It may not be March yet, but the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons and Bemidji State University Beavers sure made it feel like the MADNESS has begun!
In a game that saw both teams make runs, one thing was for sure, they weren’t going to run for one other.
The first five minutes went back and forth with the Dragons leading 14-10 at the 14:19 mark of the first half. The early lead was fueled by a pair of Jacob Beeninga three-pointers.
Bemidji went punch-for-punch with MSUM over the next five minutes, but the Dragons still led 23-18 heading into the under-10 timeout with 9:33 to go in the opening half.
MSUM would end the half on a 17-12 run, taking a 40-30 lead to the locker room. The first half saw all seven Dragons who checked into the game score at least one bucket, led by Jacob Beeninga’s 11 points. Dane Zimmer was on his way to a second straight tournament double-double with four points and nine rebounds. Freshman forward Logan Kinsey chipped in six points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Then. The second half began. The first 10 minutes of the half the Dragons and Beavers went shot-for-shot with MSUM leading 57-47 at the 10:18 mark of the second half. Seconds later with 10:01 remaining in the game Johnny Tennyson hit a three-pointer for the Beavers making the score 57-50… At that moment everything changed and Bemidji State took over. The Beavers would outscore the Dragons 21-10 in the span of 8:09 capped off by a Mohamed Kone three-pointer, giving BSU the 71-67 lead with 1:52 on the game clock.
After the 1:52 mark everything that makes sense goes out the window.
1:43: R.J. Smith fouled Lorenzo McGhee on a drive to the hoop earning him two free throws. Both fall. 71-69.
1:32: Beeninga fouls Kone who hits both free throws. 73-69.
1:17: McGhee drives into the lane for a layup. 73-71.
0:45: John Sutherland 2-point shot. 75-71.
0:34: Gavin Baumgartner fouled by Tennyson on a layup. And-one free throw is good. 75-74.
0:22: Kinsey fouls Sutherland on a dunk attempt. Both free throws were good. 77-74.
0:17: Sutherland fouls McGhee on a drive. He makes both free throws. 77-76.
Okay, let's regroup. The Beavers are looking to inbound the basketball in the front court with 0:17 on the game clock, leading MSUM 77-76. BSU gets the ball into Kone, who is immediately fouled by Zimmer.
Kone heads to the free throw line for a one-and-one *Kone made all four previous free throws*
The free throw bounces off the rim and is rebounded by McGhee with 0:13 remaining. The Dragons would settle into their offense moving the ball around the perimeter, eventually finding McGhee in the right wing with time winding down.
3… McGhee steps back. 2… McGhee leaves the hardwood to attempt a jumper. 1… McGhee releases the jumper.
DRAGONS WIN 78-77.
Lorenzo McGhee hits the game-winning buzzer beater to lift the Dragons past the Beavers in the NSIC tournament semifinals!
The Dragons will now square off with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the NSIC tournament championship game at 7 p.m.
Game coverage will be available on WDAY Radio (AM 970/FM 93.1) beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Jacob Beeninga 22 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl
Lorenzo McGhee 16 pts, 5 reb
Gavin Baumgartner 12 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast
Dane Zimmer 12 pts, 15 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk
Jaden Stanley-Williams 6 pts, 1 reb
Logan Linsey 6 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast
Trever Kaiser 4 pts, 1 ast
John Sutherland 26 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk
Mohamed Kone 22 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl
Johnny Tennyson 17 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk
Dalton Albrecht 8 pts, 10 reb, 3 ast
R.J. Smith 4 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast