Beavers Shut Down Second-Best Team In League
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Jan. 18, 2003

Aberdeen, S.D. - At Wachs Arena tonight, Bemidji State (8-8, 4-3) held the second-best field goal shooting team in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to 44 percent shooting for the game and halted Northern State’s (9-7, 6-2) five-game winning streak with a 82-77 victory in front of 3.407 fans.

“ We played well, played real aggressive and played with more confidence,” said head coach Jeff Guiot. “We rebounded the ball well. I told the kids that if we can do that, we have a chance to win a lot of games. But, right now I think the kids are adjusting to the smaller line-up without having Ben (Caron) and Chris (Wallin) in there.”

A night after attempting a league-record 46 three-pointers, the Beavers hoisted up 34, connecting on 13 (.382) for the game. NSU shot 34 percent (11 of 32) from behind the arc but could not get a big basket down the stretch as the visitors made five of seven free throws within the final 1:01 of the contest.

Senior guard Royce Bryan (Haviland, Kan.), who scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half, put the Beavers on the board with a driving lay-up. In fact, 10 of BSU’s first 19 points came via the hand of Bryan as the Beavers built a 19-10 lead at 10:34. From there, the Wolves went on a 27-18 run to go in to the locker-room tied at 37.

As the score indicated, both teams played nearly even first halves with NSU holding a slight 48 to 47 percent edge from the floor. The teams combined for 19 turnovers with NSU having 10.

After allowing two jumpers out of the half, BSU put a clamp on NSU’s scoring threat. Beginning with a free throw on the part of junior forward Charles Hanks(Chicago, Ill.), the Beavers went off on a 12-2 run to take a 53-43 lead at 14:55. The Beavers would never trail from that point on, but the Wolves got to within two at 53-51 after they responded with a 9-0 run.

NSU would cut the lead to two for the final time at 66-64 at 5:42 after a Dustin Hjelmeland three-pointer. But, junior guard Adam Daley (Des Moines, Iowa) answered with a three of his own, one of his five on the night, to push the lead back to five and put the Beavers in the drivers-seat. Two big tri-fectas on the part of senior guard Jeff Lorenson (Cannon Falls, Minn.) and a jumper by Hanks preceded the final free-throw flurry for BSU as the Beavers went on to their fourth win in the month of January.

Bemidji State finished the game shooting 47 percent (27 of 57) from the field and was 75 percent (15 of 20) from the foul line. NSU went 12-for-17 from the charity stripe.

Bemidji State’s starting five out-did the starters for Northern State out-scoring them 76-47 in the game.

Daley poured in a career-best 21 points on eight of 14 shooting to lead BSU. Hanks followed with 19 points as he went seven-for-eight from the foul line. Bryan, who had a team-high seven rebounds and four steals, chipped in 16 points with Lorenson and senior guard Stan Johnson (Salt Lake City, Utah) getting 10 apiece.

Hjelmeland led the Wolves with 20 points and Sundance Wicks added a 10 point-16 rebound effort.

“The guys played to their strengths,” said Guiot. “We are coming around the corner and playing together. I am real proud of them for this win. They showed a lot of toughness and maturity as a team.”

Up next for the Beavers is a home twin-bill against Winona State and Concordia-St. Paul next Friday and Saturday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the BSU Gymnasium.

Notes: The Beavers hold its seventh opponent to a sub-40 percent shooting mark from the field tonight - they are 6-1 in those games...BSU has taken the last two in the overall series when played in Aberdeen, S.D. - before that, it lost seven straight...In four of the last five games, Bemidji State has gone over 45 percent from the floor...BSU played without centers Chris Wallin (broken foot) and Ben Caron (torn ACL) for the second straight night - Wallin is expected to be back in 2-3 weeks while Caron is out for the year.