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Bemidji State men's basketball: Beavers look to roll on in home opener

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The Bemidji State men's basketball team is going after its third straight win in Tuesday night's home opener against Jamestown College at 7 p.m. at BSU Gymnasium.

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BSU (2-0) is coming off back-to-back wins to capture Viterbo Tournament Tournament title last weekend in La Crosse, Wis.

"We're hoping for a nice sized crowd and we're hopeful for the excitement that has been building over the last two years," Bemidji State head coach Matt Bowen said. "We hope that the support is going to be there since we're off to a decent start."

The Beavers will be going for their first three-game winning streak since the middle of last season and only the second under Bowen, who is in his fourth season as BSU's head coach.

Bemidji State defeated College of The Ozarks 60-54 and Viterbo University 69-44 at the Viterbo Tournament. Bowen credited strong defensive play for the wins.

"Defensively we played really well, but offensively it was a struggle and we didn't catch any rhythm until the second half of the game against Viterbo," Bowen said. "Our defense kept us in it and covered up our mistakes on offense."

Sophomore guard Bryce Tesdahl was named the tournament's most valuable player and senior guard Seth Haake was named all-tournament.

Defense was at times a struggle last season, so Bowen was happy to see better defensive play.

"We fought that all year and spent a tremendous amount of time in the fall on defense and getting better," Bowen said. "You're good at what you work and that showed The offense will come along."

BSU is not facing any major injury problems to start the season. Forward Pat Cassidy and guard Lance Rongstad are working to heal high ankle sprains. Bowen said the two are not quite 100 percent healthy but can play if needed.

Jamestown defeated BSU in the season opener 53-52 last season on a last-second layup. BSU split the season series by winning the rematch in Jamestown 61-50 later in the season.

The Jimmies are 4-2 this season and are led by the post play of John Peabody.

Bowen said he wants to see his team control turnovers better against Jamestown.

"We've been a little over anxious, a little over excited," Bowen said. "We put on the gas instead of putting the brakes on and letting things come to us naturally ... Luckily enough we settled down Saturday and the game came to us and guys were able to make open shots. We made solid decisions and hopefully that's where we pick up again on Tuesday."

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