November 26, 20111st2ndFinal
Michigan Tech273158
Bemidji State333063
Stats at a GlanceMTUMBSUMBB
FG Percentage.480 (24-50) .489 (23-47)
3P FG Percentage.278 (5-18) .412 (7-17)
FT Percentage.833 (5-6) .588 (10-17)
Offensive Rebounds410
Defensive Rebounds1922
Total Rebounds2332
Bench Points1411
PointsAli Haidar - 17
Ellisor - 26
ReboundsAli Haidar - 6
Ellisor - 9
AssistsBen Stelzer - 3
Tesdahl - 6
StealsMike Hojnacki - 1
Matt Esters - 1
Ben Stelzer - 1
Nate Kindt - 1
Austin Armga - 1
Ellisor - 3
BlocksRosenbloom - 1
Beavers capture InnKeepers Classic crown 63-58
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Beavers capture InnKeepers Classic crown 63-58

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- Seniors James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) scored 26 points with nine rebounds and Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team to a 2011 InnKeepers Beaver Classic title Saturday at with a 63-58 victory versus Michigan Tech University. The win moves BSU to 5-1, marking the best start since the 1997-98 team opened with a 5-1 record.

The Beavers got a lead halfway through the first half and never lost it, maintaining their composure through the final buzzer. BSU shot 48.9 percent in the game, while allowing MTU to shoot 48 percent from the field - the highest BSU has allowed this season. The Beavers won the glass 32-23, including 10 offensive boards. The game flow was fast, but both teams took care of the ball as the Beavers committed seven turnovers and forced six by the Huskies. BSU had some extra motivation in the game after the Huskies trounced the Beavers in their season opener last year 101-88. Saturday’s win is also five straight for BSU, matching the longest winning streak under sixth-year head coach Matt Bowen (Feb. 12-24, 2010).

Tesdahl opened BSU’s first possession with a 3-pointer, then Ellisor followed with a lay-up and the Beavers were ahead 5-0 early in the game. The Huskies then battled back to gain their largest lead of the contest at 14-10 with 12:41 remaining in the half. The Beavers responded with a 7-0 run that was capped by a senior center Ryan Kinnell (Yuma, Ariz.) 3-pointer that handed the home team a 17-14 advantage with 9:01 left in the frame. From that point on BSU led, stretching it to seven at 32-25 on a junior Mason Walters (F, Milton, Wis.) shot from downtown, marking the Beavers’ fifth 3-pointer of the half. BSU owned a six point advantage when the buzzer sounded for halftime with the scoreboard reading 33-27.

The Beavers came out of the locker room and got the lead to double-digits for the first time of the night at 40-30 as Walters buried another dagger from downtown. The BSU advantage hovered around seven until a Husky lay-up put MTU down four at 54-50 with 4:49 remaining in regulation. Ellisor responded with a lay-up on the next BSU possession, then a missed MTU jumper tuned into a good jumper from Tesdahl on the other end to hand BSU an eight point advantage with 3:18 to play.

With four fouls to give the Huskies started pressing the ball with under two minutes to play and racking up fouls. The BSU lead was five at 59-54 with 1:14 left when junior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) went to the line for a 1-and-1. He missed the first and it was back to Husky ball. Fortunately for BSU a MTU 3-pointer was errant and Tesdahl came down with the rebound. Despite missing his second free throw the Beavers were up 60-54 with 48 seconds remaining, not enough time for an MTU comeback and BSU was awarded the five points victory. 

BSU shot 10-of-17 from the line for a 58.8 percentage. Last season free throws were something the Beavers could hang their hat on, as they finished No. 2 in the nation in the category (78.9%). This season is a different story as the team is making shots from the charity stripe at a 63.6 percentage. Down the stretch in the game (last two minutes) against Michigan Tech, BSU went 5-for-9.

The Beavers have been making a lot of 3-pointers this season and that trend continued Saturday with seven. BSU has 43 makes from beyond the arc this season and own a 37.1 percentage. Despite allowing MTU to shoot well from the field, the Beavers played well on defense and forced Michigan Tech to a lot of hard shots. This season BSU is still holding their opponents to a 39.8 clip from the field.

Ellisor and Tesdahl were the only Beavers in double-figures. The 20 point performance from Ellisor was his fourth of the season. Walters had all nine of his points from 3-point land.

The Beavers now turn their attention to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season Dec. 2-3 with road tests at Minnesota State University Moorhead Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. and University of Minnesota, Crookston Dec. 3. at 6 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).