|January 28, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MSU||BSUM|
|FG Percentage||.508 (30-59)||.444 (24-54)|
|3P FG Percentage||.560 (14-25)||.545 (6-11)|
|FT Percentage||.800 (12-15)||.760 (19-25)|
Pekarek - 7
Witthus - 2
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- Bemidji State University saw a second-half comeback by Minnesota State University, Mankato spoil the night in an 86-73 loss Saturday night at BSU Gymnasium. BSU (8-13, 6-10 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) saw a game-high 18-point lead in the first half disappear as MSU (15-7, 10-6 NSIC) outscored the Beavers, 50-26, in the second half.
After opening the first half shooting 57.1 percent from the field and leading, 43-25, with 3:49 before halftime, the Beavers had fortunes turned in the second. BSU shot 30.8 percent in the second period, compared to 59.4 percent for MSU, while the Mavericks went on runs to begin and end the half.
The Beavers’ hot first half was kick-started with a 7-0 run out of the gate, spanning 4:27 of play, as the team held the Mavericks to 0-for-5 shooting from the field. BSU pulled away to its first 10-point lead three minutes later as junior guard Christian Pekarek took a rebound coast-to-coast for a layup. He finished the first half tied for the team lead with nine points.
Senior guard Sharif Black and freshman guard Jai’Vionne Green also led with nine points, including two free throws from Green to put BSU up a team-high 18 points, 43-25, with 3:49 in the first half. The Mavericks were able to decrease the Beavers’ halftime lead to 47-36 after a 9-3 run to end the first half.
The Mavericks began their second-half comeback with a 12-1 run to tie the game for the first time. Following two free throws from senior forward Shane White, Mavericks forward Cameron Kirksey hit a 3-pointer for their first lead of the game, 51-50, six minutes into the half. Black helped regain the momentum for the Beavers with seven consecutive points and an assist on a Green 3-pointer to take a 68-60 lead with 9:06 to play.
BSU was stifled on the offensive end after Green’s third and final 3-pointer of the game, converting just two field goals the rest of the way. The Mavericks took advantage to go on a 24-4 run to end the game.
Bemidji State’s 26 second-half points was the lowest scored in during any half since putting up 21 against Winona State University, Dec. 31. Green finished with a team-high 19 points while Black followed with 17 and tied for a team-high seven rebounds. Senior forward Ben Best scored 10 points while Pekarek was close to a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds.
Bemidji State hits the road for a four-game road trip, beginning with games at Wayne State College and Augustana University Feb. 3-4. The Beavers begin the weekend at 8 p.m. against the Wildcats from Wayne, Neb., and finish at 6 p.m. versus the Vikings from Sioux Falls, S.D.
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).