|February 26, 2011||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||BSUMBB||WSU-M|
|FG Percentage||.415 (17-41)||.340 (17-50)|
|3P FG Percentage||.412 (7-17)||.308 (8-26)|
|FT Percentage||.731 (19-26)||.762 (16-21)|
Noreen - 2
Fischer - 1
Armstrong - 1
WINONA, Minn. - For the second consecutive season the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team stunned Winona State University on its own floor, this year stealing a 60-58 victory at McCown Gymnasium in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game. The back-to-back road wins by BSU at Winona State marks the first time the green and white has accomplished the feat since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.
The Beavers closed the 2010-11 campaign winning four of their last six games and posting an 11-15 overall and 8-14 NSIC record. The eight conference wins ties last season’s mark as the most under head coach Matt Bowen. Freshman guard Jake Schalow (Kaukauna, Wis.) had a career shooting night for BSU knocking down a team season-high five 3-pointers (5-for-6) and going a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe for a team-high 21 points.
“Schalow hit some big shots in the first half to keep us in it,” Bowen said. “In the second half we made some adjustments to get James (Ellisor) in a rhythm and we were able to get a lead. Then we just hung on for dear life at the end. Hopefully we can take what we have accomplished at the end of this season and take it into next year.
Jake (Schalow) solidified himself at the two-guard spot. He was given an opportunity and he stepped into the role. We really had great freshman production down the stretch of the season that picked us up.”
The win also closes the career of lone senior Patrick Cassidy (F, St. Paul, Minn.). Cassidy finished his four-year playing career at BSU averaging 7.9 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 49.7 percent from the field. He posted career numbers his senior season, averaging 10.6 points and 4.0 rebounds, shooting 53.6 percent from the field.
“Pat has laid a foundation of hard work, determination and grit and I’m proud of what he has been able to do here,” Bowen said. “I hope he will leave BSU as a proud alumni and be able to look back at his time at Bemidji State and know he was apart of something.”
The Warriors came out firing and took an early 13-3 lead, but then fell cold and the Beavers responded with a 10-0 run during seven minutes of game play to knot the contest at 13 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. The two teams traded buckets to a 22-22 tie off a BSU Schalow 3-pointer, his third of the half, with 5:31 showing on the clock.
WSU then found a rhythm and stormed out to a 11-2 run to close the half and own a 33-24 lead heading into the locker room. Both teams were shooting from outside the arc as the squads each made five 3-pointers. Schalow was 3-for-4 from 3-point land and led the team at the break with nine points. BSU struggled shooting and only made three more shots from the field, 8-for-24 (33.3%).
The start of the second half continued to be all WSU, as it extended its lead to 13 at 39-26 three minutes into the frame. Two free throws from junior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) then ignited the Beavers and the road team quickly turned the momentum to their side. BSU again dominated the middle portion of the half and eventually took a 45-43 lead 9:40 in, going on a 19-4 run.
Ellisor totaled nine points in the run for BSU, silencing the home crowd. The Beavers continued to push the lead and added six more points to the run before the Warriors bought a basket to pull the reins on BSU. The 51-43 lead was capped by Schalow’s hot hand, as he hit his fifth 3-pointer of the contest.
With home court for the NSIC playoffs on the line, the Warriors weren’t about to back down and made a push to get within two at 54-52 on a 9-3 run with three minutes left in regulation. Four free throws from Schalow gave the Beavers a 58-53 lead with 2:22 showing on the clock, but WSU responded and knocked down a 3-pointer after three offensive rebounds, making it 58-56 with 1:44 left. WSU made a stop on the defensive end and then utilized its second chance opportunity again and went to the line for a chance to tie the game with under a minute to go.
The Warriors made one of two and the scoreboard read 58-57. After erasing 25 seconds off the clock, junior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) was fouled and went to the line with 31 second left and a chance to make it a 3-point game. After missing the first, he converted on the second and BSU was up two at 59-57.
With 19 seconds left, Cassidy fouled WSU’s Ben Fischer and he was at the line. After missing the first, he found the bottom of the net on the second and, still down one, the Warriors were forced to foul the inbound pass. Fortunately for BSU, WSU fouled the No. 11 free throw shooter in the nation in sophomore Lance Rongstad (G, Eleva, Wis.). But the ‘make one of two’ trend continued as even the 90 percent free throw shooter wasn’t able to convert on both free throws and made his second of two and the score read 60-58 with nine seconds remaining and the ball in the Warriors’ hands.
With the 2,674 fans in the McCown Gymnasium rocking, the Warriors came out of a timeout called by BSU and went to their leading scorer Anthony Tucker, but his lay-up attempt with two ticks remaining failed and the Beavers were triumphant.
Ellisor finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 (55.6%) shooting. BSU finished the contest shooting 41.5 percent, holding WSU to a dismal, season-low 17.4 percent shooting in the second half and an overall percentage of 34.0. Schalow hit five of the Beavers’ seven 3-pointers. BSU shot 19-of-26 from the line and Winona State shot 16-of-21 (76.2%). Tesdahl posted six assists, finishing the season with 156 assists on the season, leading the conference and holding down the No. 2 spot on BSU’s single season assists list.
The Beavers finished the season with a 7-7 road record recording their first .500 or better record away from the BSU Gymnasium for the first time since the 2003-04 squad went 9-6.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).