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Beavers Lose Heartbreaker to Huskies, Bounce Back Against Concordia

Alex Berg | Sports Editor | 1-16-12
The men’s basketball team hosted No.21 St. Cloud State and  Concorida-St. Paul last weekend at the BSU Gym.

Friday, BSU suffered a 72-70 heart-breaking loss in front of 1,011 fans.

It was able to bounce back with a 100-77 win over Concordia on Saturday.

Shaun Jensen of the Huskies delivered the dagger on Friday night with a last-second floater to sink the Beavers.

The winning shot countered a similar shot from senior guard Bryce Tesdahl. Tesdahl’s shot tied the game at 70 with under 30 seconds left to play.

The entire first half consisted of back and forth action with BSU holding a slim 29-28 lead at halftime.

“It is how good teams are supposed to play,” senior guard Lance Rongstad said of the pace. “I am sure it was a great game to watch; there was a lot of emotion and energy.”

The Beavers got down by as much as eight points but, with the support of the fans, were able mount a comeback with a 17-9 run.

“I love this,” Rongstad said of the crowd. “I wish we could get this for every single game. It brings so much more emotion to the game and really makes you want to play harder. It is the way college basketball is supposed to be.”

Rongstad finished with 15 points on the night.

Senior forward James Ellisor led the Beavers in scoring with 24 points.

“It is frustrating,” Bemidji State head coach Matt Bowen said of the loss. “I was proud of the way our kids fought back. In the end, we just made a few too many mistakes. I think we could have played better defensively and we missed far too many rebounds.”
The Huskies out-rebounded the Beavers 40-26.

Bemidji State came out flat on Saturday and found themselves behind 14-5 in the opening minutes of the game.

“We probably sent our kids the wrong message going into the game,” Bowen said. “Concordia is a really athletic team. We were hounding our guys to have them stay back and not get beat; consequently, we were back on our heels.”

A layup from junior guard Dermaine Crockrell gave BSU its first lead of the night and it never looked back.

Crockrell scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting.

Fueled by a 46-16 run, the Beavers build a 51-30 lead going into halftime.

“It was big,”  Tesdahl said of the run. “After those first five minutes we really got after it. After that we got focused and played Beaver basketball for the next 35.”

The Beavers continued to execute on offense throughout the second half as they shot 60% from the field and only committed ten turnovers.

“Ten is a good number for us,” Bowen said. “The best thing about the number ten is that we had three or four turnovers in the first three minutes of the game. So if you look at the last 37 minutes of the game, we only turned it over seven times.”

Ellisor led the way again with 21 points on 7-8 shooting.

Junior forward Mason Walters followed with 19.

Tesdahl tallied a career-high 12 assists on the night.

“I found guys open in transition,” Tesdahl said. “We ran up and down the floor a bit tonight and guys were open. You can’t get an assist without teammates knocking down shots.”

Sophomore forward Zach Noreen finished in double figures off the bench  in both games.

Bemidji State (12-5 7-4 NSIC) will host Minnesota State at 8 p.m. on Friday.

“The fan support this weekend was outstanding,” Bowen said of the weekend. “We are extremely thankful for the support from the fellow student athletes and the support from the community. It really does make a difference. I can’t say enough on how appreciative we are and I hope they come back out next week.”