Anthony Roberts tries to find the net while playing BSU. Photo courtesy of Kylie Macziewski
After a big road sweep against the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears, the Huskies were ready to get back in action against the Bemidji State Beavers. These games looked as if they’d be an easy pair to play. BSU sat second to last in the NSIC North, with a 1-7 conference record and 2-8 overall record. The Huskies were sitting two spots above at 5th in the NSIC North, coming into the weekend with a 5-5 record, and 3-3 in the conference.
These games were looking to be a pair of easy wins, right? Well, that just simply wasn’t the case.
The first game of the series at Halenbeck started off with a 6 p.m. tipoff. If you had no prior knowledge of either of these teams, you would have likely thought that Bemidji was the 5th place team instead of St. Cloud. The Huskies didn’t show much energy at the top of the half. This lack of energy combined with a bit of a messy game play lead the Beavers to an early lead.
The Huskies weren’t necessarily playing bad, they just weren’t playing well either. BSU was much more obviously fired up, wanting to tack on more conference wins after a tough start to their season so far. The Beavers were working hard, and it showed. The first half showed Bemidji completing 19 of 33 attempts from the field, and tacking on six three’s and making two of two free throws. The Huskies also had six three’s, but were lacking in regular shots – finishing only 13 of 28.
Even with SCSU lacking some focus in the first half, the score wasn’t too much of a blowout. After twenty minutes, the Beavers lead 47-34.
The second half of the game was definitely better for St. Cloud. They were able to regroup and hold Bemidji to less scoring than the first. The Huskies started to rally a bit and even outshoot BSU from the field and for three’s in the second. A big factor as to BSU holding strong though, was the team scoring on 17 of 19 free throws in the second half (ninety percent!).
Although the second half showed improvements for SCSU, it wasn’t enough to pull off the rally at the end of the game. The Beavers won the first game with a score of 88-78.
For St. Cloud, Caleb Donaldson lead in scoring with 23 points and Anthony Roberts was close behind with 22. Josh Tomasi had a double-double on the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds. As for Bemidji, Mohammed Kone had a whopping 29 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals to achieve a double-double. Former Rocori High School player Derek Thompson added 20 points as well.
On Saturday, the Huskies would look to make a comeback to get a split on the weekend. Unfortunately, things only got worse.
Saturday’s game was very similar to the first half of Friday night’s game. The Huskies looked inconsistent and unmotivated. There wasn’t any focus or drive to their playing. There really wasn’t even a point in the game where St. Cloud was close to making a comeback.
Both halves of the game were almost identical. Bemidji outscored SCSU by ten points each half (46-36 and 41-31, respectively). A main reason for BSU’s success was their 16 second chance points, nine fast break points, and 14 bench points. These were all quite a bit higher than the Huskies stats. This was also a very clean game, with a mere 10 free throws the whole game.
The game ended with an unfortunate score of 87-67, which would give Bemidji it’s first sweep of the season. Game leaders for St. Cloud were Anthony Roberts with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Caleb Donaldson with 18 points and three assists. This time for BSU, Nick Wagner was the leading scorer with 30 points. Mohammed Kone had a game high 12 rebounds and eight assists. Derek Thompson also added on 20 to the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, the lost an easy weekend against Bemidji and will move down in the conference standings. As of now, SCSU is sixth, with an overall record of 5-7 and a conference record of 3-5. Minnesota Duluth took St. Cloud’s spot to move up to fifth. Bemidji stays where they were previously at seventh. This puts the Huskies in a dangerous spot, as only the top four teams will make it into the NSIC tournament at the end of the month.
St. Cloud will need to (most likely) sweep the next two weekends to make the postseason tournament. They also need to hope that some of the top teams lose this weekend. Without leadership from senior Ilya Tyrtyshnik (injured), it’ll definitely be a challenge.
There are only two weekends left in the regular season. This weekend, the Huskies will face off against the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Crookston is last in the NSIC North standings; sitting 2-10 overall and 1-9 in the conference. This should, hopefully, be an easy pair of games for the Huskies. Tipoff on Friday in Crookston is set for 5:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game will be at 1:30 p.m..
Sydney is a Mass Communications major with a focus in Creative Media Production and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric Studies and will be graduating in Spring of 2021. Sydney is UTVS News Director and the music director at KVSC. She is also a nationally qualified speaker on the speech and debate team. In her free time she loves to play music, watch SCSU hockey games, and play dorky video games with her friends. Connect with her on social media @sydneyisawolf.