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Hot Shooting leads Bemidji State Past Augustana

Devin Gilligan, Augustana Vikings vs Bemidji State Beavers
Gene Smith/Augustana College

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Bemidji State shot a school record 71.2 percent from the field in a 97-79 win over Augustana (9-6, 6-3 NSIC) on Friday night in Sioux Falls. The win marks the first ever for Bemidji State (9-4, 6-3 NSIC) at the Elmen Center.

The Beavers shot lights out from the get-go hitting 37 of 52 shots from the field, including 11 of 19 (58 percent) from 3-point range. Bemidji State finished the first half shooting 75 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from 3-point range hitting seven in the first 20 minutes.

Brock Lutes led BSU with a career-high 34 points on 11 of 13 shooting while hitting 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 8 of 8 from the free throw line.

Zach Noreen added 24 points for Bemidji State, knocking down 5 of 9 from 3-point range and finishing the game 9 of 14 from the field. Five players from Bemidji State finished in double-figures as Maxie Rosenbloom added 13 points while Michael Farrington and Jake Schalow each added 12.

Augustana finished the game shooting 42.6 percent (25 of 54) from the field, including 9 of 21 (43 percent) from 3-point range. The Vikings hit 24 of 26 shots from the free throw line for a season-high 92.3 percent from the line.

Casey Schilling led Augustana with 18 points and five rebounds on the night. Daniel Jansen added 13 points and five rebounds going 4 of 4 from the free throw line. Yuriy Malashenko finished with nine points and four rebounds, grabbing three offensive boards.

Both teams started off slow from the field in the first four minutes, playing to a 7-7 tie through the first four minutes but Bemidji State pulled ahead 15-7 after an 8-0 run sparked by consecutive 3-pointers by Noreen and Lutes.

BSU extended its run to 17-5 taking a 24-12 lead with 10:44 left in the first half before Malashenko stopped the bleeding surge with two free throws. Noreen answered right back for Bemidji State knocking down his fourth 3-pointer of the half to push his team’s lead to 27-14.

Malashenko brought the Vikings within 11 at 27-16 but it was all Bemidji State for the remainder of the first half as the Beavers took a 20-point lead at halftime.

BSU led 52-32 at halftime after shooting 75 percent (21 of 28) from the field in the first half, knocking down 7 of 11 from 3-point range. Lutes did not miss a shot in the first half for Bemidji State, going 8 of 8 from the field, 3 of 3 from 3-point range and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Noreen added 16 points for the Beavers in the first half on 6 of 9 shooting, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Augustana couldn’t get it going in the first half finishing 32.1 percent (9 of 28) from the field, including 2 of 8 from 3-point range. However, the Vikings were 12 of 12 from the free throw line in the half, led by Malashenko and Devin Gilligan who each were 4 of 4 from the stripe. Malashenko led Augustana with nine points and four rebounds in the half.

The two teams’ battled back-and-fort for the first three and a half minutes of the second half as Bemidji State led 57-37 with 17:28 remaining in the game. The Vikings would not go away quietly as they slowly chipped away at Bemidji State’s lead by going on an 18-10 run over the next 7:30 to get within 12 at 67-55 back-ended by five straight points from Ben Shellim off the bench.

BSU hit two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push its lead back up to 17 but the Vikings scored eight of the next 10 points and Schilling hit a 3-pointer to bring the Vikings within 11 at 77-66 with 5:08 left to play.

That was as close as Augustana would get as Bemidji State was able to push their lead back up to 20 and go on to win89-79 for its first ever win at the Elmen Center.

Augustana returns to action Saturday night hosting Minnesota-Crookston at 6 p.m. at the Elmen Center.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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