Cougars claw back to take down Beavers, 78-71

January 13, 20171st2ndFinal
Sioux Falls304878
Bemidji State284371
Stats at a GlanceUSFBSUM
FG Percentage.536 (30-56) .500 (24-48)
3P FG Percentage.333 (6-18) .360 (9-25)
FT Percentage.667 (12-18) .636 (14-22)
Offensive Rebounds87
Defensive Rebounds2222
Total Rebounds3029
Turnovers1114
Steals73
Bench Points2222
LeadersUSFBSUM
PointsWessels - 20
Best - 17
ReboundsWessels - 6
Black - 5
White - 5
AssistsWessels - 10
Pekarek - 6
StealsWessels - 3
Black - 2
BlocksAase - 2
Best - 1
Cougars claw back to take down Beavers, 78-71
Friday, January 13, 2017
Cougars claw back to take down Beavers, 78-71

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- Junior guard Christian Pekarek and freshman guard Jai'Vionne Green put on second-half clinics Friday night but the late-heroics was not enough to take down University of Sioux Falls in a 78-71 loss at BSU Gymnasium. Pekarek and Green score all their points in the second half as the Beavers (5-11, 3-8 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) gave up a late lead to the Cougars (11-8, 7-4 NSIC).

Pekarek nearly tied the game at 74 apiece with 10 seconds in the game, but contact on the shot was not called as Sioux Falls iced the game with four free throws to take the win. Pekarek finished the second half with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Green finished behind senior Ben Best for the team’s scoring-high with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Best led the Beavers with 17 points while adding three rebounds, two assists and one block.

The Beavers began the game with the upper hand on the offensive attack, taking four six-point leads through the first nine minutes of action before taking a first-half high nine-point, 26-17, with six minutes in the half. Senior forward Ben Best scored 11 points through the stretch to lead the Beavers but the Cougars finished the first half on a 13-2 run to take a 30-28 lead into halftime.

The second half remained close throughout the period as both teams tied the game nine times. Neither squad pulled ahead by more than five points until the final seconds. Green and Pekarek combined for 30 of BSU’s 43 second-half points as Green sank back-to-back 3-pointers for a BSU 69-68 lead with 2:34 remaining. Sioux Falls’ Daniel Hurtt answered Green’s go-ahead 3-pointer with his only trey of the night, to give him 18 points for the game, to take the lead back.

Green was fouled after attacking the basket from the baseline to tie the game for the ninth and final time, 71-71. A quick foul on the other end put USF on the line, which led to two points and the final lead of the game. The Beavers turned the ball over twice after losing the lead but trailed just three points, 74-71, with possession and 16 seconds. Freshman Lucas Wendt pulled down his fourth rebound of the night to set up BSU’s final chance to tie the game. Pekarek held the ball at the top left of the arc and was contacted while going for the game-tying shot, but fell to the ground without a call.

Zach Wessels and Clint Thomas ended the game with two free throws each to solidify the USF win. Wessels, who entered the game averaging 8.6 points per game, finished the game with a game-high 20 while Thomas, who entered with 11.0 points per game, was held to four.

The Beavers shot at least 50.0 percent from the field for the eighth game this season, but fell for the fourth time in such games. BSU went to the free throw line 22 times and converted 14.

Bemidji State concludes its weekend of home play Saturday as Southwest Minnesota State University enters BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers and Mustangs tip-off the conclusion of a five-game home stand for BSU at 6 p.m.

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" 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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