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Bemidji State men's basketball: Beavers unable to beat No. 22 Winona State despite strong shooting night

The Bemidji State men's basketball team lost to Winona State 98-79 Saturday night.

The score was not indicative of how close the game was played.

Bemidji State did not have a win to show after one of its best shooting nights of the season.

The loss eliminated the Beavers (8-17 overall, 6-12 NSIC) from postseason contention.

Winona State (21-6 overall, 14-4 NSIC) remains locked in a battle with Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State University, Mankato for first place heading into the final week of the season.

Bemidji State had five players reach double figures. Seth Haake led the Beavers with 19 points. Patrick Cassidy had 12 points; Jake Lindstrom, Bryce Tesdahl and Tyler Wruck each had 11 points.

Bemidji State shot 50 percent from the field in the game and was 45 percent from beyond the arc (11-for-24).

Winona State had five players reach double-figures scoring, including four starters.

David Johnson led the Warriors with a game high 29 points.

Winona State shot 53 percent in the game and was 50 percent from beyond the arc (15-for-30).

The first five minutes of Saturday's game was a shootout with the Warriors throwing up 3-pointers early.

Just six minutes into the game, the two teams had combined for 27 points with Winona State leading 15-12.

That's when Winona State started to pull away.

When Bemidji State's Taylor Hall was called for a travel on a breakaway dunk, head coach Matt Bowen was assessed a technical foul for protesting the call.

The technical appeared to energize the Beavers.

Trailing 27-14 after Travis Whipple made the free throw, Bemidji State began to charge back in the final 9:52 of the first half.

Bemidji State outscored Winona State 28-14 over the next seven minutes and Seth Haake gave the Beavers a 42-41 lead with 2:18 left in the first half.

Winona State took the lead into halftime, 47-44.

The Warriors came out of the break firing and took a 70-56 lead with 12:34 left in the game.

Bemidji State was able to keep the game within striking distance with strong defense and some big shots from Patrick Cassidy.

The Beavers cut the Warriors lead to 70-63 with 10:48 left on Cassidy's 3-pointer, but it was as close as Bemidji State would get the rest of the way.

Winona State won the final six minutes of the game and never let the Beavers get back within single digits.

In the loss, the Beavers showed improvement from the last meeting, where the Warriors beat BSU 90-60 in a blowout in December.

Bemidji State concludes the regular season with two games at BSU Gymnasium next week.

The Beavers host Minnesota Duluth next Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

The final game of the regular season is next Saturday against Wayne State at 8 p.m.