BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University men’s basketball is seeking its first three-game win streak in conference play since the 2013-14 season while hosting Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers (5-10, 3-7 NSIC) and Cougars (10-8, 6-4 NSIC) begin play at 8 p.m. Friday before the Beavers and Mustangs (13-2, 8-2 NSIC) tip-off at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Series vs. Sioux Falls
- Bemidji State and Sioux Falls have met just five times in the series, beginning with a 68-49 win by BSU Nov. 20, 2011. After the Beavers began the series with back-to-back wins, the Cougars have won three in a row, including a 90-62 win Feb. 6, 2016 in the most recent meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Series vs. Southwest Minnesota State
- BSU and SMSU play for the 93rd time in the series, led all-time by SMSU, 52-40. The Beavers have won five of the last seven games but the Mustangs took the last two games of the series.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- BSU went 2-1 to begin a five-game home stand, taking an 86-78 win over University of Minnesota Duluth and a 77-75 win over Minnesota Crookston. The Beavers swept the Bulldogs in the season series for the first time since the 2012-13 season and captured a split versus the Golden Eagles after a loss on the road Dec. 15. Bemidji State is looking for its first three-game win streak in NSIC play since winning eight straight during the 2013-14 season.
- Bemidji State opened the weekend with a 101-86 loss to St. Cloud State University, the first game BSU has allowed an opponent to at least 100 points since a 103-93 loss in double overtime at Augustana University Jan. 7, 2012. The Huskies opened the first half with a 51-30 lead before the Beavers scored at least 50 points in the second half for the second straight game.
- Senior Ben Best led the BSU offensive attack for a second-half comeback while finsihing the game with 25 points, three shy of tying his career high. Freshman Jai’Vionne Green followed with 19 points while senior forward Will Harvey and freshman forward Lucas Wendt each recorded 12. Wendt finished his previous career-high performance with all 12 points in the second half.
- The Beavers have lost five games this season while allowing their opponent to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field. BSU outshot SCSU in the second half, though, 60.6 percent to 55.9. Bemidji State dished out 17 assists as a team compared to seven turnovers.
- Bemidji State took a season sweep over Minnesota Duluth for the first time since the 2012-13 season. UMD battled back from an early deficit to BSU to take a 41-40 lead at halftime. The Beavers shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the second half to outscore the Bulldogs in the period, 46-37. During the second half, BSU also outscored UMD in the paint, 28-12.
- Green led all scorers with 22 points while junior guard Sharif Black followed with 21. Wendt recorded a new career highs with 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
- BSU set season highs with 25 free throws made and 39 free throw attempts in the win. The Beavers shot over 50.0 percent from the floor in both halves to finish the game shooting 58.3 percent. BSU topped its season average with 40 rebounds compared to 32 allowed to UMD.
- After taking a 21-point lead in the first and second halves, the Beavers were forced to hold off a late surge by the Golden Eagles over the final 10 minutes of action. UMC erased the 21-point deficit with a 25-2 run over a three-minute span and eventually took a 70-69 lead. BSU scored six of the final eight points in the game, including two free throws by Green to seal the first consecutive wins in conference play this season.
- Wendt led BSU with 20 points off the bench for the second consecutive game, including 13 in the first half. Four Beavers reached double-digit scoring and helped BSU to an 18-9 difference in points off turnovers as both teams recorded 14 turnovers.
- Green leads BSU and ranks seventh in the NSIC with 17.3 points per game. He is also one of the best shooters in the league, converting from 49.5 percent of shots from the field to rank 11th in the NSIC.
Scouting Sioux Falls
- Sioux Falls extended its win streak to four games with a weekend sweep over Upper Iowa, 73-57, and Winona State, 58-55. By holding Upper Iowa to 57 points and Winona State to 55, USF has held three of the past four opponents to under 60. The Cougars held two opponents to a 37.7 percent shooting, including 21.4 percent from 3-point range. During USF’s four-game winning streak, the Cougars have a 66.0-to-58.0 scoring margin.
- USF’s all-time leader in made three’s with 212, Mack Johnson scored 29 points with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals over the weekend. He is 10th in scoring all-time at USF with 1,463 points and has 21 career 20-point games and 70 career games with double-digit scoring.
Scouting Southwest Minnesota State
- SMSU fell out of the NABC Top 25 Coaches Poll after a weekend split to Winona State, a 79-55 win, and Upper Iowa, a 99-96 overtime loss. The Mustangs enter the weekend first in the NSIC South Division with a 13-2 record overall, the best start in program history, and an 8-2 mark in league action. SMSU has seven “true” road wins this season, matching the 2013-14 team for the most road wins in a season since 2009-10.
- Senior Joey Bartlett scored 24 points in SMSU’s loss to Upper Iowa on 9-for-12 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. Bartlett scored 13 points in SMSU’s win over Winona State. Senior forward Mitch Weg recorded his second double-double of the season versus UIU with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
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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).