Bemidji State prepares for NSIC Tournament opener at Minnesota State

Bemidji State prepares for NSIC Tournament opener at Minnesota State
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Bemidji State prepares for NSIC Tournament opener at Minnesota State

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team opens the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament with a trip to Minnesota State University Mankato at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The Beavers (10-16, 7-15 NSIC) come into the postseason as the No. 7 seed in the North Division while the Mavericks (20-8, 15-7 NSIC) enter as the No. 2 seed in the South Division.

The Series

  • The Mavericks hold a 65-35 series lead against the Beavers since the two programs first played Jan. 27, 1933. Bemidji State won the lone matchup during the regular season, 75-74, in overtime. Freshman Calvin Harrington hit two free throws to force overtime before sinking the game-winning layup with five seconds to go.
  • BSU and MSU met in the NSIC Tournament during the 2012-13 season, playing in the tournament final in Rochester, Minn. Bemidji State, the No. 3 seed in the North, advanced to face Minnesota State, the No. 1 seed in the South. The Mavericks, also ranked No. 7 in the country at the time, pulled out the win, 73-68.

Fast Break Bemidji State

  • Bemidji State fell twice in the final weekend of the regular season at No. 10 Minnesota State University Moorhead and Northern State University. The Beavers fell for the second time to the Dragons, 93-59, while nearly pulling off a season sweep of the Wolves in a loss, 71-69.
  • Senior Irvin Womack set a career high with 26 points against MSUM, including 22 first half points. His previous career high was 17 points. The Beavers held a one-point lead late in the first half before the Dragons sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. MSUM then pulled away with a 19-0 run to open the second half.
  • The Beavers and Wolves played a tight contest all night in the regular season finale as neither team took an advantage larger than eight points. Womack again topped 20 points while finishing with 21, 14 coming in the second half. Junior Will Harvey made a jumper with 23 seconds left to take a 69-68 lead, but a 3-point prayer was answered for the Wolves with eight seconds left to seal the game.
  • Womack finished the weekend with 23.5 points and seven rebounds per game. He shot 56.3 percent (18-32) from the field and 60.0 percent (9-15) from behind the arc.
  • BSU enters the NSIC Tournament as the No. 7 seed of the North Division. The Beavers finished the regular season 14th overall in the NSIC standings.
  • Bemidji State is averaging 75.2 points per game, 12th in the NSIC, while allowing 76.4 points, eighth in the league. BSU pulls down 35.9 rebounds and allows 35.7 rebounds per game.
  • BSU is shooting 44.7 percent (650-1,453) from the floor while allowing 45.8 percent (643-1,405) from the field and 38.9 percent (172-442) from 3-point land.
  • Junior Ben Best leads the team and ranks 25th in the NSIC averaging 12.2 points per game. Harvey leads BSU shooting 52.6 percent (100-190) from the floor and totaling 5.3 rebounds per game. Senior DJ Anderson leads the Beavers and ranks third in the NSIC with 4.9 assists per game.

Scouting Minnesota State

  • Minnesota State won its second and third games in a row to close out the regular season against University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University. The Mavericks first took a win against the Cougars, 70-60, before edging out the Mustangs, 72-69, to enter the NSIC Tournament with the No. 2 seed in the South Division.
  • The Mavericks outscored the Cougars in both halves with two players above 20 points scoring. Jon Fuqua and Joey Witthus totaled 24 and 22 points, respectively.
  • Southwest Minnesota State held a lead with 2:16 to go, but Minnesota State closed the game on a 7-2 run to steal the win. Fuqua again topped 20 points, this time adding 21 to the box score.
  • The Mavericks average 82.3 points per game while allowing 75.5 per contest. MSU is shooting 46.5 percent (796-1,712) from the field while allowing 44.0 percent (750-1,705). Minnesota State grabs a conference-high 39.6 rebounds per game and allows 34.7. Two Mavericks rank in the top 15 in the conference in scoring, led by Jalen Pendleton with 17.7 points per game.

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).