Pekarek sinks Wildcats with buzzer-beater in 78-76 road win

February 03, 20171st2ndFinal
Bemidji State334578
Wayne State (Neb.)373976
Stats at a GlanceBSUMWSCM
FG Percentage.527 (29-55) .424 (28-66)
3P FG Percentage.476 (10-21) .263 (5-19)
FT Percentage.714 (10-14) .833 (15-18)
Offensive Rebounds1112
Defensive Rebounds2816
Total Rebounds3928
Turnovers217
Steals516
Bench Points1623
LeadersBSUMWSCM
PointsGreen - 18
Pekarek - 18
Jacks - 19
ReboundsBest - 10
TEAM - 6
AssistsBlack - 7
Jacks - 2
Janssen - 2
Cornelius - 2
StealsPekarek - 3
Janssen - 3
BlocksWendt - 3
Janssen - 1
Cornelius - 1
Bonner - 1
Pekarek sinks Wildcats with buzzer-beater in 78-76 road win
Friday, February 3, 2017
Pekarek sinks Wildcats with buzzer-beater in 78-76 road win

WAYNE, Neb. (Rice Auditorium) -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team proved its resiliency Friday night that culminated with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior guard Christian Pekarek over Wayne State College in a 78-76 win. BSU (9-14, 7-10 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) took the game over WSC (7-16, 5-12 NSIC) to improve to 6-3 in its last nine games.

The Beavers, trailing 76-75 with 5.2 second remaining in the game, were forced to go the full length of the court to set up Pekarek’s game-winning shot. Senior forward Ben Best set up the play while taking the inbound pass and finding Pekarek for the 27-foot shot as time expired.

Bemidji State remained in the game despite giving away a season-high 21 turnovers and facing a 13-point deficit in the first half. The Beavers held the lead four times, for a combined one minute and 28 seconds, at the beginning and late in the second half.

Bemidji State, after taking a 2-0 lead one minute into play, turned the ball over three times over the first three minutes but was able to tie the game at 4-4 off a layup by junior guard Sharif Black. After holding Wayne State to 2-for-5 shooting over the first three minutes, the Wildcats followed with a 14-3 run for their first double-digit lead of the night, 18-7, with 12:22 to go in the first half.

WSC led by as many as 13 twice before Black sank his only 3-pointer of the first half. Bemidji State finished the final 5:02 of the half 6-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc until a last second attempt by Black to beat the buzzer. The Beavers’ defense held the Wildcats to 3-for-10 from the field to finish the half on a 15-6 run and trail just four, 37-33, heading into halftime.

Freshman guard Jai’Vionne Green scored Bemidji State’s first nine second-half points, including two 3-pointers, to pull the game to a one-possession score. Black broke through Wayne State’s full-court press following a Wildcat turnover to find freshman guard Peyton Dibble for a layup to cut the BSU deficit to one, its lowest margin since the game was tied over three minutes into the first half.

Pekarek sank three 3-pointers during the game, the second to give BSU its first lead since its 2-0 start. Wayne State sank free throws and held the lead until Pekarek made his final and most impactful 3-pointer of the game.

Bemidji State finished shooting 52.7 percent, 29-of-55, from the field for its 10th game above 50 percent. BSU is 7-3 during such games. Wayne State scored 23 points off Bemidji State’s 21 turnovers but BSU won the rebound margin, 39-28. BSU scored 14 second-chance points off 11 offensive rebounds.

Pekarek and Green led BSU in scoring with 18 points and both finished with three 3-pointers. Freshman forward Lucas Wendt followed the duo with 14 points and added three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. Best was one point shy of his second double-double in three games with nine points and 10 rebounds. He also recorded three assists, including a dish on the game-winning shot.

Wayne State finished with four players in double-digit scoring, led by the team’s leading scorer Kendall Jacks with 19 points. The Wildcats shot 42.4 percent, 28-of-66, from the floor and 26.3 percent, 5-of-19, from beyond the arc.

Bemidji State closes the first of two road weekends Saturday at Augustana University. The Beavers and Vikings open play at 6 p.m. from the Elmen Center in 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).

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