Bemidji State returns home to host Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State

Bemidji State returns home to host Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Bemidji State returns home to host Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team hosts alumni weekend while facing University of Minnesota Duluth Saturday, Jan. 9 and St. Cloud State University Sunday, Jan. 10 at the Sanford Center. The Beavers (6-6, 3-5 NSIC) aim to split the season series after facing the Bulldogs (11-3, 7-1 NSIC) and Huskies (6-8, 3-5 NSIC) earlier this season.

The Series

  • Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth have met 132 times. The series, which began with a Beavers’ 28-26 win Feb. 21, 1931, is led by UMD 87-45. The two teams met Dec. 5, 2015 in Duluth, Minn., as the Bulldogs pulled out the win, 74-67. Three Beavers reached 17 points in the first matchup while Ben Best recorded his second of three double-doubles on the season.
  • The Beavers-Huskies series is the third longest in Bemidji State program history. The 142-game rivalry, which began in 1922, is led by St. Cloud State, 97-45. BSU fell in the most recent matchup, 80-62, Dec. 4, 2015 in St. Cloud, Minn. The Beavers fell into an 8-0 hole early and could only climb to a two-point deficit the rest of the way.

Fast Break Bemidji State

  • Bemidji State was swept in North Dakota last weekend, losing to Minot State University, 77-73, Jan. 2 and University of Mary, 92-80, Jan. 3.
  • After Bemidji State took a quick 5-0 lead against Minot State, MSU used a 29-11 run to take control of the game. Best recorded two of his career-high three 3-pointers to spark a 10-2 run and pull BSU within four points at halftime. After taking a 66-61 lead later in the game, Best needed to make his final shot from behind the arc to tie the game at 73. MSU free throw conversions and BSU missed 3-pointers sealed the game for Minot State.
  • U-Mary started the game on an 11-3 run while BSU pulled within one point minutes later. Fourteen BSU turnovers and a 30 percent field goal percentage led to a 43-22 lead for U-Mary in the opening period. After the Marauders gained a game-high lead of 24 points, 70-46, halfway through the second half, the Beavers began a 23-6 run to give them a chance. Another quick run by U-Mary solidified the win.
  • Best totaled 24 points, four shy of a career high, while shooting 9-of-13 from the field against MSU. He averaged 17 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on the road trip.
  • Senior Irvin Womack averaged 12.5 points per game, including a career-high 17 points at Minot State. He also pulled down five rebounds per game while shooting 80 percent from the charity stripe.
  • The Beavers shot 43.3 percent (55-127) from the field and 39.2 percent (20-51) from behind the arc. BSU averaged 33 rebounds, 14.5 assists and 13 turnovers.
  • Bemidji State is averaging 73.8 points per game, 12th in the NSIC, while allowing 70.1 points, third in the NSIC. BSU pulls down 37.3 rebounds and allows 36.5 rebounds per game.
  • BSU is shooting 43.4 percent (321-740) from the floor while allowing 43.3 percent (298-689) from the field and 36.4 percent (76-209) from 3-point land.
  • Best leads the team and ranks 19th in the NSIC with 13.8 points per game. He also leads the team shooting 60.4 percent (67-111) from the field (second in the NSIC) while totaling 6.3 rebounds per game (13th in the NSIC) and 1.5 blocks (second in the NSIC).
  • Elijah Valdez ranks second on the team with 9.0 points per game on 34 percent (34-100) from the field. William Harvey ranks second on the team with 6.1 rebounds per game.

Scouting Minnesota Duluth

  • The Bulldogs opened the 2016 calendar year with two NSIC and one non-conference wins at Romano Gymnasium in Duluth. UMD first took down Concordia University-St. Paul, 85-83 in overtime, before beating No. 25 Minnesota State University Mankato, 91-84, in NSIC action. Minnesota Duluth also took a win from University of Wisconsin-Superior, 88-63, Jan. 6.
  • The Golden Bears held a seven-point second-half lead against the Bulldogs before UMD sent the game to overtime to pull out the win. Against the Mavericks, a strong second-half shooting effort sent UMD to its third straight conference win. Strong rebounding and shots from behind the arc against the Yellow Jackets sealed the Bulldogs’ final win heading into Saturday’s game.
  • Two players averaged 20+ points during the two NSIC games, as Taylor Lavery scored 29 and 30 points while Pierre Newton totaled two 23 points outings. Newton recorded his fourth double-double of the season versus Minnesota State.
  • Minnesota Duluth averages 80.7 points per game while allowing 77.3. The Bulldogs shoot 45.2 percent (360-797) from the field and 38.3 percent (292-398) from behind the arc, while allowing 43.4 percent (370-852) from the field and 33.8 percent (106-314) from long range. Newton, with 18.9 points per game, and Lavery, with 18.2 points, rank third and fifth in the NSIC, respectively.

Scouting St. Cloud State

  • The Huskies enter the weekend off a NSIC split at Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud. SCSU first fell to No. 25 Minnesota State, 86-71, before rebounding versus Concordia-St. Paul, 96-71.
  • Despite shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half against the Mavericks, the Huskies allowed 12 points off turnovers to fall into a 44-34 halftime deficit. SCSU flipped the bill in the second with 13 points off turnovers, but a sub-40 percent shooting effort denied a comeback. Eddie Alcantara led SCSU with 20 points off the bench.
  • SCSU bounced back with a big first half against CSP, taking a 53-34 halftime lead followed by a 43-37 margin in the second half. Gage Davis led the team with 32 points while Scottie Stone put up 22.
  • St. Cloud State averages 83.4 points per game, ranking fifth in the NSIC, while allowing 75.8. The Huskies are shooting 47.1 percent (432-918) from the field and 37.2 percent (119-320) from behind the arc, while allowing 46.5 percent (364-782) from the floor and 38.5 percent (115-299) on 3-pointers. Davis ranks second in the NSIC with 20.3 points and eighth with 6.9 rebounds per game while Stone ranks seventh with 17 points.

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).