Alex Berg | Sports Editor | 2-20-2012
The Bemidji State men’s basketball team picked up a pair of big wins on the road last weekend over Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State-Mankato.
With the wins, the Beavers finished their road season with a record of 8-6.
Junior guard Dermaine Crockrell provided the heroics for BSU on Friday with a buzzer-beating shot from just inside half court to beat the Mustangs. Crockrell took the inbound pass with 2.3 seconds and ran into a pair of defenders near the sideline as he threw up his last second heave that bounced off of the front of the rim, off the back board, and in the basket.
SMSU built its largest lead of the game at 32-23 with four minutes left in the first half.
The Mustangs led 36-31 at the half.
A layup from senior guard Bryce Tesdahl with 13:17 remaining gave the Beavers their first lead at 43-42. Tesdahl finished with 16 points.
Thanks to a 25-13 run, BSU had its largest lead at 62-55 with 6:49 left to play.
SMSU came storming back to take a lead in the final minute of the game, but junior guard Lance Rongstad tied the game at 74 with a three-pointer.
Rongstad finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
William Giddings was able to make a circus lay-up on an alley-oop pass from Tramel Barnes with two seconds left to give the Mustangs a 78-76 lead.
After a timeout, the Beavers ran their final play. Crockrell’s shot sent the Beavers home happy with a 79-78 win. Crockrell finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
Senior forward James Ellisor led all scorers with 17 points.
BSU came out of the gates with a fast start on Saturday as it raced ahead to a 12-5 lead and never looked back.
A three-pointer from sophomore forward Zach Noreen gave the Beavers a 30-20 lead with 5:02 left in the first half.
BSU led 34-30 at halftime.
A three-point play from James Ellisor extended the BSU lead back to ten points at 50-40 with 15:08 left to play.
Ellisor led all scorers with 30 points on 10-17 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds to go with his five assists.
Connor O’Brien hit a three pointer with 8:12 remaining to cut the lead down to 60-54.
Ellisor scored seven straight points to give the Beavers a 69-55 with 5:18 left to play.
Minnesota State was able to cut the lead to ten, but never got closer that as Bemidji State hung on for the win.
Rongstad finished the game with 12 points on 5-9 shooting.
Tesdahl finished in double figures for the second straight night with ten points.
BSU will enter the final weekend of the conference in third place behind St. Cloud State and MSU Moorhead.
Bemidji State (19-7 14-6 NSIC) returns home to face Upper Iowa and Winona State next weekend to end its regular season.