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Men's basketball: Beavers secure at least division title tie with Saturday's win

BEMIDJI — BSU bounced back from a loss Friday night with a 90-77 win over Concordia-St.Paul Saturday at the BSU gym.

With the win, the Beavers clinched at least a share of the NSIC North Division.

“It feels really good,” BSU head coach Mike Boschee said of clinching a share of the division. “Winning is not an easy process, so any time you can achieve one of your goals, you have to enjoy it.”

BSU’s seniors each stepped up in his own way on senior night. Maxie Rosenbloom posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Zach Noreen and Jake Schalow nearly posted double-doubles of their own as Schalow scored 18 points and pulled down a career-best nine rebounds and Noreen finished with 17 points and eight boards. Michael Farrington dished 10 assists and Brock Tesdahl scored eight points in 10 minutes.

“They were incredible,” Boschee said of the seniors. “They are all great leaders in their own way and have been great to coach. They have been great role models for both the kids in the community as well as new players who come into our program.”

The Beavers started their five seniors, making it the first start of the season for Tesdahl and Farrington, and did not lose a step. Tesdahl scored five points in the opening seven minutes to help the Beavers jump ahead to a 19-11 lead.

“We came out with a lot of energy because it was senior night,” Tesdahl said. “My teammates got me open and I hit a shot right away that lit a bit of a fire inside of us all.”

A trio of three-pointers from Trayvon Mitchell helped the Golden Bears climb to within three points at 26-23 with 9:33 remaining in the first half.

Brock Lutes and Schalow rattled off the next eight points for BSU, however, to push the lead to double-digits at 34-23 with 7:42 left until the break.

Lutes added two more three-pointers and Noreen added one of his own to help the Beavers build a 55-35 halftime cushion.

Lutes came off of the bench to score 22 of his game-high 33 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 13 minutes in the opening 20 minutes.

Just as he did in the first half, Tesdahl got the ball rolling in the second stanza with a three-pointer and Schalow added a three-pointer to help keep the lead at 20 points at 65-45 with 15:49 left to play.

“We always talk about the first five minutes of each half,” Tesdahl said. “We started the half strong, but dipped off a little bit after that.”

A three-pointer from Keith Crockett cut the lead to 11 points at 69-58 with 11:09 remaining.

“They can hit shots,” Tesdahl said. “We had to step up on defense and bring more intensity.”

Crockett later sank a pair of free throws to cut the difference to single digits for the first time of the second half at 72-63 with 8:20 to play.

“They are a good basketball team,” Boschee said. “I never would have expected in a million years to be up 20 at half. I am surprised that they have not won more games this season with the talent that they have.”

Lutes’ 33 points was his fourth consecutive 30-point effort and his seventh of the season.

Cordell Smith led the Golden Bears offense with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting while Mitchell made five three-pointers to lead to 18 points.

BSU (18-6 15-5 NSIC) will conclude its regular season on the road next weekend with contests against Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud.

“A win tonight heading into next weekend was big for us,” Tesdahl said. “We are hungry and we cannot wait for our next opponent.”

Concordia-St. Paul (77): Smith 10-17 2-2 25; Mitchell 6-12 1-1 18; VanPelt 6-16 3-3 16; Crockett 3-7 4-5 11; Yahnke 2-8 1-2 5; Halvorsen 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 28-68 11-13 77.

BSU (90): Lutes 13-17 3-4 33; Schalow 6-11 3-4 18; Noreen 7-19 1-2 17; Rosenbloom 5-8 2-4 12; Tesdahl 3-4 0-0 8; Farrington 1-4 0-1 2. Totals 35-65 9-15 90.

Halftim: BSU 55, Concordia-St. Paul 35