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Bemidji State's Lance Rongstad goes up for a shot in the first half of Saturday's game against Minnesota-Crookston at BSU Gymnasium. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Bemidji State men's basketball team finishes strong to beat Minnesota-Crookston

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The Bemidji State men's basketball team started slow but finished strong to defeat Minnesota-Crookston 89-72 Saturday night at BSU Gymnasium.

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The Beavers trailed the Golden Eagles by as much as 11 halfway through the first half before rallying to take a 52-43 lead at halftime.

BSU came out strong in the second half and went on a 12-3 run to take a 21-point lead with 15 minutes to play.

Crookston never cut the lead down to single digits.

BSU had five plyers reach double-figures scoring, led by Bryce Tesdahl's 20 points.

Seth Haake had 18 points, David Berthene had 17 points and Jake Lindstrom had 10 points.

Lance Rongstad came off the bench to score 13 points for the Beavers (4-3, 1-1 NSIC).

Damarius Cruz had 19 points to lead the Golden Eagles (3-3, 0-2 NSIC).

BSU was a force under the basket and outscored the Golden Eagles 34-20 in the paint.

The Beavers outrebounded the Golden Eagles 35-29.

Lindstrom and Tesdahl each pulled down six rebounds to lead the Beavers.

After struggling through the first weeks in 3-point shooting, the Beavers had a good night from beyond the arc. BSU shot 43 percent from 3-point range. The Beavers also shot 85 percent from the free throw line.

With the win, Bemidji State earned a split in the opening weekend of NSIC play.

The Beavers lost to MSU, Moorhead 73-71 on Friday night.

Saturday night's game with Crookston also marked the final home games of the 2009 season.

The Beavers are on the road the next three weekends.

Bemidji State makes the southern road trip next weekend to face Winona State on Friday and Upper Iowa on Saturday. Both game times are at 4 p.m.

The next home games are Jan. 2 against Augustana and Jan. 3 against Wayne State.

Minnesota-Crookston 72

Cruz 6-12 3-4 19; Larsen 5-8 3-3 14; Cubie 3-9 3-5 10; Hendricks 4-8 0-0 8; Heier 2-4 0-0 5; Rahja 2-2 0-0 4; Risinger 0-4 4-4 4; Boebel 1-2 0-0 3; Schmidt 1-4 1-2 3; Weeks 1-3 0-0 2; Graves 0-1 0-0 0; Servaty 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-59 14-18 72.

Bemidji State 89

Tesdahl 6-10 7-7 20; Haake 8-11 1-2 18; Berthene 7-11 0-0 17; Rongstad 5-10 2-3 13; Lindstrom 4-8 1-1 10; Cassidy 1-6 3-4 5; Shepherd 1-2 2-2 4; Walters 0-0 2-2 2; Lendl 0-0 0-0 0; Krebs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-58 18-21 89.

Halftime BSU 52, UMC 43. Total fouls--UMC 20, BSU 19. Technical fouls--UMC-None, BSU-None. A-855

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Pioneer staff reports
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