February 27, 20131st2ndFinal
Wayne State223254
Bemidji State403171
Stats at a GlanceWSCMBBBSUM
FG Percentage.361 (22-61) .520 (26-50)
3P FG Percentage.091 (2-22) .125 (2-16)
FT Percentage.727 (8-11) .895 (17-19)
Offensive Rebounds1512
Defensive Rebounds1327
Total Rebounds2839
Bench Points158
PointsShelby - 21
Walters - 17
ReboundsTEAM - 8
Walters - 9
AssistsWright - 4
Rongstad - 3
Farrington - 3
Walters - 3
StealsShelby - 3
Williams - 3
Edwards - 2
BlocksNoreen - 2
Beavers down Wildcats 71-54 to advance in NSIC Tournament
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Beavers down Wildcats 71-54 to advance in NSIC Tournament

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) – The Bemidji State University men's basketball put a complete effort together in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament Wednesday and rolled past visiting Wayne State College 71-54 to advance to the quarterfinals Saturday at No. 21 Winona State University at 6 p.m.

The Beavers (16-11) shot 62.1 percent from the field in the first half, mostly on high-percentage looks, as the squad recorded 34 points in the paint. The defensive effort was there too, as the squad held Wayne State, who shot 46.6 percent in league play this season, to a dismal 33.3 percent from the field. In the game, BSU shot 52.0 percent from the field and allowed WSC to post a 36.1 percentage. Both teams struggled from downtown, as each team hit just two 3-pointers. BSU finished with 48 of its 71 points in the paint.

Four of the five starters posted double-digits in scoring, while the other added nine. Senior forward Mason Walters (Milton, Wis.) led the way with 17 points on 7-of-12 (58.3%) shooting from the field with nine rebounds and three assists. Senior Jason Edwards (G, Phoenix, Ariz.) tied a career-high with 13 points and added five rebounds. Seniors Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) and Dermaine Crockrell (G, Mesa, Ariz.) each went 3-for-9 (33.3%) from the field with six free throws to contribute 12 points a piece. Junior Zach Noreen (F, Avon, Minn.) was the fifth starter and totaled nine points on an efficient 4-of-5 (80%) performance from the field with two blocks.

Rongstad converted on a layup on the team’s first possession, but both squads started cold offensively as the game muddled along to an 8-4 BSU lead nearly seven minutes into the contest. The Beaver advantage was only five at 13-8 with 11:37 to play, but a 3-pointer from Edwards started a 11-2 run for the home team and the margin was 14 at 24-10 with 8:35 showing on the clock.

Wayne State’s Amry Shelby hit the Wildcats’ only 3-pointer of the half to cut the deficit to 13 with 6:05 remaining in the opening 20 minuts, but the Beaver defense allowed only seven WSC points the rest of the frame. Walters scored six points in the final 5:18 and guided the Beavers to a 40-22 lead heading into the locker room.

With the large lead, BSU had to play both the Wildcats and the game clock to ensure a trip to the next round of the tournament. The Beavers kept the pressure on the visiting team and went basket-for-basket with WSC for the final 20 minutes of play.

The Wildcats trailed by 14 at 44-30 just two minutes into the second half, but a 7-0 run, guided by five points from Noreen, shot the lead up to its highest point at 21. WSC would never get within 15 the rest of the way, as BSU hung on to its second consecutive win against Wayne State in the first round of the NSIC Tournament.

The Beavers defeated WSC 57-53 last season in the opening round of the tournament and went on to fall in the semifinals to Minnesota State University Moorhead. BSU now turns its attention to Winona State, a team the senior class has had success against. In the past four seasons, BSU is 4-3 against the Warriors, who had been at least receiving votes in the national poll in five of those contests. Earlier this season, the Beavers fell in a nail-bitter 70-67 in Winona. The trip will be the third of the season to the city after starting the campaign at a tournament hosted by the Warriors. 

Mark Ricci of the Beaver Radio Network will broadcast the contest on 92.1 FM The River and online at www.beaverradionetwork.com, while the game can be viewed live online at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/bsu.portal#.

For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).