Haake's career-high 36 points guides Beavers to fifth straight win
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Haake's career-high 36 points guides Beavers to fifth straight win
DULUTH, Minn.  -- Senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) established a new career-high for the second time in five games, scoring 36 points in a 98-90 victory at University of Minnesota Duluth to guide the Beavers to their fifth consecutive victory. Haake has 1,193 career points to sit 10th on BSU’s career scoring chart.

The Beavers improve to 12-14 overall and 8-11 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. The win gives BSU a season-sweep of the Bulldogs for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The five-game winning streak is the longest in head coach Matt Bowen’s four year career at Bemidji State. Haake shot lights-out, going 12-of-14 from the field (85.7%), 4-for-5 from beyond the arc (80%) and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe (80%). His 12 field goals made is a career-high, plus he added five rebounds, two steals and two blocks to tie a carer-high. Freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) recorded his first-career double-double with 23 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) continued to quarterback the offense, dishing out eight assists. He has averaged 6.2 assists per game in the five game winning streak and 8.7 in the last three games. His 134 assists this season ranks fifth on BSU’s top season assists chart. He added 10 points and six rebounds in the game.

“We are playing our best basketball of the year,” Bowen said. “Minnesota Duluth was able to cut our lead late in the game, but I felt like our guys never lost their composure or got frustrated. We made plays down the stretch to hold on.”

The Beavers shot 38 free throws, getting to the line for 30-plus attempts for the fourth consecutive game. BSU didn’t shoot their average of 77.4 percent, which stands No. 2 in the nation, but still shot 68.4 percent (26-of-38).

“The way our offense is designed we make a lot of cuts to the basket and get fouled a lot,” Bowen said. “That enables us to shoot 30 or more free throws per game.”

The Beavers shot well from everywhere else on the floor, going 33-of-57 from the field (57.9%) and 6-of-12 from the 3-point line (50%). The percentage from the field marks the fourth game this season BSU has shot 55 percent or better.

The Beavers never trailed in the game, jumping out to a eight-point lead at 10-2, getting eight points from Haake. The Bulldogs fired back with a 10-3 run to cut the BSU advantage to one at 13-12. The momentum swung back to the Beavers and with 12:02 remaining in the half, the road team had a 12-ppoint lead at 28-16, getting a pair of 3-pointers from Haake from Tesdahl. UMD then went on a 13-6 stretch to cut the deficit to five with 4:28 showing on the clock and the score 34-29. The Beavers used scoring from four different players, four points from junior forward Patrick Cassidy (St. Paul, Minn.), to close the half on an 11-5 run, owning a 45-34 lead at the break. Haake had a perfect game going at the half, shooting 6-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from downtown and 1-for-1 from the line, scoring 16 points in just 13 minutes of play.

The start of the second half was all BSU as Haake converted the free throw for a three-point play that gave the Beavers their largest lead of the game at 62-40 with 13:38 remaining in the game. The lead stayed in the high-teens to low-twenties for the next five minutes of game time with BSU owning a 78-58 lead with 8:28 showing on the clock. Then UMD’s leading scorer, Ryan Rasmussen, who scored 29 against BSU in the game in Bemidji, found his rhythm. After posting just two points in the first half, Rasmussen scored 17-striaght Bulldog points to cut the Beaver lead to 10 at 85-75 with 4:13 on the clock. His display was the spark the Bulldogs need and they were able to cut the deficit to four at 89-85 with 1:59 remaining in regulation. Rongstad went to the line on the next BSU possession and was fouled. He made one of two and the lead was back to five with 1:38 left. Rasmussen was fouled on UMD’s end and made both his free throws to make it a one possession game at 90-87 with 1:13 showing on the clock. Haake went to the line for BSU with 1:08 left and made just one of two, putting it back to a two-possession match. After a couple of turnovers, Rasmussen missed on a lay-up opportunity and Tesdahl came down with the rebound and was immediately fouled with 43 ticks left. Again, BSU failed to put the game out of reach and made just one of two. Fortunately for the Beavers, UMD and Rasmussen finally went cold and was forced to play the foul game. This time, BSU would go 6-for-6 from the line to close the game and earn the eight-point victory. 

Freshman Burke Lendl (F, St. Michael, Minn.) made his seventh consecutive start and posted nine rebounds and seven points, with three assists. Cassidy had 13 points and four boards. All five starters played at least 32 minutes and Tesdahl played every minute for the second consecutive contest. 

The Beavers finish the regular season Feb. 27 at Wayne State College starting at 6 p.m. With a win, BSU would clinch at least a tie for eighth-place in the final NSIC standings, letting tie breakers decide its post-season fate for the eighth and final-seed of the NSIC tournament.

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