SCSU
Brooks

GOLDEN, Colo. -- St. Cloud State came out on top with a 77-72 win against Bemidji State in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.

The Huskies (20-8) will now move on to play the winner of Metro State and Adams State.

The No. 6-seeded Huskies started the game 2-for-11 from the field and trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but with a quick surge from junior Tony Brooks and the SCSU bench, St Cloud was able to get the game back to 32-30 in favor of the Beavers (22-9) heading into half time as Brooks scored four points and dished out an assist in seven minutes of play.

In the second half, St. Cloud State sophomore Tim Bergstraser dominated the middle of the paint for 15 points (6-7 shooting) before leaving the game with an injury.

He ended the game leading all players with 22 points and helped the Huskies outscored Bemidji State 38-24 in the paint.

Bergstraser finished the game 9 of 12 from the field to go with seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action to help the Huskies finish the game shooting 48 percent from the field (26-54). St. Cloud also shot 43 percent from beyond the arc (6-14) and 83 percent from the line (19-23).

Junior Theo Rothstein fouled out before sophomore Mike Rostampour did the same with 3:32 in the game, but it did not faze St. Cloud.

The Husky bench again responded by taking a late eight-point lead and held off the Beavers 3-point attack for the win, as junior Scott Hawkins came in and scored eight points and grabbed a crucial offensive rebound, while freshman James Fort took over in the post with two points, two rebounds and a huge block in the final five minutes of play.

Rostampour also added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in the game.

Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year James Ellisor was held to 16 points and had four turnovers as Rostampour challenged him all afternoon.

The Beavers were stellar shooting the ball from the field Saturday, as they were 24-for-48 from the field (50 percent) and 11-for-23 from beyond the arc (43 percent), but were haunted with a 13-for-22 performance from the free-throw line.

Senior Brett Putz and junior Shaun Jensen both scored in double figures with 13 and 14 respectfully.

With the 20th win of the season, head coach Kevin Schlagel posted his eighth 20-win season in his career and he now has more 20-win seasons than all SCSU coaches combined.

St. Cloud State is now 11-12 overall in NCAA Regional games dating back to 1974 and have won four in a row heading into Sunday’s game.