BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State overcame early mistakes to defeat Finlandia 81-60 Tuesday at the BSU Gym.
"It was nice to go through a game where you feel some frustration," Bemidji State head coach Mike Boschee said. "It is nice to get used to that feeling before conference play begins."
Maxie Rosenbloom delivered a career night as he notched his first career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
"The team is going to need me to produce more than I have in the past," Rosenbloom said. "I have to take it upon myself to get better each game."
"Maxie is going to work extremely hard, you can count on that," Boschee said. "If he can keep growing as an offensive player, it will help everyone else on our team."
After seven minutes of play, the score was knotted at 10-10, but the Beavers created separation with a 10-0 run that built a double-digit lead.
The run was capped off by a three-pointer from Devin Bey, the first of his three connections from long distance in the half.
"When we are facing a zone defense, we have to have guys who can knock down open shots," Boschee said. "It would be nice to have made a few more tonight, but it is nice to have guys off the bench who can produce and that is what Devin can do."
In the closing minutes of the half, Jake Schalow's three-pointer gave BSU its biggest lead of the half at 37-25.
The Lions scored the final four points of the half, but still trailed 37-28 at halftime.
Zach Noreen, who was held scoreless throughout the first half, gave the Beavers a boost by scoring nine of the team's first 16 points in the second half to help push the lead back to double digits at 53-39 with 13:44 left to play.
Noreen finished with 14 points and pulled down six rebounds after being limited in the first half due to foul trouble.
"We need him to do that," Boschee said of his lone returning starter. "He needs to be one of our main guys for us to be successful."
A floater in the lane from Michael Farrington capped off a 7-0 run and gave BSU its first 20-point lead of the night at 61-41.
However, the Lions refused to go down without a fight, as they scored the next eight points to cut the lead to just 12 points. But three-pointers from Schalow and Noreen helped re-build BSU's lead to 20 points.
Lutes led the offensive attack for the Beavers with 16 points and five assists.
Dominic Morrow led the Lions with 13 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Robinson added 11 points off the bench.
"The 23 turnovers and 19 offensive rebounds were the keys to the game," Finlandia head coach Terry Smith said of the key to his team's loss. "(The Beavers) were a pretty athletic team, so that was pretty hard to stop, but we can do a better job of controlling our turnovers."
Bemidji State (2-0) returns to action Saturday when it hosts St. Scholastica at 4 p.m.
"We can improve pretty much everything," Rosenbloom said. "We got the win, which is the important thing, but in my opinion we could have played a lot better. We have to come focused with more energy."
Finlandia (0-3) continues its non-conference slate tonight at Minnesota Crookston.
"We are just focusing on our own team and getting better," Smith said. "Tonight was an improvement over the last two games and I just want to keep getting better."