Beavers lose another close one; fall 78-73 to Golden Bears
Friday, February 5, 2010
Beavers lose another close one; fall 78-73 to Golden Bears
BEMIDJI, Minn.  -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team chalked-up another moral victory Friday night, falling to Concordia University, St. Paul 78-73 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game at the BSU Gymnasium. BSU played hard against a strong Golden Bear team, but just didn’t have enough in the closing seconds of the game to pull out a victory. With the loss, the Beavers are now 2-5 in games decided by five points or less this season.

“We’ve been in this situation a lot this year,” said head coach Matt Bowen about close games. “We have a very young team, but they battled really hard against an experienced and veteran group of guys that made crucial plays down the stretch. We were physically outmatched on the boards, but I’m proud of our effort as we continue to improve.”  

The scoring started slow for both squads to start the game as the scoreboard read 7-7 with 14:37 remaining in the half. CU (11-10, 8-6 NSIC) scored the next four points, but then the Beavers (7-13, 4-10 NSIC) found a rhythm and used the next 6:30 to own a 18-3 advantage that gave them an 11 point lead with seven minutes left in the half. BSU got scoring from five different players in the run, including five from senior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and junior forward Patrick Cassidy (St. Paul, Minn.). The rest of the half became the Craig Heiman show for the Golden Bears, as he proceeded to score 13 of CU’s 17 points during a 17-0 run that took 4:17 off the clock. The long and painful dry spell for the Beavers ended when Haake took the ball strong to the hole and scored on a lay-up, getting fouled in the process. He missed the free throw and BSU was down 27-31 with 2:45 left in the half. The Golden Bears found the bottom of the net on the next possession on a 3-point shot that was assisted by Heiman, putting CU up seven. The Beavers finished the half with a 3-0 advantage and were down 30-34 heading into the locker room. The Golden Bears had 26 rebounds to BSU’s 13 in the first half, 13 of which came on the offensive glass scoring 12 points off second chance points. Heiman had 17 points at the break.

Haake took the Beavers and put them on his back to start the second as he knocked down two 3-point baskets on consecutive possessions and followed them with a lay-up on the third trip down the court to erase the deficit and give BSU a two-point lead at 38-36. CU tied the game at 38-38, but then freshman Mason Walters (G/F, Milton, Wis.) got in the mix and knocked down a 3-pointer from straight-away. The Golden Bears scored a jumper on their next possession, but Haake came down and called-up another 3-point bomb to give the Beavers a four-point lead at 44-40 with 16:00 showing on the game clock. Cassidy stretched the lead to six with a put-back after a sophomore guard Bryce Tesdahl (Crosby, Minn.) missed lay-up, forcing the Golden Bears to call a timeout and try to regroup. The stoppage worked and BSU cooled down and the two teams traded baskets for about three minutes before CU tied the game 51-51 with 12:10 left in regulation. The Golden Bears continued coming at the home team and used a 10-3 run to grab a seven-point lead at 61-54 with 8:33 left.

The road team held at least a four-point advantage all the way down to 2:21 left on the clock when Haake struck again and scored on a lay-up from Tesdahl to make it a two-point game at 68-70. Heiman responded with a lay-up on the other end to put his team back on top by four. Tesdahl then came down and drew a foul to go the line, but the 90.1 percent free throw shooter missed the second shot and the deficit was three. CU called timeout to figure out a play and ended-up drawing a foul of its own, as Courtney Tyler went to the line. The first one rattled out and the second went hard off the back iron and Tesdahl found the rebound. After moving the ball around the permitter, Tesdahl found freshman Burke Lendl (F, St. Michael, Minn.) open underneath for a lay-up that cut the Golden Bear lead to one at 71-72 with 1:11 showing on the clock. BSU played solid defense on the other end, but Heiman found a way to convert on a lay-up through the bodies of three Beavers to score his 29th and 30th points of the game. With 30 seconds left, Tesdahl scored on a lay-up with a feed from Walters to again put BSU down by one. A foul with 18 seconds left put CU’s Tyler back at the line, but this time he would sink both from the charity stripe to give CU a three-point advantage. A timeout was called and the Beavers drew-up a play. Unfortunately, as Tesdahl was bringing the ball up the court he was pick-pocketed by CU’s Sammy Ricks and he took it in for a lay-up that made the score 73-78 with 12 ticks left. A miscue on the in-bounds pass turned the ball over again and Ricks found the ball in his possession to drain out the clock.

Haake ended the game with 26 points, the second most by the lone senior this season. He shot 9-of-15 (60%) from the field and 4-of-7 (57.1%) from 3-point land, while adding four rebounds and playing in all 40 minutes. Walters finished with 12 and Tesdahl scored 10 points, falling two assists shy of a double-double with eight. Sophomore Jake Lindstrom (G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) posted 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting and Cassidy had nine points. Lendl led the team in rebounds with a career-high 10, scoring six points. BSU turned the ball over 11 times in the game, but only three times in the second half, two of those occurring in the waning seconds. BSU shot 49.1 percent from the floor and season-high 60 percent from beyond the arc, going 9-of-15. The team entered the contest 7th in the nation in free throw percentage at a 76.2 clip, but went just 12-of-17 (70.6%) from the line in the loss. BSU is now 1-8 when trailing at the half. Freshman Lance Rongstad (G, Eleva, Wis.) didn’t play in the game due to an injury suffered against Southwest Minnesota State University Jan. 30.
The Beavers complete the NSIC home weekend with St. Cloud State University tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).