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Wolves hang on to defeat Bemidji State

Bemidji State’s Jason Edwards cuts around the defense of Northern’s Jared Hannigan during Saturday’s game. BSU Photo Services

BEMIDJI – Close games are the custom in the NSIC men’s basketball scene and Saturday Bemidji State battled Northern in another typical conference war.

Earlier this month the Wolves edged the Beavers 64-61 in Aberdeen, S.D. and Saturday they squeaked past BSU once again.

An 8-2 run in the final 90 seconds of the first half gave the visitors a 32-26 halftime advantage and Northern rode that cushion to an eventual 58-55 victory.

Saturday’s win was the 11th in 14 NSIC contests for the Wolves and they improved to 16-5 overall. Bemidji State dipped to 9-9 and is 7-7 in league play.

The momentum of the late first-half run carried into the second stanza as Northern scored the period’s first five points and extended its cushion to 37-26.

BSU, however, countered with an 11-2 spurt to trim its deficit to 39-37.

Lance Rongstad began the rally with a pair of free throws and Zach Noreen followed with a 3-pointer from the left wing.

Mason Walters also fueled the fire with a pair of power moves inside which were rewarded with six points courtesy of hard-fought baskets and successful free throws.

Although the Beavers kept the Wolves within sight, they never were able to draw even.

With 1:54 to play Rongstad drained two more free throws to bring BSU within 54-51 and, after the Wolves missed a shot, Dermaine Crockrell sank one of two free throws to close the gap to 54-52 with 46 seconds to play.

The visitors botched the front half of a one-and-one free throw opportunity a few seconds later and the Beavers had the chance to tie or take the lead in the waning seconds.

The opportunity was wasted, however, when Jason Edwards stepped on the baseline with 10 seconds to play.

Northern cemented its victory with four free throws in the waning seconds and Edwards’ 3-pointer from Northern’s side of the court at the buzzer made the final 58-55.

Rongstad and Crockrell paced BSU’s attack with 13 points while Walters earned all of his 11 points with hard work in the paint.

Northern was paced by Collin Pryor who tallied 19 and Dustin Tetzlaff who contributed 17 points.

The Beavers return to action Friday when they host Southwest Minnesota State at 8 p.m.

Northern St. (58): Zomer 2, 1-2, 5; Tetzlaff 8, 1-1, 17; White 0, 0-0, 0; Firmin 0, 0-1, 0; Emge 1, 0-0, 3; Warwick 3, 0-0, 9; Hannigan 0, 2-2, 2; Arvidson 1, 0-0, 3; Pryor 8, 3-3, 19. Totals: 23-59, 7-9, 58

BSU (55): Noreen 1, 0-0, 3; Walters 4, 2-2, 11; Crockrell 4, 5-8, 13; Rongstad 2, 9-10, 13; Edwards 2, 0-0, 6; Rosenbloom 3, 0-0, 6; Farrington 0, 0-0, 0; Schalow 1, 0-0, 3. Totals: 17-46, 16-20, 55

3-point FG: Northern 5-17, BSU 5-22 (Noreen 1-7, Walters 1-4, Crockrell 0-4, Rongstad 0-2, Edwards 2-4, Schalow 1-1)

Fouls: Northern 16, BSU 15

Halftime: Northern 32, BSU 26

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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