|February 26, 2020||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||BSU||MSU|
|FG Percentage||.352 (19-54)||.512 (22-43)|
|3P FG Percentage||.259 (7-27)||.500 (5-10)|
|FT Percentage||.800 (16-20)||.786 (22-28)|
Bjorklund - 15
Bader - 7
Bjorklund - 2
Wagner - 2
Kramer - 1
Kramer - 2
MANKATO, Minn. (Taylor Center) -- Big second halves by senior guard Ja Morgan and sophomore guard Max Bjorklund weren’t able to push Bemidji State University men’s basketball to a win in the opening round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as Minnesota State University, Mankato handed it a 71-61 loss on Wednesday night in Mankato, Minn.
Bemidji State finishes the season 14-13 overall after Wednesday’s loss despite 13 points from Morgan and 12 from Bjorklund in the second half against Minnesota State.
The Beavers opened the game facing a 9-0 deficit over four minutes into play before junior guard Nick Wagner hit a 3-pointer to get the team on the board. Minnesota State took a double-digit advantage four minutes later before a milestone 3-pointer from Wagner helped Bemidji State chip into the deficit. Wagner’s second 3-pointer of the game gave him 80 on the season, setting a new single-season BSU record, and was part of a 13-4 run to bring the Beavers to within five points of the Mavericks, 27-22.
During the run junior forward Derek Thompson hit a 3-pointer to reach 1,000 career points with BSU, becoming the 19th student-athlete and just the second junior in program history to hit the career mark. Following BSU’s run, MSU scored the three points to close out the first half and hand Bemidji State a 30-22 deficit at halftime.
Morgan hit a 3-pointer less than four minutes into the second half to bring BSU’s deficit to one possession, 33-30. Although MSU extended its lead to double digits before the under 10-minute media timeout, Morgan scored six points as part of a 10-1 run for BSU to bring the squad to within one point, 48-47. Bjorklund hit his third and final 3-pointer of the night two minutes later to keep the Beavers within two points, 53-51. From that point, BSU closed the game shooting 4-of-9 from the field and 0-of-4 from beyond the arc while MSU went 3-of-3 from the floor, 2-of-2 from long range and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line as part of an 18-10 MSU run over the final four minutes of play.
Bjorklund and Morgan led BSU with 15 points each while Wagner followed with 12. After recording his 1,000th career point in the first half. Thompson finished the game with nine points and led BSU with seven rebounds.
As a team, BSU shot 35.2 percent (19-54) from the field, 25.9 percent (7-27) from beyond the arc and 80.0 percent (22-28) from the free-throw line while MSU shot 51.2 percent (22-43) from the floor, 50.0 percent (5-10) from 3-point range and 78.6 percent (22-28) from the free-throw line. The Beavers scored 19 points off 15 Mavericks turnovers but allowed MSU to win the rebound margin, 34-30.
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).