Jan. 17, 2009

Courtesy of Bemidji State

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Wachs Arena) -- Facing the No. 11 Northern State Wolves for the first time since head coach Don Meyer took sole possession of first place on the men’s all-time NCAA career wins chart last Saturday, the Beavers didn’t let the celebration last long as they defeated NSU 100-93 in double overtime at Wachs Arena Friday evening.

Junior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) and sophomore Brady Fairbanks (G, Bena, Minn.) each netted a career-high 29 points to combine for 58 of the Beavers 100 points. Haake shot a career-best 10-of-19 from the field, 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line while Fairbanks also had a career-night from the field going 8-of-19 from the floor, 2-of-8 from three-point land and 11-of-14 from the charity stripe. Taylor Hall (Fr., F, Blaine, Minn.) and Bryce Tesdahl (Fr., G, Crosby, Minn.) rounded out the Beavers double-digit scorers with 16 and 10, respectively.

Fairbanks gathered a career-high nine rebounds while Haake dished out a season-high five assists while pick pocketing the Wolves five times in a game and career-high 48 minutes.

The trio of Kevin Ratzsch, Mitch Boeck and Robert Thomas led the Wolves. Ratzsch poured in 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting while pulling in seven rebounds. Boeck netted 25 points on 8-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-12 from behind the arc while Thomas added 12 points. Bojan Todorovic grabbed a team-high eight rebounds while Kyle Schwan dished out a game-high six assists.

The Beavers led for much of the first half, by as many as nine points, after a three-pointer by BSU’s Tesdahl capped off a 11-2 run to open the game for BSU. NSU turned up its defensive pressure and slowly whittled away at the Beavers lead using a 20-9 run over a 9:54 span to take its first lead of the game off a pair of Marty Gregor free-throws (22-20) with 6:57 left in the half.

NSU continued to apply pressure pushing its lead to as large as six (28-22), but a 11-2 run by the Beavers over the final five minutes of the half sent BSU into the locker rooms with a 33-30 lead.

The Beavers’ lead hovered around five points for the first five minutes of the second stanza with its largest lead stretching to eight (46-38) with 14:21 left in the game off a Jimmy Johnson (So., C, Andover, Minn.) jumper. The Beavers went cold over the next 3:23 allowing NSU to go on a 8-0 run tying the game for the third time (46-46) with 10:58 left.

The Beavers continued to cling to the lead by the narrowest of margins and eventually pushed its lead back to seven points (72-65) with 1:16 left in regulation off a Haake lay up. The experienced Wolves team never gave up as they used good free-throw shooting along with timely jump shots to creep its way back in and tie the game at 74-74 with three second left to send the game into overtime.

The first overtime saw the Beavers jumped out to the early lead but find themselves down two with :54 second left. A pair of free-throws by Haake with :54 seconds left tied the game at 82-82 sending the game into a second overtime as neither team could find the bottom of the net in the final seconds of the first overtime.

The second and final overtime period saw a combined 29 points added to the scoreboard. With the score tied at 84-84, BSU’s Hall hit a huge three lifting BSU to a 87-84 lead with 3:35 remaining. On the next possession, Haake answered Hall’s triple with one of his own to stretch the Beavers lead to four (90-86) with just over three minutes left.

BSU clung to the four point lead with 2:25 remaining, but a feisty Wolves team continued to battle as they fought their way back into the game at the free-throw line connecting on 5-of-6 to close within one point of the Beavers with 1:04 left (92-91). BSU did not fold to the Wolves pressure as a tip-in by Tesdahl with :31 left followed by a 6-for-6 performance from the charity stripe in the final seconds helped BSU seal up a 100-93 double-overtime win over Northern State.

Overall, BSU out shot NSU by the slimmest of margins connecting on 47.8-percent (33-69) to Northern State’s 47.6-percent (30-63) from the floor. The Beavers finished the game 12-of-28 from the three-point arc (.429) and were 22-of-25 (.880) from the charity stripe.

Bemidji State (7-9; 5-4 NSIC) will wrap up its weekend swing in the Dakotas’ tomorrow evening when the Beavers play the University of Mary Marauders from the Activity Center. Game time is set for a 8 p.m. start.

Notes: The Beavers move to 21-51 all-time versus Northern State...It is head coach Matt Bowen’s first ever win over NSU...Fairbanks and Haake net career-highs of 29 points...BSU’s 7-9 overall record is the best start to a season since the 2005-06 season when BSU was 7-9...BSU secured the most wins by a Beaver squad under the tutelage of Bowen (7)...BSU’s 5-4 NSIC record is the best start to a conference season since 2005-06 when BSU was 5-4 through nine conference games...first time BSU has hit 100 points in a game under Bowen and first time since Dec. 28, 2005...first time BSU has beaten back-to-back ranked opponents since 2005-06 when BSU upended No. 18 South Dakota on Dec. 28, 2005 and then knocked off No. 14 Winona State on Jan. 7, 2006...first time BSU knocked off ranked opponents in back-to-back games in school history...BSU is now 2-1 versus ranked opponents this season and 6-11 since becoming a Division II institution...Beavers extend win streak to season-long four games.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).