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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Comeback closed on BSU men in 80-78 loss

MOORHEAD -- The Bemidji State men’s basketball team couldn’t get over the hump in the second half to complete a 15-point comeback against Minnesota State Moorhead on Friday, falling 80-78 in the final seconds at Moorhead.

The Beavers (4-9, 1-8 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) trailed 54-39 early in the second half, and they struggled to make a sizeable dent in the MSUM lead. That changed with an 11-0 run, however, as Zach Baumgartner and Griffin Chase combined to bring BSU within a bucket at 66-64.

Bemidji State then climbed within a point with six minutes to go, as Logan Bader drained a 3-pointer for a 68-67 score.

It was as close as the Beavers got. Down three, BSU had possession with under 20 seconds to go, but a 3-pointer for the tie went awry and gave the ball back to the Dragons (12-5, 6-3 NSIC). MSUM turned it over on the ensuing inbounds, though, and Ja Morgan went to the free-throw line with 1.8 seconds remaining.

After making the first, Morgan missed the second attempt, but the Beavers couldn’t track down the batted ball for a final shot.

It ended like it began, as the teams traded small leads for much of the first half. But Minnesota State Moorhead sprung out in front with a late 12-0 run, and the Dragons went ahead 48-37 by break after scoring 14 of the half’s final 15 points.

Max Bjorklund put up a career-high 20 points on the night, while Chase did the same with his 12. Bader contributed with 19 points, while Derek Thompson added another 15.  Addison Park led MSUM with 23 points.

The Beavers will close the weekend at 6 p.m. tonight when they face Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D.

Sophomore guard Jacob Hoffman did not travel with the team for the weekend trip “due to a violation of team rules,” per BSU. No further details were provided at the time.

MSUM 80, Bemidji State 78

BSU 37 41 -- 78

MSUM 48 32 -- 80

BEMIDJI STATE (4-9, 1-8 NSIC) -- Bjorklund 20, Bader 19, Thompson 15, Chase 12, Baumgartner 8, Morgan 4, Anderson 0, Bieniek 0, Hart 0, Landwehr 0, Longo 0. Totals 30-60, 8-12, 80.

MSUM (12-5, 6-3 NSIC) -- Park 23, Baumgartner 13, Beeninga 12, Coad 9, Bergh 7, Irsfeld 7, Sem 4, Bussman 3, Johnson 2. Totals 31-60, 11-15, 80.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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