Head coach Seth Anderson knew it would take the Buccaneers' best effort to beat one of the favored teams in the conference and section.
St. James defeated the Bucs 83-46 last Thursday night in St. James.
Luke Monson registered another double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but the maroon and gold could not stop the Saints from shooting over 50 percent from the field and three point range.
St. James jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before Derek Johnson stopped the run with a three-pointer.
The Saints used three three-pointers to extend their first half lead to 28-13.
St. James ended the half on a 6-0 run going into the break with a decisive 47-27 lead.
BEA came out of the half with a 9-3 run, but could not stop the Saints red hot shooting, according to coach Seth Anderson.
"They shot lights out and took us out of our comfort zone," Anderson says.
St. James finished the game outscoring BEA 18-4.
BEA 77, St. Peter 67
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers almost let their third win of the season slip away in their first game of the new year.
BEA pulled through and defeated St. Peter 77-67 on the Bucs home floor, Jan. 3.
The maroon and gold relied on nine consecutive free throws made down the stretch and a massive double-double from Luke Monson.
Monson had 26 points and a season-high 20 rebounds for his fifth double-double in the last six games.
Bailey Olson also contributed with 17 points and nine rebounds.
"I was pleased we got more balanced production and hit the boards hard," coach Seth Anderson says. "We made more intelligent plays overall."
Quinn Huisman helped fill up the stat sheet with 11 points, six assists and nine rebounds for the Bucs.
The Bucs jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead before the Saints scored their first basket of the night.
Conor Barnett, Bailey Olson and Luke Monson then made three 3-pointers in a row giving the home team a 14-4 advantage.
Guard Derek Johnson also hit an early three pointer. As a team, the Buccaneers shot 25 percent from behind the arc, with all four field goals coming in the first eight minutes of the game.
BEA was not allowing any second chance points early. Four Bucs had six or more rebounds in the game. Overall, the maroon and gold finished with an impressive 31 offensive rebounds.
The lead grew to nine for the Buccaneers as they headed to halftime, 40-31.
The visitors got back into the game with full court pressure defense and cut the lead to one with an Aaron Leeb three-pointer, 45-44.
Monson single-handedly gave the Bucs the lead again. He scored 10 points in a 14-2 run for the maroon and gold giving them a 59-46 lead with 6:25 remaining in the game.
The Saints continued to apply pressure and moved the ball from side to side, finding open shots down the stretch versus the Buc's zone defense.
With 1:35 left, St. Peter cut the lead to five, 68-63, but that was as close as they would get. BEA finished the game by sinking free throws and rebounding the Saints' missed shots.
For the Saints, Tom Steidler shot 4-for-9 from three-point range, scoring 26 points. Kolin Bartlett also contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds for St. Peter.