|February 24, 2012||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||UIU||BSUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.453 (24-53)||.538 (28-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.231 (3-13)||.400 (4-10)|
|FT Percentage||.700 (14-20)||.708 (17-24)|
Wentzien - 5
Johnson - 2
Noreen - 1
Schalow - 1
Crockrell - 1
Ellisor - 1
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Senior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) posted his second consecutive 30-point game and guided the Bemidji State University men's basketball to its 20th win of the season - tying the program record for wins in a season - with a 77-65 victory against Upper Iowa University Friday at the BSU Gymnasium in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game.
The Beavers improved to 20-7 overall to match the 2003-04 team’s final win total of 20 as it went 20-10. BSU also moved to 15-6 in NSIC play to record the most conference wins in a season, surpassing the 2003-04’s record of 14-2. With the win and a loss by Minnesota State University Moorhead Friday, the Beavers moved into a tie for first with St. Cloud State University. A win by BSU Saturday against No. 22 Winona State University secures at least a share of the NSIC regular season crown, while a Beaver win and a Huskies loss would hand the title to Bemidji State outright and the No. 1 seed in the Sanford Health / NSIC Men’s Basketball Tournament. SCSU hosts Concordia University, St. Paul Saturday at 4 p.m.
Ellisor has four 30 point games this season, twice as many as any other NSIC player in 2011-12. He got to 32 on 13-of-17 (76.5%) shooting from the field and a 6-of-7 mark from the charity stripe. At one point he was 9-for-10 from the field. He added four rebounds in 38 minutes of play.
Senior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) more than cut in half the number of assists needed to overtake the NSIC record for assists in a season. He had four against the Peacocks and now needs just two helpers to tie, three to surpass former Winona State guard David Fisher’s conference highwater mark of 138 assists in a season (NSIC games only), set in 2009-10. His 162 overall assists this season is seven shy of the BSU record for assists in a year, held by James Roberson (2003-04).
Junior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) posted his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, as he went 6-for-6 from the line in the game. Junior Dermaine Crockrell (G, Mesa, Ariz.) added 15 for BSU and pulled in six rebounds. The Beavers shot 53.8 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 32-29. BSU is 13-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better and owns a 12-2 record when outrebounded an opponent.
Upper Iowa - a team on a two-game winning streak heading into the contest - never trailed by more than four in the first half and owned a one point lead at 31-30 with 4:45 remaining in the first. The Beavers shot the ball well in the opening 15 minutes but couldn’t match the output of about 70 percent shooting by the Peacocks, until the final five minutes.
UIU cooled down in that time and BSU used it to close the half on a 10-1 run to open a 40-32 lead at the break. Rongstad had five points in the run and Ellisor had four, en route to being the game-leader in points with 17 in the first 20 minutes of play. Both teams ended the half shooting 57.1 percent from the field, but BSU took seven more shots.
Upper Iowa came out of the gates on a mission in the second half and stole the lead with a 10-0 run, taking the 42-40 lead before BSU got a 3-pointer from Rongstad 2:43 into the frame. The game became a back-and-forth fist fight, leading up to a knotted contest at 53-53 - the 15th tie of the game - with 10:02 remaining in regulation.
BSU then put together a 9-2 run - the last six from Ellisor - during five minutes of clock time to take a 62-55 lead with 5:01 showing. The Peacocks got within five at 62-57, but a lay-up from Crockrell moved the lead back to seven. UIU wouldn’t get any closer to stealing one from the Beavers, as BSU made it a double-digit difference with 1:28 remaining before finishing with a 12 point victory and improving to 11-2 at home in 2011-12.
The regular season comes to an end Feb. 25 at BSU Gymnasium. With the NSIC title on the line, BSU will have to prove its place among the elite in the NSIC with a battle against the 22nd-ranked Warriors 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).