BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference interdivisional series awaits the Bemidji State University men’s basketball program Jan. 17-18. BSU opens the weekend at Upper Iowa University on Friday before closing the weekend at Winona State University on Saturday.
vs Upper Iowa
- Bemidji State leads the all-time series against Upper Iowa, 13-8.
- BSU snapped a two-game winning streak by UIU in the series with a 93-90 win in the lone matchup last season.
- The Beavers are looking to win back-to-back games against the Peacocks for the first time since a four-game winning streak from March 8, 2013 through Jan. 30, 2016.
- Junior forward Derek Thompson scored a team-high 26 points with 11 rebounds on 9-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, for his fourth career double-double last season against UIU. Sophomore guard Max Bjorklund added 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting with two steals.
- The series began Dec. 16, 1949, a 97-69 win by Bemidji State. The two programs took a 55-year hiatus in the series before restarting in 2004.
vs Winona State
- Winona State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 86-73.
- Each team has won a game over the past two seasons while WSU took the 2018-19 meeting, 87-59, in Bemidji, Minn.
- The Warriors have won five of the last six meetings dating back to Jan. 3, 2014.
- Injured guard Jacob Hoffman led BSU with 19 points off the bench against the Warriors last season while senior forward Logan Bader scored eight points with five rebounds and two assists in the starting lineup.
- The series began Jan. 7, 1933, a 43-34 overtime win by Bemidji State.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- Bemidji State lost back-to-back games in conference play for just the second time this season after taking a sweep to Minnesota State University Moorhead, 78-75, and Northern State University, 98-92. Both losses came in overtime, marking the first back-to-back overtime losses for BSU since Feb. 25 and 28, 2009.
- BSU outshot MSUM, 48.3 percent to 45.0 percent, to open the weekend while also winning the rebound battle, 36-33. The Beavers overcame an eight-point deficit and forced overtime with a 13-4 run to end regulation. Although MSUM scored the first seven points of overtime, junior guard Nick Wagner hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give BSU a chance late. The Dragons missed two free throws with two seconds to play but a last-second heave fell short for the Beavers.
- The Beavers took their first loss of the season when shooting at least 50 percent from the field and when making more free throws than their opponent in the weekend finale against the Wolves. BSU allowed NSU to score 15 points off 11 turnovers and 16 second-chance points and held a game-high seven-point lead, 71-64, with six minutes in regulation. Northern State scored eight of the game’s final 10 points of regulation to force overtime. NSU opened the extra period with nine of the game’s first 11 points before BSU pulled with two points, 94-92. The Beavers missed on its final three field goals as the Wolves sealed the game with the final four points.
- Thompson led BSU with 27 points per game, scoring 26 against the Dragons and a career-high 28 against the Wolves. He also pulled down seven rebounds each game while Bader recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career, against the Dragons. Bader set the BSU program record for most career 3-pointers against MSUM and currently has 157. Bader and Wagner averaged 17.5 points per game each and combined for 15 3-pointers between both games.
- Bemidji State ranks fourth in the nation and leads the NSIC in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting .427 from beyond the arc. The Beavers also lead the league shooting 49.5 percent from the field, rank second with 82.4 points per game and rank third with 38.0 rebounds per game.
Scouting Upper Iowa
- Upper Iowa began its second winning streak of the conference schedule with a weekend sweep over Augustana University, 110-100 in overtime, and Wayne State College, 80-73.
- The Peacocks rank among the top five in the NSIC with 81.4 points per game, 38.2 percent 3-point shooting and 1.24 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Junior guard Joe Smoldt was named the NSIC South Division Player of the Week after recording 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 48.0 percent from the field. He ranks 25th in the NSIC with 13.1 points per game.
Scouting Winona State
- Winona State enters the weekend 8-8 overall and 5-5 in the NSIC after a split to Wayne State and Augustana. The Warriors opened the weekend with a 102-97 three-overtime loss to the Wildcats before taking a 79-65 win over the Vikings.
- The Warriors rank in the bottom half of the league in both offensive and defensive scoring and rebounding. WSU ranks ninth in 3-point field goal percentage and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
- Junior guard Kevion Taylor ranks seventh in the conference with 19.1 points per game while senior guard Caleb Wagner ranks ninth with 18.1 points per game. Taylor also ranks among the top 10 in 3-point field goals per game (3.4/2nd), 3-point percentage (.382/5th), free throw percentage (.850/5th) and rebounding (7.5/10th).
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).