Beaver men come up short in NSIC basketball opener
The Bemidji State men's basketball team opened Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play with a heart-breaking 60-58 loss to Minnesota State Moorhead Friday night at the BSU Gym.
Despite having twice the field goal percentage in the first half, Bemidji State was able to build only a three-point lead going into the break. Moorhead was saved on the offensive glass, pulling down 15 offensive boards in the first half.
"We played really well in spurts," said Beavers head coach Matt Bowen. "We did not execute in key moments in the game, on both ends, and it came back to bite us. When you give a team 24 extra shots, it will come back to bite you and it did tonight."
Sophomore forward Mason Walters led the Beavers in scoring with 16 points. But junior James Ellisor, the Beavers' scoring leader, was held to seven.
The Beavers maintained a steady six- to eight-point lead throughout the second half before the Dragons rallied. Moorhead went on a 9-0 run to take the lead.
Moorhead still led by four with 48 seconds left, but missed a free throw to extend the lead, and Bemidji's Bryce Tesdahl hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 56-55 with 28 seconds on the clock.
After a Moorhead free throw, Ellisor misfired on a 3-pointer and the Dragons answered with two more foul shots to go ahead 59-55.
Walters answered with his third 3-point shot of the night to trim the Dragon lead to one with just five seconds left. Moorhead made another free throw, and Tesdahl had one final chance for the Beavers, but his running 3-pointer rolled off the front iron.
"I thought there were several times in the first half, and even a few in the second, where we could have pushed our lead to 12-15 points to give us a cushion," said Bowen. "Give Moorhead credit, every time we tried to do that, they came back with a run."
Bemidji will host Minnesota-Crookston at 6 p.m. today.
MOORHEAD: Clark 7-14 3-5 17; Williamson, Dennis 8-16 1-3 17; Driscoll 3-10 2-2 9; Chapman 1-8 5-7 8; VanHavermaet 2-7 0-0 5; Novak 2-10 0-0 4; Olson 0-0 0-0 0; Reed 0-2 0-0 0; Thompson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-68 11-17 60.
BEMIDJI STATE: Walters 5-9 3-3 16; Tesdahl 4-8 2-2 12; Rongstad 1-5 7-7 9; Ellisor 3-8 1-4 7; Cassidy 2-4 2-2 6; Lendl 2-6 0-0 5; Lindstrom 1-4 0-0 3; Kinnell 0-0 0-0 0; Shepherd 0-0 0-0 0; Rosenbloom 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-44 15-18 58.
Moorhead 23 37 - 60
Bemidji State 26 32 - 58