Beavers to begin final two home weekends versus Wildcats, Vikings

Beavers to begin final two home weekends versus Wildcats, Vikings
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Beavers to begin final two home weekends versus Wildcats, Vikings

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team finishes up its contests against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division opponents Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3 as it hosts Wayne State College and Augustana University. The Beavers and Wildcats begin the weekend Friday at 8 p.m. followed by the weekend finale Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Vikings.

The Series

  • Wayne State leads the all-time series versus Bemidji State, 27-22, which began Dec. 30, 1973. The Beavers took the first meeting of the series, 71-58, in Wayne, Neb. BSU has also won five of the last six and eight of the last 10 games in the series, including a 78-76 victory in Wayne last season.
  • Senior guard Christian Pekarek and sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green each totaled 18 points in last year’s win as both shot 50 percent or better from the field. The duo also hit three 3-pointers and pulled down at least four rebounds. Senior guard Sharif Black totaled nine points in the game with a team-high seven assists.
  • With a history that dates back to 1966, Bemidji State and Augustana have met only 19 times. The Vikings lead the all-time series, 13-6, and have won 11 of the last 13 and the last five meetings, including a 74-63 victory in Sioux Falls, S.D., during the beginning of the 2017 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament.
  • In two games against the Vikings last season, Green led the Beavers in scoring with 11.0 points per contest on 52.9 percent shooting from the field. Sophomore Logan Bader was one point and one rebound shy of a double-double in the first meeting of the season between BSU and Augie last season.

Fast Break Bemidji State

  • Bemidji State moved up to the fourth spot in the NSIC North Division standings after a split at Concordia University-St. Paul and Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers opened the weekend with a comeback 82-76 win against the Golden Bears before being sent home with an 87-70 loss versus the Mavericks.
  • BSU tied its conference-season high in total points to open the weekend against CSP after coming back from a six-point halftime deficit. The Beavers outscored the Golden Bears, 50-38, in the second half to move into fourth place in the NSIC North, which is the final spot that will host a home playoff game in three weeks. BSU shot 47.4 percent from the field, 48.4 percent from beyond the arc and went 13-of-14 from the free throw line while totaling a NSIC-season-high 15 3-pointers.
  • Pekarek felt the hot hand in the second half, scoring 24 points over the final 20 minutes of play to finish with a career-high 27 on the night. He shot 50.0 percent (7-of-14) from the floor and went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. All five Beavers starters scored in double-figures for the third straight game.
  • Bemidji State got off to a solid start in Saturday’s game against Minnesota State, holding an 18-12 lead eight minutes into action. The Mavericks answered back with a 23-1 run to control the game for the remainder of the night. Bemidji State shot 47.5 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from long range and 53.3 percent from the charity stripe, and lost the rebound margin, 50-28.
  • Pekarek led BSU in scoring for the second straight game with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. Black and Green each tied for the second-most points on the team with 15. Black came one rebound shy of a double-double with a team-high nine boards.
  • The Beavers enter the weekend seventh in the NSIC with 74.2 points allowed per game and 13th with 72.4 points scored per game. Bemidji State’s 43.9 percent field goal defense comes in second in the league compared to its 45.50 percent shooting offense that comes in 14th.
  • Black continues to lead Bemidji State in scoring with 14.8 points per game, which ranks him 16th in the conference. Green follows close behind with 12.9 points per game, which ranks him 27th 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 sixth in the league with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5.

Scouting Wayne State

  • Wayne State split its NSIC homestand with an 82-58 loss to St. Cloud State University before pulling out an 88-86 overtime win over University of Minnesota Duluth. The Wildcats currently sit in sixth place in the NSIC South Division standings, two games back of the number four spot.
  • Wayne State shot 57.9 percent in its win over Minnesota Duluth, improving to 8-1 in games shooting 50 percent or better.
  • Junior guard Vance Janssen scored a career-high 22 points against UMD. Janssen averaged 15.0 points and 4.5 steals per game over the weekend. Junior guard Kendall Jacks finished with 21 points against the Bulldogs, his seventh game this season with at least 20 points. Senior forward Jordan Cornelius produced 16 points and nine rebounds in WSC’s win.

Scouting Augustana

  • Augustana earned a split at home with an 85-65 win over Minnesota Duluth and an 80-63 loss against St. Cloud State. The Vikings enter the weekend 13-9 overall and 8-8 in the NSIC to sit in fifth place of the division standings.
  • The Vikings committed a season-low five turnovers and got a season-low five bench points in Friday’s win over the Bulldogs. After leading at some point in each of the first 21 games of the season, the Vikings did not lead at any points of the game on Saturday. Jordan Spencer has made each of his last 26 free throws, with his last miss coming against Minnesota State on Jan. 5. Augustana has used the same five starters in all 22 games this season.
  • Spencer scored a game-high 30 points on Friday, which marks his second 30-point game this season and fourth of his career. Marcus Asmus notched his fourth double-double of the season on Friday with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The game was also Asmus’s fifth double-double of his career.

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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).