BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program returns from the holiday break Dec. 30-31 to face Upper Iowa University and Winona State University at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers and Peacocks meet Saturday for the 20th time in the series history before the 158th meeting between the Beavers and Warriors Sunday, both scheduled for 3:30 p.m. tip-off times.
- Bemidji State owns the all-time record against Upper Iowa, 12-7, in the series that first began Dec. 16, 1949. The two programs took a 55-year hiatus before playing the next game in the series. BSU and UIU began to play each season after 2007. The Beavers have taken five of the last six against the Peacocks but dropped last season’s matchup, 80-61, in Fayette, Iowa also on Dec. 30.
- Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green led BSU with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting while also pulling down five rebounds. Senior guard Sharif Black added nine points, four rebounds and two assists during the game.
- Winona State holds an 86-71 advantage over Bemidji State in the series record that began Jan. 7, 1933. The two programs have played every year, except 1940 and 1945, since the series first began. The Warriors have taken the last five games of the series, including a 95-80 victory last season.
- Black led BSU with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, while adding six assists and two steals. Green followed close behind with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting and four assists.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- BSU went into the holiday break after a 65-50 loss to University of Minnesota Crookston Saturday, Dec. 16 at BSU Gymnasium, falling in both games to UMC this season.
- The Beavers held a 34-29 advantage prior to halftime but were outscored, 36-16, in the second half. Bemidji State shot 35.1 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from beyond the arc, while Minnesota Crookston shot 31.1 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from long range.
- Freshman Derek Thompson led BSU in scoring for the second consecutive game with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and was one rebound shy of his first career double-double.
- Senior guard Christian Pekarek followed Thompson with 10 points, all coming in the first half against UMC, while adding four assists.
- Black and Green added eight points apiece in the starting lineup.
- The Beavers come into the final weekend of 2017 ranked seventh in the NSIC with 73.3 points allowed per game and 14th with 72.3 points scored per game. Bemidji State’s 44.3 percent field goal defense comes in eighth in the league compared to its 45.3 percent shooting offense that comes in 14th.
- Green leads BSU with 13.5 points per game while the up-and-coming Thompson leads the team’s shooting efforts at 57.5 percent from the field.
Scouting Upper Iowa
- Upper Iowa came into the holiday break with a split at Winona State, a 69-62 loss, and at home against non-conference opponent Bethany Lutheran College, a 94-89 win.
- The Peacocks fell Saturday, Dec. 16 to the Warriors after trailing by as many as 19 points in the first half. UIU made a comeback against WSU, though, to trail by just two points late in the game before the final buzzer.
- Upper Iowa rebounded to take down Bethany Lutheran after outscoring BLC, 52-30, in the paint. UIU and BLC traded the lead 18 times and faced 13 ties throughout the game.
- Senior guard Carson Parker averaged 17.5 points per game in the two games and has now scored in double figures in 14 of the team’s 15 games this season. Parker also averaged eight rebounds and five assists between the two games.
- Junior guard Kam Rowen averaged 13.0 points per game, including a career-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting against Bethany Lutheran. Junior forward Quentin Blaue averaged 11.5 points per game and shot 7-of-13 from the 3-point line.
Scouting Winona State
- Winona State won three games during its last week of action, extending its season-long winning streak to four games. WSU opened its week with an 88-60 win versus Waldorf University, 69-62 win against Upper Iowa and finished with a 98-66 victory against Michigan Tech University.
- The Warriors knocked down a season-best 16 3-pointers versus the Huskies, including 10 in the first half. WSU also set season-highs with 62 percent shooting from the field and 23 assists against Michigan Tech.
- Sophomore guard Caleb Wagner recorded a pair of double-doubles while averaging 17.3 points and 9.3 assists for the week.
- Junior forward Tommy Gathje recorded season highs in points (22) and rebounds (9) against Michigan Tech.
- Senior guard Corey Jeffs went 5-for-5 from long range and scored 15 points against MTU.
- Junior guard Mason Domask went 11-for-14 from beyond the arc and averaged 15 points during the three games.
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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).