Best scores career-high 28 points to lead BSU to 79-69 win over WSC

December 12, 20151st2ndFinal
Wayne State (NE)294069
Bemidji State295079
Stats at a GlanceWSCBSUM
FG Percentage.452 (28-62) .443 (27-61)
3P FG Percentage.538 (7-13) .250 (3-12)
FT Percentage.462 (6-13) .759 (22-29)
Offensive Rebounds95
Defensive Rebounds3231
Total Rebounds4136
Bench Points2819
PointsThomas - 14
Best - 28
ReboundsAndersen - 9
Best - 11
AssistsHeesch - 6
Anderson - 4
StealsThomas - 2
Harrington - 4
BlocksPauley - 2
Heesch - 2
Best - 2
Best scores career-high 28 points to lead BSU to 79-69 win over WSC
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Best scores career-high 28 points to lead BSU to 79-69 win over WSC

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- The Bemidji State men's basketball team defeated Wayne State College, 79-69, Saturday night in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest. Junior Ben Best recorded a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds during his third double-double of the season to lead the Beavers (5-4, 2-3 NSIC) over the Wildcats (2-7, 1-4 NSIC).

Adjustments late in the first half sparked a 9-0 run for the Beavers to head into halftime tied 29-29. BSU then jumped out to an eight-point advantage four minutes into the second half, thanks in part to six points from Best on a 15-6 run. While the Wildcats were able to pull within three points minutes later, the Beavers’ defensive intensity and .607 field goal percentage in the second half sealed the victory.

BSU fell into an early hole as WSC began the game on a 10-0 run. The Beavers missed five shots during the stretch before Best scored the team’s and his first points of the night. Irvin Womack, earning his first start of the season, followed Best’s score with a jumper of his own. Five different Beavers chipped in shots to open scoring for the team and pull within three, 12-9, at the 13:11 mark. The Wildcats began another run to pull to their largest lead of the night, 25-14 with seven minutes remaining in the half.

Three minutes later, the Beavers began a 9-0 run, sparked by a an old-fashioned three-point play from Best. Christian Pekarek and Elijah Valdez added 3-pointers to finish the half. BSU forced four consecutive turnovers by WSC before allowing a shot attempt during the run.

Both teams traded baskets to remain tied through the first two minutes of the second half. Womack then put up his only 3-pointer and the team’s final conversion of the night from behind the arc. The score would prove to be the go-ahead bucket for good the rest of the game. The Wildcats pulled to within three points three times over the next four minutes, at which point the Beavers went on a 9-2 run to extend the lead to double-digits, 55-45.

The Beavers held a game-high 14-point lead at the 10:47 mark in the second half, as DJ Anderson laid in a fastbreak score from Pekarek. BSU sealed the game while knocking down 6-of-8 free throw attempts over the final minute of the game.

Best’s team-high 28 points was followed by Womack with 12 and Anderson with 11. Anderson led the team with four assists, all coming in the second half, while Womack was second on the team with six rebounds. The Beavers shot 44.3 percent (27-61) from the field, compared to 45.2 percent (28-62) by the Wildcats. BSU outshot WSC from the charity stripe, 75.9 percent (22-29) to 46.2 percent (6-13).

Bemidji State remains at home to close out the 2015 schedule at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 against University of Minnesota Crookston. The Beavers previously took down the Golden Eagles, 62-58, Nov. 28 in Crookston, Minn.

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).