|January 27, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||CSP||BSUM|
|FG Percentage||.390 (23-59)||.429 (24-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.227 (5-22)||.409 (9-22)|
|FT Percentage||.647 (11-17)||.618 (21-34)|
TEAM - 7
Powell - 2
Siganos - 2
Matthews - 2
Keefe - 2
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- Balanced play from the post and the perimeter led to the Bemidji State University men's basketball team taking down Concordia University-St. Paul, 78-62, Friday night at BSU Gymnasium. Freshman guard Jai'Vionne Green finished with a team-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, while senior forward Ben Best recorded his first double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds to improve BSU to 8-12 overall and 6-9 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.
Green recorded his sixth game this season with at least 20 points and recorded 21 in the second half. Following a one-point lead at halftime, Best and senior forward Shane White helped win the rebound battle with a combined 13 second-half boards. The win gave the Beavers their fifth victory in the last seven games, including their fourth win in the last five games at home.
The Beavers reached their season average of 78.7 points per game and held the Golden Bears below theirs, as CSP averages 67.0 points per contest. After an even rebound margin in the first half, 21 boards apiece, BSU rode the tails of Best and White while outrebounding CSP in the second half, 23-12.
Bemidji State's defense helped create three Concordia-St. Paul turnovers in the first two and a half minutes to open the game on a 7-0 run. Junior guard Christian Pekarek dished out three assists while continuing the run and giving BSU a 12-2 lead. The Golden Bears followed with an 11-2 run to pull within one point, 14-13, with 11:26 in the first half.
The game saw its first tie two minutes later, 17-17, and CSP took its first lead one minute later, 19-18. The Beavers took two four-point leads through the final 5:34 of the half, but the Golden Bears held BSU to two-for-six shooting from the field and forced three turnovers over that span. Junior guard Sharif Black found senior forward Ben Best, who finished the first half with nine points, in the paint for a layup to take a 30-29 lead at the half.
The Beavers opened the second half with another 12-2 run while holding the Golden Bears to one-for-three shooting from the field and forcing two turnovers. BSU’s 42-31 lead dipped to single-digits several times throughout the second half, but never fell below five points.
CSP’s Bryndan Matthews, who entered the game as the team’s scoring leader with 14.6 points per game, hit a jumper with 13:20 in the game before Golden Bear Sam Siganos made one of his four 3-pointers on the night to cut BSU’s lead to 49-42. Best put in a jumper from the paint off freshman guard Peyton Dibble’s only assist of the night to spark a quick 6-0 run and another double-digit lead.
Bemidji State finished the second half shooting 58.3 percent, 14-for-24, from the floor and allowed Concordia-St. Paul to shoot 37.0 percent, 10-for-27, to avenge an early-season loss to the Golden Bears. During the final period, BSU only attempted one mid-range jumper, converted 8-of-11 layups and sank 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Green made all four of his 3-point shots in the second half.
Best finished with a career-high 13 rebounds and White grabbed a season-high eight. Green came in behind Best and White with seven boards. Pekarek, following Best and Green, finished as the only other Beaver in double-digit scoring with 12 points. He also put up his second-highest assist night of the season with seven.
Siganos led CSP with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, while four Golden Bears in total reached double-digit scoring. Matthews finished the game with 13 points and led the team with seven rebounds.
Bemidji State and Minnesota State University, Mankato close the interdivisional weekend at 6 p.m. from BSU Gymnasium. The game will be the only regular season meeting between the two programs.
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).