BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University men’s basketball will host the University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at BSU Gymnasium with hopes of snapping its longest losing streak of the season. The Beavers open the weekend Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Cougars before a 5:30 p.m. tip-off Saturday against the Mustangs.
vs Sioux Falls
- The eight-game series between BSU and USF is tied, 4-4.
- The Beavers have now won back-to-back games in the series after taking down the Cougars, 76-73, on Feb. 1, 2019. USF took four straight games in the series before BSU began its winning streak.
- Junior forward Derek Thompson scored a team-high 24 points last season against the Cougars on 8-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. He also led the team with seven rebounds. Senior guard Ja Morgan also reached the 20-point mark with 21 and a team-high nine assists.
- Bemidji State won the first two games of the series in Bemidji, Minn., 68-49 on Nov. 20, 2011 and 72-69 on Feb. 2, 2013.
vs Southwest Minn. State
- Southwest Minnesota State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 55-41.
- SMSU is on a three-game winning streak in the series after beating BSU twice during the 2018-19 season. The Mustangs first took down the Beavers, 84-62, on Feb. 2, 2019 before knocking BSU out of the NSIC quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, S.D., 75-62, on March 3, 2019.
- During last season’s two meetings, Morgan led BSU with 16.5 points per game, including 23 points in the NSIC Tournament game. Senior forward Logan Bader followed with 11.0 points per game.
- The series began Dec. 7, 1968 in Marshall, a 74-60 win by the Mustangs. The Beavers followed the series-opener with eight straight wins.
Fast Break Bemidji State
- Bemidji State looks to shake off its longest losing streak of the season after falling in a weekend sweep to Minot State University, 74-67, and University of Mary, 78-77, last Friday and Saturday. The Beavers are currently on a six-game losing streak.
- Minot State used 3-pointers and second-chance points to overcome a Bemidji State lead and take a 39-34 lead into halftime. The Beavers of MiSU hit eight 3-pointers and scored 10 second-chance points over the final 11:35 of the first half before the Beavers of BSU pulled the score to within one possession multiple times in the second half. Over the final 1:31 of game time, BSU went 0-of-3 from the field while MiSU sealed the game going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.
- Bemidji State’s loss to UMary came down to the final seconds as the Marauders put in a 3-pointer and a game-winning dunk to overcome a four-point Beavers lead with 1:22 to play. BSU fought back from a first-half double-digit deficit behind its best shooting performance of the conference season and its best 3-point shooting performance of the season, losing for the fourth time this season when shooting better than its opponent.
- Junior guard Nick Wagner led BSU in scoring with 16.5 points per game, including a game-high 23 on 8-of-12 shooting against UMary. Sophomore guard Max Bjorklund followed close behind with 15.5 points per game, including a game-high 19 against Minot State. Bjorklund also led the team with five rebounds against MiSU and went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
- Bemidji State ranks ninth in the nation and leads the NSIC shooting 41.2 percent from beyond the arc, 19th nationally with 11.1 3-point field goals per game and 20th with 28.83 defensive rebounds per game. The Beavers are one of the best teams offensively in the conference, leading the pack shooting 49.1 percent from the field, and ranking third with 81.4 points per game and 36.9 rebounds per game.
- Wagner is second in the conference and ranks 12th nationally with 3.56 3-point field goals per game and ranks second in the NSIC and 18th nationally with 64 total 3-point field goals.
- BSU has outscored its opponents in the second half by nearly 100 points this season.
Scouting Sioux Falls
- After Sioux Falls opened the NSIC schedule 10-1, the Cougars enter the weekend 1-2 in their last three games. Most recently, USF split a weekend series with a 68-60 loss at home against Upper Iowa University and an 87-85 overtime win against Winona State University.
- USF is holding its opponents to 68.3 points per game, ranking second in the league, while leading the NSIC with 30.3 rebounds allowed per game.
- Junior forward Teathloach Pal leads the team shooting 57.9 percent from the field and ranks sixth in the conference with 9.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Chase Grinde leads the team with 11.6 points per game and ranks 20th in the league with 2.6 assists per game.
Scouting Southwest Minn. State
- Southwest Minnesota State enters the weekend on a three-game losing streak after falling in a weekend sweep to Winona State, 63-55, and Upper Iowa, 80-77. The Mustangs enter the weekend eighth in NSIC South Division standings with a 6-14 overall record and a 3-11 mark in conference games.
- The Mustangs are second in the NSIC allowing opponents to shoot 42.0 percent from the field and fourth allowing opponents to score 69.7 points per game.
- Junior guard Kenny Byers leads the team and ranks 10th in the NSIC with 17.5 points per game and ranks tied for eighth in the league with 7.7 rebounds per game.
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).