Despite Harrison Cleary (Sr., G) scoring 44 points — his third 40-point game of the season — Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball fell 85-76 to Bemidji State in an NSIC game in Bemidji on Sat., Dec. 21.
The Golden Eagles fell to 7-5 (3-3 NSIC) on the season. Bemidji State moved to 7-3 (4-2).
Cleary had 44 points on 14-of-27 from the field, and 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. He was a perfect 9-of-9 from the stripe. Cleary became the 36th player in NCAA Division II history to score over 2,400 points in a career. Javier Nicolau (Sr., F/C) added nine points and four rebounds. Malcolm Cohen (R-Sr., G/F) finished with eight points and four rebounds. Ibu Jassey-Demba (Jr., F) chipped in seven points and five boards.
The Golden Eagles shot 25-of-60 from the field for 41.7 percent. They were 11-of-30 from behind the three-point line for 36.7 percent and were 15-of-16 from the stripe for 93.8 percent.
Bemidji State connected on 28-of-51 for 54.9 percent. The Beavers were 12-of-27 from beyond the arc for 44.4 percent. They were 17-of-27 for 63.0 percent from the foul line.
The Beavers had six players score in double-figures. Nick Wagner led the way with 17 points on 5-of-13 from the field. Logan Bader added 16 points and seven boards. Zach Baumgartner had a double-double of 15 points and 10 boards. Griffin Chase had 14 points and five assists, while Derek Thompson scored 12 and Max Bjorklund had 11.
Bemidji State controlled the glass by the tune of 37-27 on the night.
UMC got off to a fast start, taking an early 14-5 lead and leading by as much as 23-13 before the Beavers surged back.
Bemidji State went on a 17-4 run to take a three-point lead with five minutes before halftime.
The rest of the first half was back-and-forth, with the Beavers going into the break up 37-36.
Bemidji State took control out of intermission with a 15-4 run, but the Golden Eagles fought back to within 55-51.
The Beavers’ hot shooting, however, continued, as they held off UMC’s charge to go up 67-56 with under seven minutes to play.
The Golden Eagles made it a two-possession game a couple minutes later, but they couldn’t bring it closer than three points.
Bemidji State hit five free throws in the final minute to close out the win.
The Beavers and Golden Eagles split for the 2019-20 season. UMC won the initial matchup, 88-72, in Crookston on Nov. 21.
UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles return in 2020 as they face St. Cloud State University Fri., Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Cloud, Minn.
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