Minn. State-Moorhead stuns BSU in overtime at NSIC Tournament
Saturday, March 8, 2003
March 8, 2003

St. Paul, Minn. - It was a battle of wills between Bemidji State and MSU Moorhead tonight in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Semifi nals at the Gangelhoff Center. MSUM’s Jake Kruse hit a fall-away bank-shot in the lane as time expired to lift the #7 seed Dragons to a 79-78 overtime victory.

After an apparent game-winner by senior guard Stan Johnson (Salt Lake City, Utah) from long-distance with 8.6 seconds remaining, Kruse deflected an inbound pass on BSU’s end-line. After a brief melee for the ball, Kruses’ heroics sent the #3 seed Beavers home for the second straight season in the second round. The Dragons raced out to a six-point edge out of the gates before senior guard Jeff Lorenson (Cannon Falls, Minn.) stole a pass and scored on a lay-up at the 16:22 mark to end the drought.

MSU Moorhead would keep the lead for the most part thanks to poor shooting on the part of the Beavers. Through the first 10 minutes, BSU went 27 percent (3 of 11) from the field. Three straight treys, two by junior guard Jamal Clements (Parkhill, Colo.) and one by Johnson, forced the Dragons into a time-out as BSU saw its first lead at 22-20. The game would stay close as neither team led by more than three as the Beavers went up 34-32 at the half. BSU is 16-2 when leading at the half.

Senior guard Aaron Kallhoff (Norfolk, Neb.), who exploded for 27 in the last meeting, went the length of the court and found the bottom of the net just as the final horn sounded to end the first 20 minutes of action. Kallhoff ended with 10 points. Junior forward Charles Hanks (Chicago, Ill.) went scoreless on zero-for-four shooting in the first half and tallied his first bucket at the 17:18 mark of the second half.

After a Johnson trey put Bemidji State up by five, its biggest of the second half, there would be a combined five ties and lead changes in the first 13 minutes. MSUM’s Eric Prchal hit back-to-back trifectas preceding a Jared Bledsoe floater to put the Dragons up 58-54 at the 5:21 mark.

After MSU Moorhead led by three on two occasions under four minutes, the Beavers used five straight field goals via the three-point fashion to take a 69-67 lead with 1: 06 remaining. Johnson had three of his career-high seven threes during that stint.

From there, the Dragons received a goal-tending call to tie the score at 69-69 with 15 seconds remaining. A clear-out play for Johnson was to no avail as the game would proceed into an extra stanza. MSU Moorhead scored the first five points in overtime before Johnson connected on another trifecta to bring the Beavers within two points with 1:31 left. Johnson, a 78 percent free throw shooter, calmly sunk three foul shots to put BSU up 75-74 after being fouled behind the arc.

The Dragons got a steal after a missed opportunity and Bledsoe converted a three-point play with 8.6 seconds left.

With BSU trailing by a basket, Johnson pump-faked and hit his seventh trey of the night from the right wing to put his team up 78-77. MSUM called a time-out with 3.2 seconds remaining and turned the ball over after an errant lob pass.

Bemidji State finished 25 of 56 (.480) from the fl oor, including 17 of 39 (.436) from long range. Johnson finished with a game-high 24 points with 21 of them coming in the final 20 minutes. BSU got out-rebounded 36-28 with Hanks grabbing a team-high six.

On the flip side, MSUM went 49 percent (29 of 59) from the fl oor as it got hot on the second half (.565). Kyle Staloch, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds, paced five starters in double-figures. Marlon Samuel was limited to two points in the second half as he netted 13 in the first.

MSU Moorhead continues to the championship round and will face #4 seed-UM-Duluth tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. The Bulldogs took down Northern State, 68-65, in overtime in other semifinal action today.

BSU finishes the season with a 17-12 record as seven players saw their careers come to a halt. MSUM improves to 19-9 and snapped a three-game BSU winning streak in the overall series.

Notes: BSU drops to 14-3 when leading at the half...For the second consecutive game, BSU breaks a couple tournament records - 17 three-pointers and 39 three-point attempts...The old record was set by Northern State (16 of 34) last season...Royce Bryan finished his career with 247 total assists, moving him into a tie for second place with Tony Brown (1987-’91) on the BSU career charts - his 103 season assists is good for a tied-seventh spot...Adam Daley has hit at least one trey in 18 straight games after hitting one tonight...Jeff Lorenson ends the year with 160 three-point attempts - a new school record...Lorenson also is 10th on the season charts with 99 total assists...BSU had 22 assists tonight, giving it 14 games with 20 or more assists this season, including each of its last eight starts...Prior to the game, BSU was leading the country in treys per game (11.4) and has gone eight straight games with at least 10 trifectas...In 29 games this season, BSU hit on 10 or more treys in 20 of them.