BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State men’s basketball team (4-1; 1-0 NSIC, 1-0 NSIC North) opens its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference home schedule Dec. 6-7 when it hosts St. Cloud State University (5-0; 1-0 NSIC, 1-0 NSIC North) and University of Minnesota Duluth (2-3; 0-1 NSIC, 0-1 NSIC North). Friday’s contest against SCSU is set for an 8 p.m. start, while the tip for Saturday is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.
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The Beavers went 3-1 in nonconference play and started the NSIC season with a 78-63 victory at Minnesota Crookston. BSU recorded a 13-0 run to close the final three minutes of the first half to post a 14-point lead at the break and never trailed by less than 10 the rest of the way. The Beavers shot 50 percent from the field, while they held UMC to 41.4 percent. Junior Brock Lutes totaled 23 points, while senior Zach Noreen recorded his first-career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Noreen leads the NSIC in scoring (19.8 ppg), senior Michael Farrington is first in steals (2.8 spg), while senior Maxie Rosenbloom is second in rebounding (9.0 rpg). As a team, the Beavers guide the NSIC in assists (18.8 apg), steals (12.6 spg) and blocks (6.2 bpg).
The St. Cloud State men’s basketball team is a perfect 5-0 after posting a 4-0 mark in nonconference play and downing Minnesota Duluth 86-65, Nov. 30. James Fort totaled a game-high 20 points, while Matt Craggs added eight points and 11 rebounds. Jordan Poydras leads a group of four players averaging in double figures with 15.6 points per game. The Huskies lead the NSIC in turnover margin (+6.8) and assist to turnover ratio (2.0 ratio). SCSU is coached by Kevin Schlagel, who is in his 17th and final season as the Huskies’ bench boss.
Bemidji State owns a 43-93 all-time record against SCSU. The teams each won at home last season, with the Beavers downing the then-No. 22 Huskies 75-71 in Bemidji, Minn., which snapped a seven-game losing steak in the series. BSU lost on the road 68-60.
The Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball team is 2-3 overall and 0-1 in NSIC play after falling at SCSU 86-65. Peter Crawford led the Bulldogs with 14 points and Jack Connors came off the bench to contribute 12 points and four rebounds. Crawford leads UMD with 13.0 points per game. Reece Zoelle has 11.4 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. The Bulldogs are averaging 65.4 points per game, which stands 16th in the NSIC. UMD head coach Matt Bowen is in his second season. Bowen served as Bemidji State’s head coach for six seasons from 2006-2012.
BSU is 42-85 all-time against UMD, but are 7-1 in the last eight meetings, which include a season sweep last season. The Beavers won on the road 66-55 and at home 79-64.
NSIC Preseason Poll/BSU’s Player to Watch
Coming off an 18-12 overall record and a 13-9 league mark a season ago, the Bemidji State men’s basketball team was tabbed to finish 12th in the 2013-14 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Beavers were pegged to finish sixth in the NSIC North Division, while senior forward Zach Noreen (Avon, Minn.) was deemed BSU’s Player to Watch.
Against Ranked Opponents
In the first season under Mike Boschee, the Beavers went 3-3 versus nationally ranked opponents. The Beavers are 10-25 in the last eight seasons versus nationally ranked opponents.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).