BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University men’s basketball and University of Minnesota Crookston close out the 2017-18 season series Saturday after UMC took the opening game Nov. 25, 83-57, in Crookston, Minn. The Beavers and Golden Eagles play at 4 p.m. at BSU Gymnasium in the 63rd all-time meeting between the programs.
- Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston have met 62 times in the 95-year history, led all-time by the Beavers, 48-15. Since BSU’s last losing streak to UMC, the Beavers have gone 45-8 in the series. Bemidji State has also won 22 straight games in Bemidji, Minn., against Minnesota Crookston.
- The Golden Eagles took the first game of the 2017-18 season series in Crookston to open the Beavers’ Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule. UMC doubled BSU up in the first half, 34-17, before also winning the second half by nine points. Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green led BSU with 18 points and 46.7 percent shooting from the field, despite the team shooting just 37.1 percent.
- Turnovers hurt BSU in the first meeting of the season against UMC, as 14 giveaways led to 16 Golden Eagles points. The Beavers were only able to convert four points off seven Golden Eagles turnovers.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- BSU split its previous weekend of games on the road, first dropping the weekend opener to No. 16 Northern State, 75-54, before taking its first win at MSU Moorhead, 82-81, since the 2009-10 season.
- BSU trailed NSU by two points, 48-46, with 8:43 in the game before the Wolves went on a 22-4 run over the next seven minutes. The Beavers shot 40.0 percent from the field but went 14.3 percent from beyond the arc.
- Freshman forward Derek Thompson led Bemidji State over MSU Moorhead Saturday with 20 points and converted the game-winning offensive put-back with one second remaining. The Beavers shot over 50 percent from the field and have now won all four games when shooting over the 50 percent mark.
- Thompson averaged 14.0 points per game, which was second on BSU over the weekend, while shooting 59.1 percent from the field. His 20 points against MSUM set a career high, including 12 points scored in the second half of the final period.
- Senior guard Sharif Black led the Beavers with 16.0 points per game, including 18 against the Dragons on 52.0 percent shooting from the field.
- Sophomore forward Logan Bader led BSU with 5.5 rebounds per game, including nine rebounds against Northern State where he missed a double-double by one point and one rebound.
- The Beavers rank 12th in the NSIC with 74.3 points per game and fifth with 73.2 points allowed per game. BSU’s 46.2 percent shooting from the field ranks it 11th in the league while its 44.7 percent shooting defense ranks it seventh. Bemidji State grabs 35.4 rebounds per game to rank the unit seventh in the conference.
- Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green leads BSU and ranks 21st in the NSIC with 14.1 points per game.
- Black follows just behind with 13.3 points per game.
- Senior guard Christian Pekarek averages 4.1 assists per game and a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks him seventh and fifth among all NSIC student-athletes, respectively.
Scouting Minnesota Crookston
- UMC was swept at MSU Moorhead and No. 16 Northern State to enter the weekend with a 5-6 record overall and 2-3 mark in conference play. Despite the sweep, the Golden Eagles remain on their best start since the 2014-15 season.
- On Friday, UMC gave up a 12-point lead with 6:12 remaining as MSUM went on a 19-4 run to close out the game.
- Saturday, the Golden Eagles led the Wolves at halftime, 33-29, before being outscored in the second half, 47-31.
- Sophomore guard Harrison Cleary averaged 22.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on the week to remain third in the conference in scoring with 23.5 points per game on the season. Cleary shot 45.5 percent from the field, was 8-for-15 for 53.3 percent from beyond the arc and went a 9-for-9 from the free throw line.
- Junior guard Alan Hodge, Jr., notched 19.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game on the week and shot 56.3 percent from long range.
- The Golden Eagles enter the weekend ranked fourth in the NSIC with 82.3 points per game while coming in 12th with 77.4 points allowed per game. UMC ranks fourth shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 11th allowing 46.5 percent shooting. Saturday’s battle could be decided on the boards, as UMC ranks 13th in the NSIC with 33.6 rebounds per game and 14th with 36.3 rebounds allowed per game.
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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).