Beavers fall to Bulldogs 89-75; losing streak to seven
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Beavers fall to Bulldogs 89-75; losing streak to seven
BEMIDJI, Minn. - It was a battle of the struggling teams Saturday in a matinee men’s basketball contest between University of Minnesota Duluth, on a nine-game losing streak entering the contest and Bemidji State University, on a six-game skid. A slow start eventually doomed the Beavers 89-75 and sent their losing streak to seven, while ending the Bulldog’s conference-long streak in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate game played at BSU Gymnasium. Junior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Aiz.) scored 28 points to establish his personal and a team season-high. He shot 11-for-18 from the field.

“They (UMD) came out and shot the ball extremely well,” said head coach Matt Bowen. “We’ve been struggling on defense this second semester and for them to come out and make, quite honestly, some tough shots was debilitating to our moral and everything else and we dug ourselves too large of a hole to get out of.”

Minnesota Duluth (8-12, 6-10 NSIC) started hot, jumping out to a 6-0 lead, forcing a quick timeout and reset for the home team. The break worked and BSU (7-13, 4-12 NSIC) fought back to a 10-8 deficit three minutes into the game. After the run UMD kept a small advantage, as it held a 22-16 lead eight minutes into the contest. Then the Bulldogs put on a shooting clinic from beyond the arc and extended the lead to a game-high 18 at the half, leading 50-32.

The halftime deficit tied the largest the Beavers have faced this season. UMD shot 9-for-15 (60%) from beyond the arc and 54.3 percent from the field. BSU was 12-for-28 (42.9%) from the field and couldn’t match UMD’s output from 3-point land, going 2-for-9 (22.2%).  Ellisor led BSU with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.  

The Beavers came out of the locker room fired up and started the half with a 14-7 run during the first 4:30, forcing a timeout by UMD with the scoreboard showing 57-46 in favor of the road squad.

BSU continued to chip-away at the deficit and got it to 10 at 63-53 with seven minutes gone from the half. It crept under 10 for the first time at 68-59 with just under 10 to play in regulation, but the Bulldogs responded with yet another shot from 3-point land to put the lead back to double-digits.

The Beavers still had some glimmer of a comeback with 3:25 remaining, down 79-69, but after failing to cut the deficit to less than 10 on their offensive possession, UMD’s Ryan Rasmussen hit his sixth 3-pointer of the game and team’s 13th to put the nail in BSU’s coffin.

BSU allowed Minnesota Duluth to hit the most 3-pointers against it this season, going 13-for-28 (46.4%) from downtown. UMD had three guys with 20 points or more, while BSU had just Ellisor’s 28 and sophomore Mason Walters’ (F, Milton, Wis.) 18 as players in double-figures. The Beavers shot the ball well in the second half and finished with a 50.9 percentage from the field, higher than the Bulldogs’ 48.5 percent. The difference was the 3-point shooting as BSU went 4-for-16 (25%) from beyond the arc. Junior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) had seven points, six assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Lance Rongstad (G, Eleva, Minn.) did not play due to an injury sustained in practice late in the week.  

The Beavers travel to University of Minnesota Crookston Feb. 11 for an 8 p.m. tilt with the Golden Eagles.

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