BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State men’s basketball team travels south to face Southwest Minnesota State University and University of Sioux Falls Feb. 5-6 with three weeks remaining in the regular season. The Beavers (10-10, 7-9 NSIC) are searching to gain position in the NSIC North Division standings as the Mustangs (10-11, 6-10 NSIC) and Cougars (13-9, 8-8 NSIC) play host.
- Southwest Minnesota State leads the 46-year series against Bemidji State, 51-40, while winning its first meeting in six tries last season. The teams have met every year since 1970 after kicking off the series in 1968 during the Southwest Invitational.
- Bemidji State and Sioux Falls continue a short series that dates back to Nov. 20, 2011. The series record is tied, 2-2, as the Beavers took the first two wins of the series. The Cougars have followed with two straight wins in Sioux Falls, S.D. and Bemidji. USF became a member of the NSIC prior to the 2012-13 season.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- Bemidji State split its weekend versus Winona State, an 84-77 loss, and Upper Iowa, a 90-80 win. The split is the fourth consecutive time going .500 in its two-game weekend.
- BSU held a 15-point lead in the first half before trimmed it to one, 33-32, at halftime against WSU. The Beavers regained a double-digit lead in the second half while the Warriors went on a 9-0 run in the final minutes to take the lead for good.
- The Beavers held the Peacocks in check during the first half, limiting them to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 18.2 percent from behind the arc. Despite a 60.7 percent shooting effort in the second half from UIU, BSU forced 10 turnovers and converted 23-of-28 shots from the free throw line.
- Senior DJ Anderson continued a streak of leading the Beavers’ point allocation while averaging 12 points and 7.5 assists per game. Fellow senior Irvin Womack led BSU in scoring over the weekend with 15.5 points per game, including 15 against WSU and 16 against UIU.
- Anderson is averaging 8.5 assists per game in BSU’s last four contests, totaling at least six each game. Prior to that stretch, Anderson had reached six assists in a game just once this season.
- Bemidji State’s 90-80 win was the team’s first by a margin larger than one point since beating Minnesota Crookston, 72-65, Dec. 18
- The Beavers shot 46 percent (52-113) from the field and 35.6 percent (16-45) from behind the arc. BSU held its opponents to 46.4 percent (51-110) from the field and 36.8 percent (14-38) from long-range.
- Bemidji State is averaging 74.9 points per game, 13th in the NSIC, while allowing 74.1 points, fourth in the league. BSU pulls down 36.3 rebounds and allows 35.7 rebounds per game.
- BSU is shooting 44.3 percent (533-1,203) from the floor while allowing 44.6 percent (513-1,151) from the field and 39.5 percent (141-357) from 3-point land.
- Junior Ben Best leads the team and ranks 22nd in the NSIC averaging 13.1 points per game. He also leads the team shooting 53.9 percent (103-191) from the field (fifth in the NSIC) while totaling 5.6 rebounds (17th in the NSIC) and 1.1 blocks (seventh in the NSIC) per game.
- Anderson ranks second on the team with 11 points per game, while Calvin Harrington follows with 9.7. Will Harvey leads BSU with 5.8 rebounds per game, 16th in the NSIC, and has one double-double on the season.
Scouting Southwest Minnesota State
- Southwest Minnesota State was swept by St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth, allowing 100-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time since the 1989-90 season. SMSU faces BSU with a 10-11 record overall and a 6-10 mark in the NSIC.
- The Mustangs and Huskies played in a shootout as SMSU fell to open the weekend, 103-94. Both teams shot better than 55 percent during the first half and headed into the locker room with a 57-54 score in favor of the Huskies. SCSU held SMSU to 35.1 percent shooting from the floor and 14.3 percent from long range in the second half.
- In another high-scoring affair, SMSU came up short to UMD on the road, 103-88. The Mustangs took a 47-45 lead into halftime before a 24-0 run by the Bulldogs gave them the lead for good. Freshman Taylor Schafer led SMSU with 23 points and six 3-pointers.
- Southwest Minnesota State averages 78.8 points per game while allowing 81.6. The Mustangs shoot 48.7 percent (597-1,226) from the field and 35.9 percent (147-409) from 3-point land, while allowing 49.2 percent (651-1,304) from the field and a conference-high 42.9 percent (195-455) from long range.
Scouting Sioux Falls
- Sioux Falls earned a road sweep against Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State to enter the weekend with a 13-9 record overall and an 8-8 mark in the NSIC.
- The Cougars backed up a strong first half performance to begin the weekend with a win against the Bulldogs, 95-73. USF shot above 50 percent in both halves while holding a 45-33 advantage heading into the second half.
- Sioux Falls earned its weekend sweep with another efficient shooting effort in a 98-80 win over St. Cloud State. USF followed up a 51.7 percent first half by converting 66.7 percent in the second. Five Cougars reached double-digit scoring totals, including junior Mack Johnson, who scored a game-high 24 points.
- Sioux Falls averages 78 points per game while allowing 71.9. The Cougars are shooting 47.4 percent (609-1,285) from the field and 38.9 percent (195-501) from behind the arc, while allowing 43.6 percent (550-1,261) from the floor and 32.9 percent (139-423) on 3-pointers.
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).