BEMIDJI – The Bemidji State men’s basketball team defeated Minnesota-Crookston 90-58 Saturday at the BSU gym in its first regular season conference contest since winning the NSIC last season.
The win was also the first conference win, and home win, for new head coach Mike Boschee.
“It is always nice, no matter which game it is, to play well and I felt like we played well on both sides of the floor tonight,” Boschee said. “I am very pleased by the performance.”
Zach Noreen, Tor Anderson and Mason Walters made 3-pointers that sparked a 15-0 run in the first half to give the Beavers a 29-8 lead with 8:17 remaining in the stanza.
Noreen scored 11 of his 19 points in the first eight minutes. He also made three of his five 3-pointers during that span.
The Beavers kept a comfortable lead throughout the first half and owned a 42-22 cushion at the break.
The highlight play of the game came with 4:40 remaining in the game when Sean Jones stole the ball, passed the ball ahead to Michael Farrington, who lobbed the ball back to a trailing Jones for a huge “alley-oop” that brought the crowd to its feet. The play also gave BSU its first 30-point lead of the game at 79-48.
The Beavers held Crookston to 45 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers.
“I loved the defensive intensity throughout the game,” Boschee said. “Any time you hold any NSIC team to under 60 points, I think you’re doing a decent job on the defensive end.”
BSU, on the other hand, shot 60 percent from the field and from 3-point range, nailing 12 of its 20 shots from behind the arc.
“It is not something we want to live and die by, but we have a lot of good shooters,” Anderson said. “We really cannot get much better than a 60 percent clip, but I think if we go back and look at the film we will see that they were all good shots and we just have to keep knocking them down.”
“We shot 20 tonight, that is a pretty good number,” Boschee added. “I don’t go into a game planning how many 3s we are going to take. We just have to take what the defense gives us and tonight we were open quite a bit from the perimeter and able to knock them down.”
Dermaine Crockrell matched Noreen’s game-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Walters added 18, hiting five of his eight shots, and Anderson posted 10 points off the bench.
Nine different Beavers played at least 11 minutes and scored.
“I think that our depth will be one of our strengths down the stretch,” Anderson said. “We are a very deep team. When one guy comes off the floor, we do not drop off. That is going to be huge down the stretch when injuries and fatigue come into play.”
Ashton Harrell was the only Golden Eagle to reach double figures as he had 15 points.
Bemidji State will make its first NSIC road trip next weekend when it travels to St. Cloud State Friday and Minnesota-Duluth Saturday.
“Any time you go on the road in this league, it is going to be a challenge,” Boschee said. “I expect us to play at a high level in every game, both at home and on the road. If we can continue to work hard for each other and fix the little mistakes, I expect good things.”
Minnesota, Crookston (58): Harrell 15 6-9 3-4; Burns 8 3-7 2-4; Krdzalic 8 3-5 2-3; Wright 7 3-3 0-1; Moorer 6 1-3 4-4; Parker 5 0-0 5-6; Sparkman 4 0-7 4-4; Rake 3 1-4 0-0; Schmidt 2 1-2 0-0; Niang 0 0-0 0-0; Redd 0 0-0 0-2; Lubke 0 0-0 0-0; Paulson 0 0-0 0-0. Totals 58 18-40 20-28.
Bemidji State (90): Noreen 19 7-12 0-0; Crockrell 19 6-10 5-5; Walters 18 5-8 7-8; Anderson 10 4-7 0-0; Rosenbloom 6 3-5 0-0; Jones 6 2-4 1-2; Rongstad 5 1-1 2-2; Farrington 3 1-1 1-2; Edwards 2 0-1 2-2; Schalow 2 1-1 0-0; Long 0 0-0 0-0; Floyd 0 0-0 0-0; Tesdahl 0 0-0 0-0. Totals 90 30-50 18-21.
Halftime: BSU 42, Crookston 22
3-point FG: Crookston 2-10; BSU 12-20