|February 22, 2020||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||UMD||BSU|
|FG Percentage||.426 (26-61)||.574 (27-47)|
|3P FG Percentage||.290 (9-31)||.542 (13-24)|
|FT Percentage||.882 (15-17)||.762 (16-21)|
Illikainen - 2
Steffen - 1
BEMIDJI, MINN. (BSU Gymnasium) -- Senior guard Ja Morgan amped up a motivated Bemidji State University men’s basketball program with 20 second-half points in an 83-76 win over the University of Minnesota Duluth Saturday night at BSU Gymnasium.
Morgan shot 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in the second half after junior forward Derek Thompson opened the game with 13 first-half points. The Beavers finish the regular season 14-12 overall and 11-11 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference after extending its winning streak to four games to go along with six wins in the last seven games.
Minnesota Duluth took the upper hand early in the game with a 14-3 run over the first four minutes of play. The 11-point lead was the largest of the night for the Bulldogs as the Beavers went on a 13-2 run over a four-minute span to tie the game, 16-16. BSU took its first lead of the game, 21-20, as junior guard Nick Wagner converted an and-one basket. BSU and UMD traded leads four times before Morgan hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to go into the break with a 32-29 advantage.
Morgan and Thompson combined to score the first 11 points for BSU in the second half, which came during an 11-4 run to take a 10-point, 43-33 lead. The Beavers were able to extend their lead to a game-high 15 points two times, coming on 3-pointers from Morgan and Wagner. Following BSU’s 74-59 lead with 5:13 to play, UMD went on a 17-3 run that lasted until just over one minute to play. BSU missed just one field goal during UMD’s run but gave away three turnovers and missed three free throws, two coming on the front half of one-and-one opportunities.
BSU held off UMD with a layup and four straight free throw conversions to finish the game while the defense held UMD to 0-of-2 shooting over the final 16 seconds.
All five of BSU’s starters scored in double figures, led by Morgan with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. He chipped in five assists and three rebounds. Thompson followed with 21 points, his sixth 20-point game of the season, while adding a team-high eight rebounds. With his 21 points, Thompson is now five points shy of scoring 1,000 in his career at BSU.
BSU shot 57.4 percent (27-47) from the field, its second-best shooting performance of the season, and 54.2 percent (13-24) from beyond the arc, which is also its second-best performance from deep this season. Minnesota Duluth shot 42.6 percent (26-61) from the floor, 29.0 percent (9-31) from long range and 88.2 percent (15-17) from the free-throw line.
Bemidji State will begin the NSIC Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Minnesota State University, Mankato in Mankato, Minn.
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).