Tyrese Shines bounced to his left, loaded up and threw up a fadeaway prayer as the shot clock ran down.
It caught nothing but nylon, and all of a sudden, Minnesota Crookston men's basketball was within three points of Minot State after having trailed by as much as 16.
But upon review, the referees determined the ball was still touching Shines' fingertips when the shot clock hit zero, and waved off the basket.
The Beavers promptly went on an 18-3 run, taking a 21-point lead and ultimately sending the Golden Eagles to a 91-68 loss on Saturday at Lysaker Gymnasium.
"I don't know if we felt sorry for ourselves or what," said head coach Dan Weisse. "... But I just felt that we lost momentum, and it didn't have to be that way."
UMC fell to 9-11 and 5-9 in NSIC play, failing to build off a 71-68 win over the University of Mary on Friday night. Minot State improved to 9-11 and 3-11 after its third straight win.
The Golden Eagles, down starters Brian Sitzmann (R-So., G) and Javier Nicolau (Sr., C) for a second straight game, came out sharp from the field, but so did the Beavers, who led 30-29 just 10 minutes into the game.
UMC went scoreless for the next four minutes, however, and hit just two field goals the rest of the half. Minot State took full advantage, going on a 20-5 run behind behind the hot shooting of Kyle Beisch and the penetration of point guard Max Cody.
"Our scouting report was to keep Max Cody out of the paint, and that was rare when he wasn't in the paint, so shame on us for that," Weisse said. "We were lunging at things, doing some things that were undisciplined."
Down 53-38 at halftime, the Golden Eagles were undeterred. Harrison Cleary (Sr., G) began the half by hitting a tightly-guarded stepback three, and scored nine points in the first three minutes to put UMC within four.
Shines' three, had it counted, would have put the Golden Eagles on the doorstep. Instead, four points was as close as they got. The Beavers resumed doing everything they had done in the first half, taking a 73-52 lead with nine minutes to play by slowing the game down and methodically working the ball around for easy looks.
"Their two guards got wherever they wanted," Cleary said. "Our bigs were having to come up and help, and they were just getting drop-offs and making jump shots."
From the 18:02 mark in the second half to the 7:30 mark, UMC made only one field goal.
"We did not match their energy," Weisse said. "They came out and dictated the pace of the game. We played on our heels and they were in attack mode."
Cleary scored 27 points, while Shines added 14. But as a team, the Golden Eagles shot just 34.5 percent from the floor and 25.9 percent from deep.
Minot State, meanwhile, made 67.3 percent of its shots and 64 percent of its 3-pointers. Beisch put up 28 points on just 13 shots while assisting on nine baskets, Cody scored 22 points and dished six assists, and Kody Dwyer, the recipient of many of Beisch and Cody's dumpoffs, scored 19 points on 75 percent shooting.
"You're not gonna win many games when you're giving up that percentage," Weisse said. "Doesn't matter who you're playing. You go from being pretty excited about a nice win to disappointed tonight. But I tell our guys we can't feel sorry. We just gotta keep our head down and keep moving forward."
UP NEXT: Minnesota Crookston is at home on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. to take on Southwest Minnesota State. The Mustangs are 6-14 and 3-11 in NSIC play.
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