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MEN'S BASKETBALL: BSU routed in 96-62 loss

BSU sophomore Logan Bader (24) defends St. Cloud State's Gage Davis in the first half of the Beavers' 96-62 loss at the BSU Gymnasium on Saturday. Davis scored a game-high 25 points in his season debut. (Micah Friez | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 2
Bemidji State senior Sharif Black (12) extends to the hoop on a layup in the first half of the Beavers' 96-62 loss at the BSU Gymnasium on Saturday. (Micah Friez | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 2

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s basketball team played even with St. Cloud State for the first 19 seconds of Saturday’s matchup at the BSU Gymnasium. But as soon as SCSU got on the board 20 seconds in, the night was all Huskies.

“We talked about it before the game, St. Cloud plays a very physical game. They attacked the offensive glass,” Bemidji State head coach Mike Boschee said. “All the things we talked about, we just didn’t handle. We knew that going in, talked about it beforehand, but we didn’t respond.”

SCSU ran away in the opening minutes and never so much as gave hope for a comeback, scoring early and often for a 96-62 win.

St. Cloud State (5-2, 2-0 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) set the tone with the first 14 points of the night. Sharif Black finally stopped the bleeding with a three, but the Beavers (4-4, 1-2 NSIC) never came close to recovering.

By the time Bemidji State reached 14, SCSU was already up to 32. And, from there, St. Cloud State ran off the next 10 points for a 42-14 onslaught. When the halftime buzzer graciously put a pause on the drubbing, the Beavers trailed 55-20.

“It was tough,” Boschee said. “Defensively, we struggled. But our offense -- one-pass possessions, quick shots -- led to them getting out in transition.”

The second half was smoother for BSU, and Lucas Wendt capped an early 11-3 run with a layup at the hoop. McNallan caught fire late, as well, rattling off 14 points over the final 11 minutes.

“When you have a bad half life that, it’s tough to come back from,” Boschee said of the first half. “So (the second half) is more of, what do we have? What can we do? And how well can we continue to play together even though it seemed like it was insurmountable?”

Bemidji State outscored the Huskies 42-41 in the second half, but a highlight reel-worthy reverse slam from Sean Smith off a steal was a pretty obvious reminder: this was SCSU’s night.

By game’s end, St. Cloud State flirted with triple digits, but settled instead for a 96-62 rout.

Wendt, Black and McNallan finished with 14 points each for BSU, marking a new career high for McNallan. Jai’Vionne Green added 12 for the Beavers, as well. Jon Averkamp tallied 25 points for the Huskies, though, while Gage Davis matched it with 25 of his own in his season debut.

“They’re a quality team,” said Boschee. “When you add Gage Davis into the mix, it makes them even more dynamite than how they were playing without him.”

Bemidji State will look to recover during an 8 p.m. showdown with Northern State on Friday, Dec. 8, in Aberdeen, S.D.

St. Cloud State 96, Bemidji State 62

SCSU 55 41 -- 96

BSU 20 42 -- 62

St. Cloud State (5-2, 2-0 NSIC) -- Davis 25; Averkamp 25; Theisen 11; Lewis 8; Foley 6; Hull, 6; Kitchen 5; Mussman 4; Smith 4; Marshall 2; Wynn 0; Heede-Andersen 0. Totals 40-72 7-9 96.

Bemidji State (4-4, 1-2 NSIC) -- McNallan 14; Wendt 14; Black 14; Green 12; Bader 4; Baumgartner 3; Thompson 1; Sorenson 0; Chase 0; Shepski 0; Pekarek 0; Yetka 0; Rovney 0. Totals 20-60 12-16 62.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez covers Bemidji State basketball and BSU for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Beaver basketball updates.

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