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Men's basketball: Hot-shooting Beavers enjoy weekend on road

BEMIDJI — During the warm-up session prior to Friday’s game in Sioux Falls there was no indication that something special would happen later when BSU and Augustana hit the court.

Both teams entered the contest with 5-3 NSIC records and each team was eager to build upon its success.

“You never really know how you are going to play,” said BSU coach Mike Boschee. “You hope you prepare well during the week so you are ready.”

Last Friday, and again on Saturday at Wayne St., the Beavers were ready. In a 97-79 victory over Augustana BSU’s offense was on fire as the players hit 71.2 percent of their field goal attempts, a figure that represents a BSU record. Led by Brock Lutes’ 34-point performance, five Beavers reached double figures, including Zach Noreen who contributed 24 points.

“You want your players to take good shots and you work on moving the ball (to set up the good shots),” Boschee said.

Constant ball movement helped the players find open spots on the court and when the Beavers had the open shot they made the most of their opportunities. In the first half BSU drained 21 of its 28 field goal attempts (75 percent) and the Beavers led 52-32 at the break. The offense cooled a bit in the second stanza but BSU still converted 63.6 percent of its shots.

The 71.2 percent for the game established a new school record.

“You wish you could bottle that (hot shooting) and have it in every game,” Boschee said. “But we do have some very good players.”

The hot shooting continued on Saturday at Wayne as the Beavers shot 63.6 percent in the first half and 55.6 percent in the second, and the reward was a 69-46 victory and a sweep of the road series.

Lutes, once again, led the charge as he scored 25 points on the strength of 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 success from the free throw line.

“The kids should feel good about themselves,” Boschee said.

“On the road most coaches would be happy with a split and when you sweep quality teams like Augustana and Wayne, you can feel very good (about the accomplishment).

“We had a nice road trip. We played well for the most part in both games and getting two wins made the 8-hour ride home much better.”

Lutes’ individual performances caught the attention of the NSIC coaches and on Monday they honored the junior with the conference Player of the Week award.

During the two games Lutes shot 65.5 percent from the field (19-of-29), nailed eight of his 16 shots from 3-point range, drained 13 of his 14 free throw attempts, dished five assists, grabbed four rebounds and had two steals.

Lutes leads the NSIC in scoring as he averages 20.7 points against league opponents.

The junior is the third Beaver to claim Player of the Week honors. Earlier this season Jake Schalow and Maxie Rosenbloom were honored.

BSU enters the week 10-4 overall and tied for first in the NSIC North Division with a 7-3 mark. Sharing that league record are Moorhead, Northern and St. Cloud. On Friday the Beavers host Moorhead and on Saturday they will entertain Northern.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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