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Crockrell hits game-winner as Bemidji St. tops MSU Moorhead

BSU’s Zach Noreen powers past MSU Moorhead defenders Alex Novak during the first half of Friday’s game. BSU Photo Services

BEMIDJI - Despite a 3-for-12 shooting performance from Dermaine Crockrell, Bemidji State head coach Mike Boschee trusted his senior when the team needed a shot. Crockrell missed a game-winner at the end of regulation, but connected on his floater over two defenders with 3.7 seconds remaining in overtime.

Crockrell’s floater proved to be the game-winner as BSU prevailed with an exciting 76-75 win over MSU Moorhead at the BSU gym.

“Coach believes in me, the guys believe in me, sometimes I just doubt myself, I guess,” Crockrell said. “You have to step up in that situation. If you miss it, you miss it and if you make it, you are the hero. I just have to take that risk and not be scared.”

“That is what we need from him,” Boschee added. “When he is complacent, everybody else has to do more. When he is aggressive, he not only makes plays for himself, but makes plays for others as well.”

The win was the first for the Beavers in their last seven meetings with the Dragons. That stretch included an 82-48 blowout earlier this season in Moorhead.

“I think it was nice to get a win tonight no matter who we played against. It is a little nicer that it happened to be against Moorhead,” Boschee said. “They beat us in every facet last time we played them.”

Zach Noreen and Mason Walters provided energy with early dunks to give the Beavers a 12-4 lead after just three minutes of play.

After trailing for the first 12 minutes, the Dragons came to life with a 15-2 run over a span of four minutes to grab thier first lead at 31-28 with 4:10 left in the first half.

Walters swung the momentum with a dunk and a block on the other end that led to a basket for Maxie Rosenbloom in transition and the Beavers led 37-32.

Walters finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Anthony Tucker hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the BSU lead to 37-35 at halftime.

The teams traded baskets for most of the second half, but a pair of free throws from Taylor Vaughan gave Moorhead its largest of the game at 59-52 with just over six minutes left in regulation.

BSU battled back and tied the game with a 3-pointer from Jason Edwards with 2:25 left on the clock.

Crockrell missed on a trey that would have won the game and Alex Novak was fouled 80 feet from the basket with just 1.7 seconds remaining.

Novak, who entered the game shooting below 60 percent from the free throw line, missed the front end of the one and one, so the game headed to overtime.

The first three minutes of the extra session were all Dragons, as the Beavers fell behind 75-68. Noreen and Walters delivered back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Dragon lead to one point at 75-74.

Noreen finished with 16 points and four made shots from long distance.

“The shooting there was big,” Crockrell said. “Nobody stopped believing. We just kept fighting and got the win.”

A timely block from Rosenbloom gave BSU the basketball with just 21 seconds and set up Crockrell’s heroics.

Crockrell scored all 10 of his points in the second half and overtime.

Anthony Tucker, who entered the game averaging 21 points per game, finished with 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting. The defense of Edwards and Michael Farrington was responsible for the 7-19 shooting.

“Last time we played them we had Lance on him (Tucker) and we were not able to get much pressure on him,” Boschee said. “Tonight, we wanted to get someone quicker that could tire him out a little bit. He is going to get his points, he is a very talented kid, but we made him work.”

Lance Rongstad remained hot as he scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting with three made 3-pointers.

Boschee hopes that the momentum from the exciting win will carry over into the rest of the season.

“It was a game we needed to win to feel good about ourselves again,” Boschee said. “We needed to prove to ourselves that we can beat the better teams in this league.”

Bemidji State (9-8, 7-6 NSIC) will look to keep its momentum when it hosts Northern State at 6 p.m. today.

MSU Moorhead (75): Tucker 22 7-19 2-2, Riewer 15 5-9 2-2, Novak 13 5-11 3-5, Vaughan 10 3-8 2-2, Figini 9 4-9 1-1, Olson 6 3-4 0-1 Wohler 0 0-3 0-0. Totals 75 27-63 10-13.

Bemidji State (76): Rongstad 17 7-14 0-0, Walters 17 6-14 0-0, Noreen 16 6-15 0-0, Crockrell 10 4-13 2-2, Schalow 5 2-2 0-0, Farrington 4 2-4 0-0, Rosenbloom 4 2-4 0-1, Edwards 3 1-4 0-0. Totals 76 30-70 4-5.

Halftime: Bemidji State 37 MSU Moorhead 35