BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball road schedule comes to a close Feb. 10-11 with trips to No. 24 Minnesota State University Moorhead and Northern State University. The Beavers (9-14, 7-11 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) look to improve their NSIC North Division standing with tip-offs at 8 p.m. against the Dragons (20-4, 15-3 NSIC) and 6 p.m. against the Wolves (1-86, 14-4 NSIC).
The Series vs. MSU Moorhead
- Bemidji State continues its longest rivalry in program history with the 180th meeting versus MSU Moorhead. The Dragons lead the all-time series, 96-83, that first began Feb. 17, 1928 in Moorhead, Minn. MSUM took the first seven games of the series and have also won the five most recent meetings, including a 90-84 win in Bemidji, Minn., Dec. 10.
- Three Beavers reached double-digit scoring during the first matchup of the season, including a team-high 19 points from senior forward Ben Best and freshman guard Jai’Vionne Green. Junior guard Sharif Black totaled 12 points while also recording a career-high eight assists.
The Series vs. Northern State
- Bemidji State and Northern State meet for the 88th time in the series history, led all-time by NSU, 60-26. The Beavers took the first-ever meeting, 78-48, Dec. 18, 1959 while the Wolves have won eight of the last 10, including an 88-61 victory Dec. 9 in the first matchup of the 2016-17 schedule.
- Freshman guard Peyton Dibble led BSU with a career-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and seven rebounds. Best was the only other Beaver with double-figure scoring after putting up 12 points.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- Bemidji State secured splits during its last four weekends with a buzzer-beating 78-76 win at Wayne State College and a 78-60 loss at Augustana University. The road games were the first of four straight before a home weekend to end the regular season.
- Wayne State exited the first half with a 37-33 lead after leading by as many as 13 midway through the opening period. Green tied the game at 54-54 for the first time since three and a half minutes into the first half. Wayne State sank two free throws to take a 76-75 lead with five seconds remaining to set up Pekarek’s game-winning shot. Best dribbled upcourt on the ensuing possession to find Pekarek on the left side of the arc. Pekarek sank a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer to seal the win.
- Green and Pekarek each finished with a team-high 18 points, one shy of Pekarek’s season-high. Both scored the majority of their points in the second half, Green with 15 and Pekarek with 13. Freshman forward Lucas Wendt followed behind with 14 points while Best was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
- Bemidji State pulled out the win despite giving away a season-high 21 turnovers that led to 23 points for Wayne State. The Beavers finished the game shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats were held to 42.4 percent shooting overall and 26.3 percent from long range.
- Bemidji State took a team-high eight-point lead midway through the first half, but both teams remained within two scores of each other through the majority of the game. With 12:32 left to play, Augustana began a 30-12 run to finish the game while holding Bemidji State to 3-for-15 shooting from the field during that stretch.
- Green led BSU in scoring for the 13th time this season and the fourth consecutive game with 16 points against Augie. He shot 7-for-12 from the field while freshman forward Logan Bader followed Green with 10 points.
- Bemidji State was outshot from the field, shooting 41.8 percent, and from the perimeter, shooting 27.3 percent. Augustana finished the game shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Vikings also won the rebound battle, 37-29, while adding 11 second-chance points.
- Green continues to lead BSU in scoring with 17.1 points per game, which ranks him sixth in the NSIC. Black and Best follow behind with 13.2 points and 12.7 points per game, respectively. Best paces the Beavers on the boards with 5.1 per game and 117 total on the season.
- BSU currently sits in a three-way tie with Minot State University and University of Mary at 7-11 in conference play. Minot State holds a tiebreaker over Bemidji State, while Bemidji State holds a tiebreaker over U-Mary to place the Beavers fifth in the North Division. Bemidji State will host both Minot State and U-Mary to close the regular season Feb. 17-18.
Scouting No. 24 MSU Moorhead
- MSU Moorhead remained in first place in the NSIC overall standings with a pair of home wins against Winona State University and Upper Iowa University, sealing 10 wins over the last 11 games. The Dragons beat the Warriors, 85-63, on Friday thanks to 21 points from senior guard Aaron Lien. The Dragons outlasted the Peacocks, 93-85, with Lien leading the way with 27 points. MSUM leads the NSIC by one game over Southwest Minnesota State University and the NSIC North Division by four games over Northern State with four games remaining.
- Senior Aaron Lien earned NSIC North Player of the Week and averaged 24.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He shot 70.0 percent, 14-for-20, from the field and 93.8 percent, 15-for-16, from the charity stripe. Junior guard Tanner Kretchman averaged 14.5 points and 8.5 assists per game over the weekend.
Scouting Northern State
- Northern State swept Upper Iowa and Winona State at home, extending their win streak to six games. The Wolves shot 50.9 percent from the floor, 31.3 percent from the arc and 76.9 percent from the foul line in an 83-72 win over the Peacocks. Northern State shot 52.6 percent from the field, 52.2 percent from long range and 72.2 percent from the free throw line in an 85-58 win over Winona State. On the weekend, NSU out-rebounded its opponents, 83-54, and tallied 26 second-chance points. The Wolves sit second in the NSIC North and third in the league overall heading into the weekend.
- Ian Smith led the team over the weekend scoring 32 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. The sophomore notched a double-double versus UIU with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Carter Evans led the team against the Warriors with 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench. DJ Pollard notched double-figure scoring each night with 13 points against the Peacocks and 10 points versus the Warriors.
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).