|January 14, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||SMSU||BSUM|
|FG Percentage||.530 (35-66)||.516 (33-64)|
|3P FG Percentage||.364 (8-22)||.391 (9-23)|
|FT Percentage||.889 (8-9)||.724 (21-29)|
TEAM - 7
Weg - 1
Green - 1
White - 1
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- Freshman guard Jai'Vionne Green led a consistent effort Saturday night to help the Bemidji State University men's basketball team to a 96-86 win against Southwest Minnesota State University at BSU Gymnasium. Green finished the night with a career-high 25 points to propel the Beavers (6-11, 4-8 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) over the Mustangs (14-3, 9-3 NSIC), who received votes in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
Green finished the game shooting 10-for-19 from the field and scored 15 points in the second half. His 25 points accounted for over 25 percent of BSU’s point total while the team scored over 50 points in the second half for the third time in the last six outings.
Both teams stayed close throughout the first half while Bemidji State took a first-half-high seven-point, 23-16, lead eight minutes into the game. Junior guard Christian Pekarek helped on a 9-0 run for BSU with two of his six first-half assists and capped the run with the first of two 3-pointers in the period.
Southwest Minnesota State tied the game four minutes later but allowed Bemidji State to a five-point lead following a 3-pointer by Green and an and-one conversion by senior forward Shane White. The Mustangs answered right back with five straight points and ended the first half on a 6-0 run, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to head into halftime with a 48-42 lead.
The Beavers opened the second half with quick baskets and stayed within reach of the Mustangs over the first four minutes. BSU held SMSU scoreless over a five-minute span, long enough to go on an 8-0 run and take a 57-55 lead. After trading baskets for the 13th tie of the game, Bemidji State again showed up defensively while holding Southwest Minnesota State scoreless over a two-and-a-half-minute span. The Beavers scored 12 points during the run for a 71-59 lead.
BSU kept SMSU at bay while finishing the final eight minutes of play 6-for-10 from the field and 11-for-17 from the free throw line. Green put the final nail in the coffin with the last BSU field goal of the game, a break-away dunk off of a steal with 1:38 in the game. The 89-77 lead was the Beavers’ largest of the night and forced the Mustangs to foul the rest of the way.
Bemidji State shot over 50.0 percent from the floor during both halves, finishing 51.6 percent from the field compared to 32.0 percent for Southwest Minnesota State. The Beavers topped their season average heading into the weekend with 40 rebounds while allowing the Mustangs to just 27.
Pekarek followed Green with 19 points and recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 assists. He was close to a triple-double while leading BSU on the boards with seven rebounds. All five BSU starters recorded double-digit points as senior forward Ben Best totaled 17, freshman Jacob McNallan scored 11 and freshman forward Logan Bader put up 10.
Five Mustangs reached at least 10 points, including a team-high 23 from Taylor Schafer off the bench. Carter Kirk finished 7-for-7 from the field for 14 points with a team-high eight rebounds.
Bemidji State heads to North Dakota to take on Minot State University, Jan. 20, and University of Mary, Jan. 21, for its first road action since the end of December. BSU begins the first of a two-game season series against MiSU and U-Mary before closing the regular season against the duo.
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).