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Beaver Fever Friday – Zach Baumgartner – @BSUBeaversMBB

Beavers Wrap Up Non Conference Play In Florida

Five Beavers reached double-digit scoring Tuesday night as Bemidji State University took a 74-69 win over Palm Beach Atlantic University in the opening game of the Jay McCormick Classic. Junior forward Logan Bader scored a career-high 21 points while junior guard Jacob McNallan recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to move the Beavers to 3-0 on the season.

Bemidji State allowed just one field goal to Palm Beach Atlantic over the first eight minutes of action, allowing Bader to lead the team to a 12-0 run. He converted an and-one opportunity to begin the run and scored eight of the 12 points in the run. Sophomore forward Zach Baumgartner capped the run with a jumper to put BSU ahead, 18-5, but was just getting heated up while scoring nine straight points for the Beavers.

Junior guard Jacob McNallan hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give BSU its largest lead of the game at 16 points, 34-18. Bader opened the second half with a 3-pointer to give the Beavers a 39-28 lead, although the Sailfish scored 15 of the next 17 points. PBA took its first lead since early in the first half following a 10-0 run and was able to extend its lead to a game-high seven points, 56-49, with 10:57 remaining in the game.

Bader converted two of his four 3-pointers on the night on back-to-back possessions to bring BSU back within one point. Sophomore forward Derek Thompson followed with two free throws to retake the lead. Bader sparked another run with just over five minutes to play that put BSU ahead by the final margin of five points. The Beavers held the Sailfish to two field goals over the final 5:27 of play and just one over the final 2:47.

Bader was two rebounds shy of a double-double while junior guard Ja Morgan finished with 10 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Bader finished 8-of-14 shooting from the field, leading Bemidji State to 27-of-50 shooting (54.0 percent). The Beavers won the rebound margin handedly, 40-29.

Sophomore forward Derek Thompson continued his hot start to the season Wednesday with his second double-double in Bemidji State University men’s basketball’s 73-72 buzzer-beater loss to University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon in West Palm Beach, Fla. The Beavers suffer their first loss of the season despite 22 points and 11 rebounds from Thompson and 16 points from sophomore guard Jacob Hoffman.

Hoffman helped pull BSU out of an early 8-3 hole with three consecutive 3-pointers, his only points of the first half, to give the Beavers their first lead of the game, 14-10. The two programs went back-and-forth before a 14-2 run by UPR-Bayamon to take a 35-24 lead with 4:49 in the half. Bemidji State’s defense held UPR-Bayamon without a field goal for the remainder of the half while the offense scored nine straight points to cut the halftime deficit to four points, 37-33.

Thompson scored the first four points of the second half to tie the game, while junior guard Jacob McNallan hit two free throws to give BSU its first lead since midway through the first half. Following back-to-back 3-pointers by UPR-Bayamon, Thompson added four more points followed by Hoffman’s fourth 3-pointer of the day. Hoffman closed out an 11-2 run with his 16th point of the game, putting the Beavers ahead, 54-49, at the 11:19 mark.

The Beavers made four field goals over the next five minutes before going on a cold spell to finish the game. Junior forward Logan Bader hit a 3-pointer with 6:25 to go for BSU’s final shot from the field, giving the Beavers a 63-57 lead. The final nine points for BSU came from the free throw line while going 0-for-4 from the floor in the final stretch. Despite the shooting drought, Bemidji State was able to use the free throws to hold a late lead, 72-71, with five seconds in the game. UPR-Bayamon called a timeout following two BSU free throws and sank a buzzer-beater to overcome BSU’s lead.

Bemidji State gave away 24 turnovers to UPR-Bayamon, although both squads totaled 16 points off turnovers through the game. The Beavers won the rebound margin, 43-26, and outshot the Cowboys, 49 to 40 percent, despite the loss. Bemidji State gave up 10 3-pointers in the game while scoring just five, including three from Hoffman in the first half.

Thompson has now recorded two double-doubles in four games this season after going without one last season. He began the game shooting 10-of-11 from the field before finishing 11-of-16 in 36 minutes of action. Hoffman led BSU with four 3-pointers while McNallan scored 13 points and freshman Max Bjorklund totaled 10.

Bemidji State begins the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season Saturday, Dec. 1 at home against University of Minnesota Crookston. The conference schedule will begin at 4 p.m. as the Beavers and Golden Eagles tip-off at BSU Gymnasium.