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SEVENTH HEAVEN: Strong finish leads BSU to seventh consecutive win

Bemidji State's Brock Lutes dribbles around a screen by treammate Zach Noreen (3) in the first half of their game against Minot State Saturday night. The Beavers toppled their North Dakota Beaver rivals 84-68 for their seventh straight win. Daniel Allar | Minot Daily News

MINOT, N.D. -- It took a strong finish for BSU to escape Minot with a victory, but the Beavers topped their North Dakota rivals 84-68 for their seventh consecutive victory Saturday night in their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game.

The seven games is the longest winning streak for the BSU program since the 2004-05 season.

BSU (14-4, 11-3 NSIC) broke a 62-62 tie open by closing the game with a 22-6 run in the final seven minutes to seal the road win.

At halftime Bemidji State led Minot State (7-11, 3-11 NSIC) just 39-35 but Minot closed the gap quickly, eventually pulling to a 43-43 tie with 16:25 remaining after a layup by Thomas Korf.

The teams traded baskets for the next 10 minutes; at one point Jake Schalow's fourth three-pointer of the night pushed the BSU lead to 56-49 with 11:28 left in the game.

But again Minot State responded, going on a 11-4 run that was capped off by a three-pointer from Dan Yale to tie the score at 60-60 with 7:25 remaining.

That's when the BSU went on their big run, fueled in part by clutch foul shooting.

BSU made 17 of 18 free throw attempts in the second half to help protect its lead.

Brock Lutes led BSU with 23 points, while Zach Noreen followed with 21 and Maxie Rosenbloom posted a double-double with 15 points and a dozen rebounds.

Schalow finished with 18 points, going 4-for-7 from three-point land and a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

In the first half Minot State took an early 12-2 lead but BSU rallied with threes by Schalow, Lutes and Noreen to help BSU close the gap to just two points at 18-16 with 11 minutes left in the half.

Back-to-back baskets from Rosenbloom capped off a 7-0 run that gave BSU its first lead of the night at 35-33 with 2:07 remaining until the break.

Schalow, Lutes, and Noreen combined to score the first 28 points for BSU, while Rosenbloom contributed seven of the last 11 in the half.

Chris East and E.J. Williams each scored 13 points to lead Minot State.

BSU will try to extend its winning streak on the road as it plays at Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls next weekend.

Bemidji State 84, Minot State 68

BSU (84) -- Lutes 8-16 5-5 23; Noreen 6-12 7-9 21; Schalow 4-8 6-6 18; Rosenbloom 6-6 3-3 15; Farrington 3-4 0-0 7. Totals 27-47 21-23 84.

Minot State (68) -- East 6-8 1-2 13; Williams 5-10 2-3 13; McDonald 5-8 1-3 12; Korf 5-8 1-3 11; Boskovic 4-7 0-0 8; Randall 2-3 0-0 4; Yale 1-3 0-0 3; Johnson 1-8 0-2 2; Mertens 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-59 4-8 68.

Halftime score: BSU 39, Minot State 35