Late-game free throws seal 62-58 win for Beavers Men’s Hoops

November 28, 20151st2ndFinal
Bemidji State253762
Stats at a GlanceBSUMUMC
FG Percentage.421 (24-57) .396 (21-53)
3P FG Percentage.417 (5-12) .357 (5-14)
FT Percentage.500 (9-18) .786 (11-14)
Offensive Rebounds126
Defensive Rebounds2625
Total Rebounds3831
Bench Points2629
PointsBest - 13
Valdez - 13
Warmack - 13
ReboundsHarrington - 9
Redd - 6
Warmack - 6
AssistsBest - 5
Anderson - 5
Redd - 3
StealsZimmerman - 2
Redd - 2
BlocksSmith - 4
Late-game free throws seal 62-58 win for Beavers Men’s Hoops
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Late-game free throws seal 62-58 win for Beavers Men’s Hoops

CROOKSTON, Minn. (Lysaker Gymnasium) -- Late free throws help the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team win its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest, 62-58, at University of Minnesota Crookston Saturday. Elijah Valdez sank four-of-four from the charity stripe in the final 15 seconds to move the Beavers to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the NSIC.

The Beavers took a game-high 10-point lead coming out of halftime as the Golden Eagles rallied to regain a late lead. Ben Best scored five consecutive points prior to Valdez sealing the win from the free throw line. Bemidji State finished with 17 assists compared to eight for Minnesota Crookston as the ball movement helped BSU to 42.1 percent (24-57) from the field.

Nearly three minutes passed before either team added points to the scoreboard. William Harvey converted a layup, assisted by Best, off an offensive rebound to take the 2-0 lead. BSU and UMC sat tied at seven points before freshman Calvin Harrington scored the next five points of the game, a 3-pointer from Irvin Womack and a layup from Ben Best. After a Golden Eagles score, both teams again went nearly three minutes without scoring.

The Beavers took their largest lead of the first half, 16-11, when Harvey and Best added two more points each. A 7-0 run by Minnesota Crookston gave the team its first lead in 10 minutes. The Golden Eagles held the lead until the Beavers finished the half on a 6-0 run, capped by Best with two baskets to enter the locker rooms up, 25-22.

Bemidji State picked up where it left off in the first half while going on a 7-0 run to begin the final period. DJ Anderson converted four consecutive points while Harvey added a 3-pointer, as Minnesota Crookston missed its first three shots from the field. After UMC got on the board with a layup off a BSU missed field goal, Harvey converted a layup to regain the 10-point lead, 34-24. The Golden Eagles pulled to within three points just over the 10-minute mark following a second-chance basket and a Beavers missed layup.

The Beavers pushed the lead out again to seven points, 47-40, but a Golden Eagles’ 3-pointer sparked a 9-0 run to take a 54-53 lead with two and a half minutes to play. Each team missed a field goal opportunity following the run before an offensive rebound led to a long-range shot from Best to regain the lead for the Beavers. UMC missed two field goals to lead to Best’s 13th point and a 58-54 BSU lead. The Golden Eagles sank a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left in the game to bring the game to within one point. Bemidji State proceeded to foul Minnesota Crookston to force free throws and regain possession after the second shot was converted. Minnesota Crookston fouled Bemidji State, as well, while Valdez solidified the win from the line.

Best and Valdez finished with 13 points each, followed by Harvey with 12, Anderson with 11 and Harrington with 11. Harrington and Valdez led BSU’s bench production that totaled 26 points. Harrington led the Beavers’ rebounding with nine followed by Best with eight. Anderson and Best finished with five assists each.

The Beavers sank 5-of-12 shots from behind the arc and 9-18 from the free-throw line, including the final five attempts to end the game. BSU won the rebound margin, 39-31, while scoring 11 second-chance points compared to four for UMC.

Bemidji State travels while playing in its first full Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference weekend at St. Cloud State University, Dec. 4, and at University of Minnesota Duluth, Dec. 5. The Beavers and Huskies tipoff at 8 p.m. while the Beavers and Bulldogs begin at 6 p.m.

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).