GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Hot shooting from beyond the arc couldn't get the Bemidji State University men's basketball team out of a first-half hole in a 65-63 exhibition loss to the University of North Dakota Sunday afternoon.
BSU shot 11-21 (52.4%) from the 3-point line in the game and 8-14 (57.1%) in the second half. Sophomore guard Jake Lindstrom (Cottage Grove, Minn.) scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, all stemming from a 4-6 performance from beyond the arc.
"I'm happy how we responded," said head coach Matt Bowen. "The true meaning of exhibition games is to shale out the kinks and I think we improved on a lot of things we worked on from Wisconsin. We had the last shot to win it, but came up short. The biggest thing we need to overcome is going from being competitive to closing close games out. It was a good game, we have come a long way when we lost by 45 to UND three years ago."
The Beavers were night and day in the first and second halves on both ends of the floor. BSU was down 25-31 after the first half, but won the second half 38-34. After a slow and sloppy first, BSU shot, fought and stopped UND better in the second half. The Beavers shot just 36.4 percent from the floor in the first half, but rebounded in the second shooting 44 percent. All five of BSU's steals, 11 of its 18 assists and only six of its 16 turnovers came in the second half.
BSU came out firing in the second half, shooting 80 percent in the first 4:30. BSU washed the first half deficit with a 12-2 run started by a 3-point dagger from Lindstrom with 16:44 on the clock. The Beavers led held until a 13-0 run by UND gave them the lead.
The Fighting Sioux tied the game with a 3-pointer at 6:30 and then two quick scores gave them a 54-50 lead and forced a BSU timeout. UND scored again to extend the lead to six, but a 3-pointer from senior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) ended the run and cut the lead to three with 4:17 left on the scoreboard.
UND's Patrick Mitchell hit a deep three with time running down on the shot clock with 2:48 left that gave the Fighting Sioux a six-point lead, but on the ensuing possession Haake responded again with a bomb of his own. BSU bore-down on the defensive end and got a stop on UND's possession to set-up a sophomore guard Bryce Teshdal (Crosby, Minn.) 3-pointer to tie the game with 1:37 remaining. Four free throws put the home team back on top with 27.7 seconds remaining. On BSU's possession, Haake was fouled driving to the basket, but missed the back-end of the two shots. BSU quickly fouled and UND went to the line, missing the second shot of a one-and-one.
Lindstrom hit a fade-a-way 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one with 11 seconds remaining, to put the score at 63-64. UND missed the first of a one-and-one and Tesdahl came down to look for the go-ahead basket, but was called for a charge. BSU was forced to foul and after two North Dakota free throws, the Beavers were down two with 2.8 second remaining. A Haake desperation half court shot went off the backboard, but had no chance of sinking the Fighting Sioux.
The first five minutes saw a game between two evenly matched teams with the score at 7-5 in the Beavers' favor. For the second consecutive game the whistles were blowing early with a total of 11 fouls called in the first five minutes. BSU was in the bonus with 10:10 on the clock and UND was at 8:52. From the 10 minute mark to five minutes remaining, UND went on a 8-2 run, extending a one point lead to seven. The Fighting Sioux was able to extend their lead to 11 with one minute remaining, but five points from freshman forward David Berthene (Lakeville, Minn.), which included a shot from downtown, cut the deficit to six heading into the lockerroom.
Haake had 15 points and a team-high five assists. Berthene was 6-6 with 14 points. Lindstrom added a team-high six rebounds and three steals, shooting 50 percent from the field
Bowen's Exhibition Record
Nov. 8, 2009 North Dakota Grand Forks, N.D. L, 65-63
Nov. 4, 2009 Wisconsin Madison, Wis. L, 90-54
Nov. 11, 2008 Indiana Bloomington, Ind. L, 72-54
Oct. 31, 2007 North Dakota State Fargo, N.D. L, 80-56
Nov. 4, 2007 Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa L, 79-61
Nov. 10, 2007 UW-River Falls River Falls, Wis. W, 80-61
Nov. 3, 2006 Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. L, 88-32
The Beavers begin the regular season and nonconference action with a trip to the Viterbo Pepsi Tournament in La Crosse, Wis. Nov. 20-21. BSU plays College of the Ozarks Nov. 20 and Viterbo or Silver Lake College Nov. 21.