MEN’S BASKETBALL: Sioux Falls rides late heroics to top Beavers 76-75 in overtime
The Beavers, who had won six straight home games to move up in the North Division, fell to 14-8 and 9-7 in the NSIC.
BEMIDJI -- Sioux Falls came up big in the final minutes of regulation and overtime Saturday and rallied to defeat the Bemidji State men's basketball team 76-75 at the BSU Gymnasium.
It was a battle to the end by two of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s hottest teams. South Division-leading Sioux Falls improved to 16-6 overall and 11-5 in league play. The Beavers, who had won six straight home games to move up in the North Division, fell to 14-8 and 9-7 in the NSIC.
The Cougars' Matt Cartwright hit a game-tying 3-pointer in regulation and scored the last four points of overtime to finish with 40 points.
In regulation, Sioux Falls outscored the Beavers 8-2 in the final 63 seconds to force overtime.
Mohamed Kone's two free throws with 21 seconds on the clock gave BSU a 63-60 lead, but Cartwright's 3-pointer tied it with nine seconds remaining. Kone's close-range shot just ahead of the buzzer fell off.
The Beavers went ahead 73-69 with 1:15 left in overtime on Kone's 3-pointer, but once again the Cougars had answers. Cartwright rebounded teammate Jake Kettner's 3-point miss and got the ball to Noah Puetz, who hit from beyond the arc to make it 73-72.
John Sutherland's layup with 40 seconds left gave the Beavers a 75-72 advantage, and Cartwright followed with a 3-point miss. But Puetz grabbed the rebound, and Cartwright was fouled with 31 seconds left. He converted both free throws to pull the visitors within 75-74.
After a BSU turnover, Cartwright drove for a go-ahead layup at the 17-second mark. Kone misfired on a jumper in the final seconds to end it.
Bemidji State built a 13-point lead early in the second half before the Cougars started their comeback.
Kone led the Beavers with 21 points. Sutherland added 18, and Dalton Albrecht had 17.
The Beavers will have a pair of road games in North Dakota next weekend – first at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, at Minot State, then at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, at U-Mary.
Sioux Falls 76, Bemidji State 75 (OT)
USF 27 36 13 -- 76
BSU 32 31 12 -- 75
SIOUX FALLS -- Totals: M. Cartwright 40, Kettner 12, Thompson 10, Puetz 7, Jackson 5, Alm 2. 28-77 FGs, 11-33 3-pt. FGs, 9-10 FTs.
BEMIDJI STATE -- Kone 21, Sutherland 18, Albrecht 17, Tennyson 10, Williams 7, Smith 2.
Totals: 26-62 FGs, 8-20 3-pt. FGs, 15-24 FTs.