left.

Two Rongstad free throws put the Beavers ahead by three at 56-53 with just under four minutes to play, but a UIU 3-pointer with just two seconds left on the shot clock tied the game with 3:16 remaining.

Crockrell took over the final two minutes, starting with a layup with 2:20 left, but again, the Peacocks responded. Crockrell isolated his defender on the next possession and pulled up for a 3-pointer atop the key and knocked it down for the lead. Upper Iowa missed a 3-point attempt on the other end and the Beavers had a chance to make it a two possession contest. With time winding down on the shot clock, Crockrell dished the ball to Walters, who hit just the third BSU 3-pointer of the game to hand the Beavers a 64-58 lead.

The Peacocks came down and converted on an old fashioned 3-point play and the lead was just three. With 13 ticks left Walters was fouled and went to the line with an opportunity to ice the victory, but he missed the open end of the one-and-one and the Peacocks came down with the board. They brought the ball down and got a good look at a game-tying 3-pointer, but it hit the back iron and Rongstad came down with the rebound as time expired.

Rongstad moved into Bemidji State's top 10 career points and rebounds lists Friday. With 1,205 points he moved past Seth Haake (2006-10) for 10th and he now has 468 rebounds to sit 10th. Walters pulled down his 500th rebound in the game and sits eighth all-time at BSU. With 227 boards this season, Walters jumped into sixth on the single season chart.

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).

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