Beavers survive scare from Golden Eagles with 77-75 win at Sanford Center

January 10, 20171st2ndFinal
Minnesota Crookston255075
Bemidji State423577
Stats at a GlanceUMCBSUM
FG Percentage.468 (29-62) .500 (29-58)
3P FG Percentage.350 (7-20) .500 (6-12)
FT Percentage1.000 (10-10) .684 (13-19)
Offensive Rebounds67
Defensive Rebounds2725
Total Rebounds3332
Bench Points2224
PointsCleary - 29
Wendt - 20
ReboundsSmith - 10
Best - 6
AssistsCleary - 2
Critchley - 2
Black - 5
StealsSmith - 2
Gamble - 2
Green - 2
Black - 2
BlocksSmith - 2
Cleary - 2
Best - 2
Beavers survive scare from Golden Eagles with 77-75 win at Sanford Center
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Beavers survive scare from Golden Eagles with 77-75 win at Sanford Center

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- The Bemidji State University men's basketball survived a scare from University of Minnesota Crookston Tuesday night with a 77-75 win at the Sanford Center. The Beavers (5-10, 3-7 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) held a 42-25 lead after halftime and a game-high 21-point lead, 51-30, in the second half before the Golden Eagles (6-10, 2-8 NSIC) eventually took a short-lived lead to finish the annual Sanford Center Series.

Freshman forward Lucas Wendt finished with 20 points off the bench, 13 in the first half, for his second consecutive game to lead the Beavers in scoring. Wendt scored five points during a 10-0 run in the first half to give Bemidji State its first double-digit lead of the game and BSU later went on an 11-2 run to set up a 21-point, 38-17 lead with 3:48 remaining in the period. Golden Eagles guard Harrison Cleary led all scorers with 29 points and helped UMC regain the lead with three minutes left in the game.

The Beavers’ defense held the Golden Eagles to 2-for-10 shooting and forced four turnovers over the first six minutes of play to hold a 10-4 lead. Freshman guard Jai’Vionne Green sparked BSU to a 9-2 run seven minutes later with back-to-back jumpers. Bemidji State shot 48.4 percent from the field and held Minnesota Crookston to 38.5 percent shooting overall in the first half en route to taking a 21-point, 38-17, lead with just under four minutes to play in the first half. UMC scored eight of the last 12 points between both teams to close the half with BSU leading, 42-25.

Bemidji State extended the halftime lead to 21, 51-30, four minutes into the second half with buckets from senior forward Ben Best and Green. The Golden Eagles erased the 21-point deficit with a 25-2 run over a three-minute span to trail just two, 56-54. The game was eventually tied for the second time, 65-65, before UMC took a 70-69 lead, its first lead since scoring the first basket of the game. Both teams traded the lead twice until 1:36 to go in the game. Best took away UMC's final lead of the night with two of his 18 points on the night. The Beavers scored six of the final eight points in the game, including two free throws by Green, to seal the first consecutive wins in conference play this season.

BSU accounted for seven steals while UMC gave away 14 turnovers during the game. Both teams shot over 50.0 percent from the field in the second half, led by UMC, 52.8 percent to 51.9.

Best followed Wendt in scoring with 18 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Sharif Black shot 6-for-11 from the field to finish with 17 points and added five assists. Green was the final of four Beavers in double-digit scoring with 15 points.

Bemidji State closes out a five-game home-stand Friday, Jan. 13 and Saturday, Jan. 14 against University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University. The Beavers begin play at 8 p.m. Friday against the Cougars followed by a 6 p.m. tip-off Saturday against the Mustangs.

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook ( or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of

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).