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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bemidji State falls in final seconds

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sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ABERDEEN, S.D. – A three-game winning streak came to an end Friday as the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team lost 64-61 in a nail-bitter at Northern State. The Beavers owned a 61-58 lead with 1:26 remaining but couldn’t find a way to hold.

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Zach Noreen led the Beavers with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field and seven rebounds. Mason Walters scored seven of his 11 points in the second half and fell just one rebound shy of his fourth double-double this season. Dermaine Crockrell scored 11 points and added five boards while Jason Edwards posted a season-high 10 points.

BSU continued to play stellar defense and allowed NSU to shoot just 36.4 percent in the second half and 44 percent overall. Northern State had entered the game scoring 75.2 points per conference game, but the league’s best scoring defense held NSU to 64 points. BSU shot just 39.3 percent from the field and had 15 turnovers. BSU had just seven assists, a season low. The lead was changed 10 times and the score was tied on four different occasions.

Northern led 62-61 with 33 seconds to play and BSU worked the clock for the last shot. The tactic backfired, however, when Crockrell misfired on an off-balance shot and Northern grabbed the rebound.

The Wolves sank two insurance free throws with nine seconds to play and BSU was unable to get off a last-second shot.

The lead shrank to 59-58 with 1:59 left, but an Edwards lay-up gave the Beavers a 61-58 advantage with just 1:26 showing on the game clock. A pair of NSU free throws, a BSU turnover and two more Wolves free throws later and the home team was riding a 62-61 lead with just 33 to play.

The Beavers got the inbounds and drained the clock to 16 seconds before taking a timeout. Crockrell took the ball inside half court and drove the lane and threw up an off balanced jumper just inside the paint, but the shot fell short and into the hands of the Wolves. After a Beaver foul, NSU converted on the freebies for a 64-61 lead with nine seconds left. BSU got the ball past half court, but it was stolen before a shot could get off and the Wolves ran out the remaining seconds for the three-point win.

The Beavers travel to Moorhead, Minn. for a NSIC battle with Minnesota State University Moorhead Saturday at 6 p.m.

Both teams got off to a slow start to the game, as BSU held a slim 6-4 lead after an old fashioned 3-point play from Edwards 3:22 into the contest. The Beavers held another two-point advantage at 10-8 on a Crockrell bucket with 13:44 showing on the game clock.

NSU then found a rhythm and opened a 15-11 lead at the midway point of the opening half. The Wolves lead was stretched to seven at 24-16 with 6:56 remaining in the frame.

The road team took their turn at a run and cut the deficit to just one at 24-23 with just under six to play. The run was guided by a senior Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) jumper, Crockrell lay-up and Noreen 3-pointer. NSU battled back for a lead of eight – the highest of the half – at 23-31 with 3:23 left. The Beavers closed the half on an 8-3 run, which included four points from Walters and headed into the locker room trailing 34-31.

The second started as slow as the first with Rongstad scoring a lay-up with 18:52 showing and NSU converting on a jumper with 16:17 left and the scoreboard read 36-33 in favor of NSU. The teams traded buckets to a Wolves 45-39 advantage with 12:06 remaining in the half.

The Beavers battled back over the next two minutes and got four straight points from Walters to trail 45-43. BSU followed that with a 6-3 run on a 3-point play from Rongstad and a 3-pointer from Edwards to hand the road team a 49-48 lead – its first since 11-10 with just under 13 remaining in the first half – with 9:02 showing on the clock.

BSU trailed 52-49 with 7:54 left, but a bucket and a free throw from Walters propelled BSU to a 54-52 lead with 6:07 showing. A minute and a half later, Crockrell converted on a lay-up, then knocked down a dagger from beyond and arc and the Beavers led 59-54 with 3:57 remaining in regulation.

The lead shrank to 59-58 with 1:59 left, but an Edwards lay-up gave the Beavers a 61-58 advantage with just 1:26 showing on the game clock. A pair of NSU free throws, a BSU turnover and two more Wolves free throws later and the home team was riding a 62-61 lead with just 33 ticks showing on the game clock.

The Beavers got the inbounds and drained the clock to 16 seconds before taking a timeout. Crockrell took the ball inside half court and drove the lane and threw up an off balanced jumper just inside the paint, but the shot fell short and into the hands of the Wolves. After a Beaver foul, NSU converted on the freebies for a 64-61 lead with nine seconds left. BSU got the ball past half court, but it was stolen before a shot could get off and the Wolves ran out the remaining seconds for the three-point win.

The Beavers travel to Moorhead, Minn. for a NSIC battle with Minnesota State University Moorhead Saturday at 6 p.m.

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