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Hot Shooting Leads Wildcat Men To Upset Win Over Bemidji

Posted: 27 February, 2014

BEMIDJI, MN - The Wayne State College men’s basketball team drained a season-high12 3-pointers en route to an 88-76 win over Bemidji State Wednesday evening in the first round of the NSIC Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament played at BSU Gymnasium in Bemidji, Minnesota. Wayne State, now 9-18 after snapping an 11-game losing streak, advances to play Southwest Minnesota State Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls in the quarterfinals of the tournament.  Bemidji State is 19-8.
           
The opening half went back and forth between the Wildcats and Beavers, with a pair of ties and four lead changes in the first 20 minutes of play. After Bemidji State converted a pair of free throws to open the game, Ryan Rolfzen drained his first three pointer of the game to take a 3-2 lead just two minutes in. A basket from BSU’s Brock Lutes swung the edge back to the Beavers before Rolfzen converted on a jumper to take back the lead, 5-4 with 17:16 to play in the opening half.
           
Back-to-back Beaver layups stretched their lead before Rolfzen again converted—his third straight basket for the visiting Wildcats. Bemidji extended their lead to six before back-to-back baskets from Ty Bauschek and Jared Bartling, along with a Bartling free throw, pulled the game to within one, 18-17 advantage Bemidji State, with 11:39 in the opening frame.
           
Rolfzen struck again, knocking down a three-pointer to answer a Bemidji jumper and knot the game at 20-20 just under 10 minutes to play. An old-fashioned three-point play from Zach Noreen was again answered by Rolfzen, draining his third trifecta of the half to keep the game tied 23-23 with 8:14 in the opening half.
           
The Beavers would extend their lead to as many as seven (41-34) with just under two minutes to play in the half, before WSC scored four of the last six points to trail by just five, 43-38, heading into the locker room at the break.
           
WSC finished the opening half shooting 53.6 percent from the floor, with Rolfzen leading the charge with 18 first half points.  
           
Wayne State stormed out of the locker room after the break, going on a 21-2 run over the first five minutes of the second half to take a 59-47 lead with just 15 minutes to play.

After Brock Lutes scored the first basket of the half for the Beavers, Bauschek and Adol Aluong each drained a pair of three-pointers, and Bauschek added a pair of jumpers to take their first lead since the first half, 55-45 Wildcats with 15:37 to play.  

A Bartling layup and jumper sandwiched a Michael Farrington layup, extending the Wildcat lead to 59-47 with 14:17 remaining in the game. Bauschek scored the next five points on back-to-back possessions—dropping in a layup before taking a pass and draining a trifecta to put the Wildcats up 64-49, their largest lead of the game, with 10:59 to play.

The Beavers would continue to try and pull closer, closing the gap to eight, 73-65, with 5:24 remaining in the game. Another Rolfzen three-pointer pushed the lead back to double-figures, 76-65 with just under five to play.

As the Beavers would push, including using three free throws to pull the game to within six points (80-74), WSC would knock down the final six straight free throws to hold off any comeback bid by the home team.

Ty Bauschek led the Wildcats with 27 points and seven boards on the night, while Rolfzen added 23 points, finishing 5-13 from outside the arc. Jared Bartling finished a perfect 6-6 from the floor, finishing with 19 points, while Adol Aloung added 15 points.

Wayne State shot 55.2 percent from the floor on the night, knocking down 32 of 58 shots. The Wildcats finished 12-30 from beyond the arc, draining 40 percent of their shots.

Bemidji State was led offensively by Lutes, who finished with 22 points. Noreen and Rosenbloom chipped in 17 and 13 points, respectively.
           
WSC out-rebounded Bemidji State 31-28 thanks to nine rebounds from Aluong.  Both teams had just eight turnovers in the contest.



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