March 09, 20131st2ndFinal
Bemidji State343468
Minnesota State334073
Stats at a GlanceBSUMMSU
FG Percentage.407 (24-59) .458 (27-59)
3P FG Percentage.407 (11-27) .333 (4-12)
FT Percentage.600 (9-15) .833 (15-18)
Offensive Rebounds1314
Defensive Rebounds1824
Total Rebounds3138
Turnovers98
Steals35
Bench Points89
LeadersBSUMMSU
PointsRongstad - 20
Williams - 20
ReboundsWalters - 7
Marei - 7
Wooten - 7
O'Brien - 7
Williams - 7
AssistsCrockrell - 5
Williams - 3
StealsRongstad - 2
Monaghan - 2
BlocksCrockrell - 1
Marei - 3
Beavers strong in 73-68 NSIC Tournament Championship loss to MSU
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Beavers strong in 73-68 NSIC Tournament Championship loss to MSU
Courtesy of SPXSports

ROCHESTER, Minn. (Taylor Arena) – The Bemidji State University men's basketball team hung with No. 7 Minnesota State University, Mankato in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Saturday, but fell in the end 73-68.

The Beavers are 18-12 overall and own a 16-10 central region record. BSU wasn't ranked in the latest NCAA Central Region Poll, released Wednesday, but still have an outside chance of making the top eight and participating in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. The selection show to announce the teams moving on is set for 9:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Senior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) recorded 20 points in 40 minutes of play. Senior Mason Walters (F, Milton, Wis.) scored 19 points and added a team-high seven rebounds. He was 4-for-9 (44.4%) from 3-point land. Senior Dermaine Crockrell (G, Mesa, Ariz.) added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. He also played in all 40 minutes.

Both Crockrell and Walters were named All-NSIC Tournament Team for their efforts.

The Beavers knocked down 11 3-pointers on 27 attempts for a 40.7 percentage. Minnesota State shot 51.7 percent in the second half, 45.8 percent overall. The Mavericks went 9-for-9 from the line in the second frame and 15-for-18 (83.3%) overall, while BSU struggled from the charity stripe for the second straight game and went 9-for-15 (60%). 

The Beavers failed to score for the game’s first five minutes and faced an 11-0 deficit until junior Zach Noreen (F, Avon, Minn.) got a shot from the lane to drop. The bucket started a 6-0 run for BSU and cut the deficit to five at 11-6. MSU responded with an 8-1 run that handed it a double-figure lead at 19-7 with 9:33 remaining.

A Crockrell 3-pointer got the Beavers to a nine-point deficit, but MSU scored the next three points and led 22-10 with 7:38 to go. A Walters bucket underneath started a 12-0 run for Bemidji State that saw five points each from Walters and Rongstad and the game was tied for the first time with just under five to play.

Minnesota State responded with a 4-0 run that was silenced by a junior guard Jake Schalow (Kaukauna, Wis.) 3-pointer to move the score to 26-25, then a MSU bucket was countered by a Walters deep shot from beyond the arc to knot the game up at 28-28 with two minutes to play in the opening 20 minutes.

Schalow hit another 3-ball with 1:34 remaining for BSU’s fourth three in five minutes of game time. Then Crockrell tickled the twine from 3-point land and the Beavers led 34-31 with under a minute to play. MSU found a bucket late and BSU brought a 34-33 lead into the locker room.

BSU shot 6-of-13 (46.2%) from 3-point land in the half. The Beavers were led by Crockrell’s nine points and six rebounds.

The energy and momentum of the end of the first frame carried over to the second, as a Walters 3-pointer put the Beavers ahead 43-38 three minutes into the final 20 minutes. MSU followed with a 4-0 run and BSU’s lead was just one at 43-42 with 15:56 to play.

A Noreen 3-pointer on a broken play moved the Beaver lead to their largest point at 50-44, six minutes in. Two Walters free throws gave him eight straight points for BSU and handed the Beavers a 58-54 lead with 9:32 to play, but a 5-0 run by Minnesota State gave it a lead at 59-58 and 8:23 showing on the game clock.

Rongstad responded with two solid drives to the hole and Bemidji State owned the 62-59 lead with just under seven to play. The Beavers then got stuck on 62 and Minnesota State used it to post a 6-0 run and open a 65-62 lead with 3:57 to go in regulation.

The Beavers failed to get a shot off in five of six possessions in the drought to enable the Mavericks the run. MSU scored with 54 seconds left after finding an offensive rebound to move the game to a two possession game at 67-62. Crockrell pulled up on the other end and knocked down a much-needed 3-pointer with 29 ticks to go, as BSU trailed 67-65. The bucket ended a six-plus minute scoreless streak for the underdog.

With only three team fouls, BSU had to be whistled for four infractions before MSU went to the line, which wasted about six precious seconds. The Mavericks made both and the Beavers were forced to hurry a shot. Crockrell took a 3-pointer, but it fell short and the ball fell in the hands of a Maverick. MSU stayed cool down the stretch and hit all its free throws. Rongstad hit a 3-pointer late, but it would change the outcome, as BSU fell by five.

If the season is over, the Beavers say thank you and good-bye to four seniors in Crockrell, Jason Edwards (G, Phoenix, Ariz.), Rongstad and Walters.

The 18 wins are the most by a first-year head coach in Bemidji State history. Head Coach Mike Boschee is the 20th bench boss at BSU in its 91 years of men’s basketball. 

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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