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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Beavers hang on to knock off USF

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Bemidji State men's basketball team held on for dear life on Friday -- but they did so successfully. The Beavers never relinquished their 17-point, second-half lead against Sioux Falls, and even though the Cougars cut it ...

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Bemidji State Beavers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Bemidji State men’s basketball team held on for dear life on Friday -- but they did so successfully.

The Beavers never relinquished their 17-point, second-half lead against Sioux Falls, and even though the Cougars cut it to one in the final minutes, BSU pulled off a 76-73 win in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Bemidji State (7-12, 4-11 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) built up a 42-32 lead at halftime, then continued the trend of holding a sizeable lead when they expanded it out to 55-38. With 7 minutes, 46 seconds to play, the Beavers went ahead 64-51 on an and-one layup for Ja Morgan.

USF (14-7, 9-6 NSIC) stormed back, though, running off the next 12 points over a five-minute stretch to cut back within a point at 64-63 -- still with 2:55 remaining. In response, two single-bonus free throws from Jacob Hoffman finally cut a scoreless string that included four missed shots and three turnovers for BSU.

Derek Thompson followed with a 3-pointer for a bit of breathing room, and although the Cougars cut back to a 71-70 game, Bemidji State held on for the 76-73 win.

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The Beavers’ final seven points came from the charity stripe, where they went 7-for-8 over the final 48 seconds to ice away the win.

Thompson finished with 24 points and seven rebounds for BSU, while Morgan had 21 points and nine assists. Hoffman added 10 points off the bench, as well.

Drew Guebert put up 22 points for Sioux Falls, and Trevon Evans pitched in 19.

Bemidji State will shoot for the weekend sweep against Southwest Minnesota State at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in Marshall.

Bemidji State 76, Sioux Falls 73

BSU 42 34 -- 76

USF 32 41 -- 73

BEMIDJI STATE (7-12, 4-11 NSIC) -- Thompson 24, Morgan 21, Hoffman 10, Bjorklund 7, Bader 3, Baumgartner 3, Chase 3, Landwehr 3, Longo 2. Totals 24-50, 17-20, 76.

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SIOUX FALLS (14-7, 9-6 NSIC) -- Guebert 22, Evans 19, Grinde 7, Rothermund 6, Green 5, Houghton 4, Pal 4, Surlic 4, Taylor 2, Slater 0. Totals 23-55, 22-29, 73.

Related Topics: BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY
Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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