BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team heads to Concordia University-St. Paul and Minnesota State University Friday, Jan. 26 and 27 to wrap up a road-heavy January schedule. The Beavers begin the weekend against the Golden Bears at 8 p.m. Friday at Gangelhoff Center followed by the weekend finale against the Mavericks at 6 p.m. Saturday at Stewart Center.
- The Beavers and Golden Bears will play the 32nd game of the series that began Jan. 15, 2000 in St. Paul, Minn., a 51-49 win by CSP. Concordia-St. Paul holds a slim lead in the series record, 16-15, while Bemidji State took last season’s lone meeting in Bemidji, Minn., 78-62.
- Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green tied a previous career-high 25 points against CSP last season while leading BSU in scoring. He shot 8-for-16 from the field and 4-for-8 from long range while pulling down seven rebounds. Senior guard Christian Pekarek went 7-for-11 from the free throw line and finished with 12 points and seven assists.
- Bemidji State and Minnesota State’s history dates back to Jan. 27, 1933 and spans 104 games. The Mavericks lead the all-time record, 67-35, and took last season’s meeting, 86-73, in Bemidji. MSU has taken the last two matchups in the series, with BSU’s last win coming Jan. 15, 2016, 75-74.
- Green led BSU in scoring for the second half of the team’s weekend with 18 points, while going 3-for-3 from long range and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. Senior guard Sharif Black followed Green with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and led BSU with seven rebounds and four assists.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- Bemidji State just missed out on a home weekend sweep after an 80-73 win against (RV) Minot State University and an 88-80 overtime loss to University of Mary. BSU enters the weekend fifth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division standings, half a game out from University of Minnesota Duluth in fourth.
- BSU finished with its best shooting performance of the conference schedule against MiSU, which was the team’s first win over a team that received votes in the NABC Top 25 Poll since last season against Southwest Minnesota State University. BSU shot 56.1 percent from the field, 35.0 percent from beyond the arc and 64.3 percent from the free throw line while winning the rebound margin, 32-27.
- Black recorded his first of two straight nights with 24 points, leading the Beavers. He went 11-for-19 from the field and dished out five assists. Sophomore forward Logan Bader tied a career-high 18 points in the win on 6-of-10 shooting with five rebounds.
- Bemidji State suffered its first loss when scoring at least 80 points the following night to U-Mary after trading leads throughout the game. In the second half, BSU took a game-high 10-point lead before U-Mary forced overtime and pulled away in the extra period. The Beavers shot 43.7 percent from the floor, 36.8 percent from long range and 63.6 percent from the charity stripe.
- Black’s second 24-point outing again led BSU, going 10-for-19 from the floor, while he added six rebounds and five assists. All five starters scored in double figures for the second straight game, as Green followed Black with 16 points. Green also totaled five rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block, while Bader was one rebound shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Freshman forward Derek Thompson was two rebounds shy of a double-double with 15 points and eight boards.
- The Beavers enter the weekend sixth in the NSIC with 73.5 points allowed per game and 13th with 72.0 points scored per game. Bemidji State’s 43.4 percent field goal defense comes in third in the league compared to its 45.3 percent shooting offense that comes in 13th.
- Black continues to lead Bemidji State in scoring with 15.0 points per game, which ranks him 15th in the conference. Green follows close behind with 12.8 points per game, which ranks him 29th in the NSIC. Pekarek is a key factor in BSU’s scoring as he leads the team and ranks eighth in the NSIC with 4.1 assists per game. He also ranks eighth in the league with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5.
Scouting Concordia-St. Paul
- Concordia-St. Paul fell behind early in the first half during both nights of a sweep to Southwest Minnesota State, 79-64, and University of Sioux Falls, 85-64. CSP also dropped its Tuesday contest against Minnesota State, 95-66. The Golden Bears currently sit last in the NSIC standings with a record of 3-17 overall and 2-12 in conference play.
- Turnovers cost the Golden Bears in a big way throughout the weekend as they lost the turnover battle, 29-14, while their opponents outscored them, 40-9, in points off turnovers. CSP saw its opponents knock down an efficient 50.0 percent from the floor while the Golden Bears sank 43.5 percent. The Golden Bears allowed 60 first-half points to the Mavericks on Tuesday en route to their fourth straight loss.
- Junior guard Bryndan Matthews put together a strong offensive weekend with 18.0 points on 52.0 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Sophomore guard Avan Ward joined in double figures with 10.0 points per game while also dishing out 5.0 assists and grabbing 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals on the weekend. Junior guard Elliot Kane had an efficient showing on Saturday night as he connected on 5-of-7 shooting and 3-of-4 from long range while scoring 13 points against Sioux Falls.
Scouting Minnesota State
- Minnesota State earned a sweep over Sioux Falls, 99-82, and Southwest Minnesota State, 72-70, to nab its second and third straight wins. MSU then nabbed its fourth consecutive win Tuesday with a 95-66 route of CSP. The Mavericks enter Friday with a 16-4 overall record and 12-2 mark in conference play to sit first in the NSIC South Division standings.
- As a team, MSU shot 47.6 percent from the field over the weekend and connected on a season-high 13 3-pointers against Sioux Falls. The Mavericks scored 60 first-half points against the Golden Bears and sank 15-of-28 3-pointers. MSU also took advantage of 23 CSP turnovers for 35 points.
- Senior Chris Kendrix averaged 19.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while senior Charlie Brown totaled 18.0 points on 65.0 percent shooting from the field and 77.7 pecent from the free throw line. Brown also added 6.0 assists per contest.
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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).