Hot-Shooting Sees Huskies Defeat Beavers, 91-84
Thursday, December 5, 2002
Dec. 5, 2002

Bemidji, Minn. - Bemidji State (3-4, 0-0 NSIC) shot the ball well as it maintained a 60.0% clip (33-55), but BSU’s 27 turnovers and clutch free throw shooting by St. Cloud State (4-1, 0-0 NCC) gave SCSU a 91-84 victory.

“We are turning the ball over way too much,” said head coach Jeff Guiot. “We can’t double the other team’s turnovers and expect to win. Right now, we are our own worst enemy.”

BSU streaked out to a 7-1 early lead behind a jumper apiece by junior forward Charles Hanks (Chicago, Ill.) and senior center Ben Caron (Bemidji, Minn.) and a lay-up by senior guard Royce Bryan (Haviland, Kan.). Caron was fouled in the act of shooting and nailed his free-throw for the early edge. The Beavers would increase that margin to 20-8 at the 11:04 mark on a lay-up by Caron but a three-point basket by Forrest Witt began a SCSU flurry. The visitors went on a 32-16 run to wrap up the first half. The Huskies had five more points from the charity stripe compared to the Beavers. Both teams shot exceptionally well with St. Cloud State (53.8%) enjoying a slight edge over Bemidji State (51.7%). SCSU enjoyed a 40-36 halftime advantage.

The Huskies opened up a double-digit lead less than four minutes into the second frame on Witt’s fourth trifecta of the game. That put the count at 54-43 with 16:43 remaining. SCSU pushed that margin to 18, its largest cushion, at 71-53 at 8:45. That scoring occurred after BSU turned the ball over three times in :55. But, BSU had an answer as it scored 13 of the next 19 points to bring the score within eight at 77-69 at 5:11. The Beavers continued their push as they got to within 84-79 at 2:34 but were forced to foul. St. Cloud State then hit on seven of its final 10 free throw attempts to seal the non-conference victory.

Bryan paced BSU with a season-high 15 points on 6-7 shooting from the field. Hanks hit for 13 while senior guard Stan Johnson (Salt Lake City, Utah) had 13 as well. Caron was 5-7 from the field as he totaled 12 points with freshman guard Jamal Clements (Parkhill, Colo.) notching a career-high of 10 points.

BSU out-rebounded SCSU (31-24) but traveled to the free-throw line 25 fewer times.

The story of the game was the free-throw line as the Huskies connected on 23 compared to BSU’s six. Coach Guiot comments on how the disparity in free throws took the game away from his players.

“They beat us by 17 on the line tonight,” said Guiot. “When we allow that to happen, we take ourselves out of the game. That just gives them a chance to rest. We want to fatigue them.”

St. Cloud State was led by the 22 points on the part of Forrest Witt. Nate Miller was next with 17 as he chipped in five steals. Steve Trull posted 17 points while Brent Frikken had 16 in 21 minutes.

BSU has a few days to rest as Wednesday brings St. Scholastica to the BSU Gymnasium. Game-time is 7:00 p.m.

Notes: With four assists on the night, Royce Bryan ties himself for ninth on the school’s career assists lists with 176 - he needs just seven more to move into the eighth spot...BSU has dropped eight straight in the series to the Huskies...The 60.0% (33-55) shooting mark on the part of BSU ties a season-high - the Beavers hit on the exact number of shots and attempted the same in the win vs. UW-Superior on Monday...The 91 points allowed is a season-high and the most since the Beavers allowed Northern State to notch 93, Jan. 12, 2002.