Bemidji State men's basketball: Jamestown takes control in final minute to spoil Beavers' home opener
Jamestown spoiled the home opener for the Bemidji State men's basketball team.
The Jimmies pulled away in the final minute of a close game and held off the Beavers for a 72-69 victory Tuesday night at BSU Gymnasium.
It was a substandard outing for the Beavers marked by overaggressive offense and soft defense.
"We had turnovers tonight at the absolute worst times and you have to give Jamestown credit - they capitalized on every single one of those turnovers," Bemidji State head coach Matt Bowen said. "It was a back and forth game. I'm just disappointed with our execution. I know we're much better than that."
The most telling stat in the game was points off turnovers: Jamestown scored 24 points off 18 BSU turnovers.
"It really came down to us committing too many turnovers and going along with that stat, we just didn't have it tonight," Bemidj State guard Bryce Tesdahl said. "We had no rhythm on offense and our defense let them score at will."
The most critical turnover came with 51 seconds remaining when BSU trailed 67-65. Seth Haake's pass to wide-open Brady Fairbanks under the basket bounced off Fairbanks' fingertips and resulted in a steal by C.J. Peeters.
Jamestown's Hans Hoeg was fouled on the following possession and made both free throws to give the Jimmies the 69-65 cushion with 22 seconds remaining.
BSU brought the game back within reach, but Fairbanks' contested 3-point shot at the buzzer fell short of the rim and BSU suffered its first loss of the season.
Bemidji State (2-1 overall) travels to the Wisconsin-Parkside tournament for a pair of games this weekend. BSU plays Purdue North Central on Friday and Parkside on Saturday.
It was a tough final minute for Fairbanks, who had BSU's best effort in the loss. He finished with 18 points, six rebounds and made six of his seven free throws.
Haake was the only other BSU player in double-figures scoring and he had 17 points.
Jamestown (5-2 overall) had four players in double figures. The Jimmies were led by Hoeg's 21 points. He made five of his eight 3-point attempts.
The Jimmies were better than the Beavers on 3-point shooting and finished 8-for-19 from beyond the arc.
BSU was 4-for-18.
"I think we're a good 3-point shooting team, but we were abysmal tonight," Bowen said. "We missed too many open shots."
BSU trailed 29-22 in the game with four minutes left in the first half, but closed out on a 15-6 run to lead 37-35 at the break.
BSU never led by more than three in the second half.
Leading 65-64 with 2:03 remaining, Jake Lindstrom missed a 3-point attempt and Hoeg buried his 3-pointer on the following possession to give the Jimmies a 67-65 lead they never gave back.
A developing trend for BSU through the first three games is the tendency to be too impatient on offense.
"We are trying to do way too much and we've been doing that since the Wisconsin game," Bowen said. "We're trying to make seven moves on one play. The offense is not relaxed and they're just anxious."
Jamestown defeated BSU in last season's home opener 53-52 on a last-second shot. The Beavers again walked out of BSU Gymnasium disappointed.
"This year is different than previous years," Tesdahl said. "We demand more of ourselves and to come out and get a loss like this is not something that is acceptable. It's going to make us hungrier. One game does not define a season. We just did not have the offense or defense we needed tonight to win the game."