UMN Crookston men's basketball opens new year with 70-46 loss to Bemidji State
The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team struggled shooting the ball Sunday, January 2 as they fell 70-46 to Bemidji State University to open the New Year. The Golden Eagles shot just 18.2 percent from the field in the first half, and 26.3 for the game.
The Golden Eagles dropped to 4-10 (1-7 NSIC) with Sunday’s loss. Bemidji State improved to 6-6 (3-5 NSIC) with the victory. The two teams split the season series as the Golden Eagles defeated the Beavers 67-57 November 23 in Crookston, Minn.
“Early in the game we had some good looks but we weren’t able to knock down the shots,” said Head Coach Dan Weisse. “We let them dictate our offense a little bit too much. I thought defensively overall we did some good things. We gave up a few too many looks in transition and too many points in the paint. We got to the free throw line 25 times, which I don’t know if that will happen the rest of the year but we only made 12 shots. We need to regroup and get ready for next weekend at home.”
Minnesota Crookston was led by Leonard Dixon (R-Jr., F, Damascus, Ore.) with 14 points and seven rebounds. Uzo Dibiamaka (R-So., G, Adelaide, South Australia) added 10 points. Ethan Channel (R-Jr., G, Beaverton, Ore.) finished with seven points. Brian Sitzmann (R-Sr., G, Savage, Minn.) added six points and seven rebounds
The Golden Eagles were 15-of-57 from the field for 26.3 percent. They shot 4-of-25 from beyond the arc for 16.0 percent, and 12-of-25 for 48.0 percent from the foul line. The Beavers had the 43-36 rebounding edge.
The Beavers jumped out to a 6-3 advantage on a fast-break basket from Bianco. The Golden Eagles countered with a 4-0 run as a pair of free throws from Sitzmann gave UMN Crookston a 7-6 lead. Bemidji State responded with an 11-3 run as an Albrecht basket put Bemidji State ahead 17-10.
Minnesota Crookston broke an over seven minute scoring drought as Dibiamaka hit 1-of-2 from the stripe to trim the deficit to 17-11 with 5:17 left in the first half. Bemidji State then broke an over four minute scoring drought for themselves as Thompson found Albrecht in the post to widen the lead to 19-11. Albrecht converted on another basket to extend the advantage to 10 at 21-11 with 4:29 remaining in the first stanza. Minnesota Crookston broke a 4-0 run as Zach Westphal (Sr., G, West Fargo, N.D.) hit 1-of-2 from the line to cut the deficit to 21-12 with 3:39 left in the half. The Golden Eagles made it a 3-0 run with a Zen Goodridge (R-Jr., F/C, Orlando, Fla.) bucket to cut the Beaver lead to 21-14. Seven-straight points from Thompson extended the Bemidji State lead to 30-16 with 1:13 left in the stanza. The Beavers would go into the half with the 30-16 advantage.
Minnesota Crookston opened up the scoring in the second half as Dixon drained a triple to cut the Beaver lead to 30-19 with just over 19 minutes remaining in the game. A pair of free throws from Dibiamaka brought the Golden Eagles within nine at 30-21. Bemidji State broke a nearly three minute scoring drought with a Thompson hook to extend the lead to 32-21. Albrecht scored his 13th point of the game to widen the gap to 34-21 with 16:44 remaining. The Golden Eagles were able to pull within 10 (38-28) as Dixon sank a trey. However, Thompson came right back on the other end with a triple of his own to push the BSU lead back out to 41-28. The Golden Eagles were able to get the deficit back within 10 as Goodridge scored a pair. Bemidji State came back with back-to-back treys from Mohamed Kone and Bianco to push out to a 49-33 advantage with 11:25 left in the game. The Beavers extended their lead to 19 at 56-37 with a Jayce Lowman trey. Minnesota Crookston broke a nearly four minute scoring lull with a Dixon put-back as UMN Crookston pulled within 58-39. The Golden Eagles got the deficit down to 18, but the Beavers were able to jump back out to a 23-point advantage on a Bianco three-pointer with 4:58 remaining. Bemidji State didn’t give in down the stretch as they picked up the 70-46 victory.
Minnesota Crookston returns to action Friday, January 7 as they host Upper Iowa University at 5:30 p.m. at Gary Senske Court at Lysaker Gymnasium.