Men’s Hoops vies for home playoff game during final weekend

Men’s Hoops vies for home playoff game during final weekend
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Men’s Hoops vies for home playoff game during final weekend

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State men’s basketball team will play for a home playoff game in the final weekend of the season against U-Mary and Minot State Feb. 17-18. The Beavers (10-15, 8-12 NSIC) open Friday at 8 p.m. against the Marauders (11-15, 9-11 NSIC) before closing with Senior Night Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Beavers.

The Series vs. U-Mary

  • U-Mary leads the all-time series versus Bemidji State, 13-9, which began Dec. 18, 1971 in Bismarck, N.D., with a 92-87 win for the Marauders. The Beavers grabbed six of their nine wins in the series consecutively from 2011-14. The Beavers won the first meeting of the 2016-17 season, 78-67, to snap a four-game skid to the Marauders.
  • Junior guard Sharif Black scored a team-high 18 points, including 8-of-9 from the free throw line, while adding six rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Christian Pekarek followed Black with 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and one steal. Senior forward Shane White was the only other Beaver to reach double-digit scoring with 11 points off the bench.

The Series vs. Minot State

  • Bemidji State and Minot State began the 19-game series Dec. 28, 1967, an 86-62 win by BSU at the Mayville Invitational in Mayville, N.D. BSU leads the all-time record, 11-8, although MiSU has won the previous four meetings, including a 79-71 win in Minot, N.D., Jan. 20.
  • Senior forward Ben Best led the Beavers with 20 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field while also leading with eight rebounds, four coming on the offensive side. Three other Beavers recorded double-figure point totals, including Black (13), freshman guard Jai’Vionne Green (12) and freshman forward Logan Bader (10).

Fast Break Bemidji State

  • BSU split its last weekend of action with a 102-78 loss at No. 24 MSU Moorhead and a 63-59 win at Northern State. With the win, the Beavers stayed just one game behind the fourth spot in the NSIC North standings and need a sweep this weekend to guarantee a home playoff bid.
  • Despite a strong shooting effort from BSU, MSUM took a 44-30 lead at halftime to control the game. The Dragons outshot the Beavers in both halves, finished above 60.0 percent in both halves, to clinch the divisional and overall NSIC titles.
  • Green led BSU with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field while the Beavers’ next two leading scorers came off the bench. White followed Green with 13 points and freshman forward Lucas Wendt finished with 12.
  • Bemidji State shot over 50.0 percent in both halves, 56.5 in the first and 53.1 in the second, and hit 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. MSUM grabbed just one more offensive rebound than BSU, 9-8, but were able to score 11 second-chance points compared to seven for BSU.
  • After trailing, 40-37, heading into the second half, the Beavers put up one of their strongest defensive halves of the season while holding the Wolves to 19 points. Northern State finished the second half shooting 22.0 percent from the field and 6.3 percent from beyond the arc.
  • Green led BSU in scoring for the 15th time this season and the sixth consecutive game with 21 points against Northern State. He converted 5-of-6 free throw attempts and added five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. Pekarek followed with 16 points and led BSU with eight rebounds. Both scored at least 10 points in the first half.
  • The Beavers finished the game shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc, both topping the Wolves’ totals. Northern State shot 32.4 percent from the field and 24.1 percent from long range. NSU won the battle on the boards, 48-44, but BSU outscored NSU’s bench, 19-4.
  • Green continues to lead BSU in scoring with 17.2 points per game, which ranks sixth in the NSIC. Black and Best follow behind with 12.0 points and 11.9 points per game, respectively. Best paces the Beavers on the boards with 4.9 per game and 122 total on the season.
  • BSU currently sits in a tie for fifth place in the NSIC North standings with Minot State University at 8-12 in conference play. Minot State holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over Bemidji State. With U-Mary entering the weekend fourth in the NSIC North, Bemidji State needs to sweep to seal the fourth spot and a home playoff game to begin the NSIC/Sanford Health Basketball Tournament.

Scouting U-Mary

  • U-Mary took sole possession of fourth place in the NSIC North standings after a home sweep against St. Cloud State, 99-79, and Minnesota Duluth, 81-66. The Marauders set season highs with 99 points scored and 60.9 percent shooting against the Huskies. Rickey Suggs (25) and Damonta Henry (22) combined for 47 points against SCSU. The Marauders hit 12-of-24 3-pointers against the Bulldogs while holding them to 39.0 percent shooting.
  • Henry averaged 24.5 points per game over the weekend, making 18-of-32 shots from the field and 11-of-22 from beyond the arc. He set a career-high 27 points, including shooting 7-of-11 on 3-pointers, against the Bulldogs. Suggs posted a career-high 25 points against SCSU, making 11-of-12 field goal attempts.

Scouting Minot State

  • Minot State fell to the fifth spot in the NSIC standings after a home split to Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State. The Beavers held the Bulldogs to 29 second-half points to pull away for a 79-63 win. MiSU hit a 3-pointer with four seconds in regulation against SCSU, but the Beavers were outscored 17-12 in overtime during a 96-91 loss.
  • Nathan Mertens averaged 12 points, 10 assists and 2.5 rebounds, setting a school record with 13 assists versus UMD. Tyler Rudolph notched MiSU’s first 20-20 night in the DII era, scoring 26 points and grabbing 21 rebounds against UMD. He averaged 21.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists on the weekend.

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook ( or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of

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).