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Beaver men end road trip with victory

The Bemidji State University men's basketball team earned a 67-61 victory Sunday at Wayne State despite committing 16 turnovers and making just two 3-point shots.

BSU also hit only 70 percent of its free throws but the Beavers (11-4 overall and 6-3 in the NSIC) did connect on 57 percent of their field goal attempts.

"This is an incredibly difficult road trip, especially since we played an extra 10 emotional minutes (Saturday) night," said head coach Matt Bowen. "I'm really proud of our guys to step up and pull this out. For us to come out of the weekend with a split, certainly after what happened Saturday night (a double-overtime loss at Augustana), is a good statement for this team."

BSU entered the weekend ranked first nationally in fewest turnovers per game (10.0) and Sunday's 16 turnovers were the second most by the Beavers in a game this winter.

The free throw percentage was the fourth worst by the Beavers this season but the field goal percentage was the best of the year as the squad went 21-for-37.

Lance Rongstad and James Ellisor each had 16 points to lead the Beavers but they got there in different ways. Rongstad went 10-for-12 from the charity stripe and was 3-for-4 from the field, while Ellisor made seven shots from the field and went 2-for-3 at the line. Mason Walters was the only other Beaver in double-figures with 13 points. Bryce Tesdahl had only two points but led the team in rebounds with nine and added a team-best seven assists.

BSU opened the game with an 8-2 lead but the Wildcats bounced back and knotted the game 8-8 with 11:48 to play in the first half.

A 10-0 run gave Bemidji State a 21-11 lead but a late Wildcats charge brought them within 26-24 at the break.

The Beavers came out in the second half and opened a seven-point advantage at 33-26 only to see Wayne State answer with a couple of 3-pointers to close within 34-32.

BSU owned a 61-60 lead with 1:37 to play but Rongstad's jumper and a pair of free throws by Jason Edwards gave Bemidji State breathing room down the stretch.

The Beavers begin a four-game homestand Jan. 13 against St. Cloud State. On Jan. 14 BSU will entertain Concordia-St. Paul.

BSU (11-4, 6-3 NSIC): Ellisor, James 7-11 2-3 16; Rongstad, Lance 3-4 10-12 16; Walters, Mason 5-8 2-7 13; Schalow, Jake 2-3 3-3 8; Crockrell, Dermaine 2-4 2-4 6; Edwards, Jason 0-2 2-2 2; Tesdahl, Bryce 0-2 2-2 2; Berthene, David 1-1 0-0 2; Rosenbloom, Maxie 1-1 0-0 2; Noreen, Zach 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-37 23-33 67.

Wayne State (4-10, 3-7 NSIC): Shelby, Amry 4-10 2-2 12; Seroyer, Vontrell 3-5 5-6 12; Harris, Clayfell 4-8 1-1 9; Williams, Derrell 3-9 1-1 7; Rolfzen, Ryan 2-5 0-0 6; Bauschek, Ty 2-4 0-1 5; Worthington, Ayron 1-1 2-2 4; Moore, Darren 2-4 0-0 4; Aluong, Adol 0-1 2-2 2; Wuebker, Nick 0-0 0-0 0; Holdsworth, Jordan 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 13-15 61.

Bemidji State 26 41 - 67

Wayne State 24 37 - 61

3-point goals--Bemidji State 2-9; Wayne State 6-16

Total fouls--Bemidji State 15; Wayne State 25.