BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University men’s basketball makes its 2020-21 debut at BSU Gymnasium with Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference games against Northern State University on Jan. 8-9. Friday’s game will mark 321 days since the Beavers have played at BSU Gymnasium and the 93rd game all-time against the Wolves.
The Series vs. Northern State
• Northern State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 65-27.
• NSU won both games against BSU during the 2019-20 campaign, an 81-73 victory in Aberdeen, S.D., on Dec. 6, 2019 and a 98-92 overtime win in Bemidji on Jan. 11, 2020.
• Senior forward Derek Thompson set a previous career-high in the overtime game last season with 28 points. Senior guard Griffin Chase scored at least 10 points in both games last season while senior guard Nick Wagner averaged 14.5 points per game against NSU, including 21 points in the overtime game.
• The last win by BSU over NSU came on Feb. 11, 2017, a 63-59 victory in Aberdeen.
• BSU has played NSU seven times when the Wolves have been ranked and are 2-5 in those games. The last BSU win over a ranked NSU team was Jan. 16, 2009, a 100-93 double-overtime victory at the 11th ranked Wolves.
• The series began Dec. 18, 1959, a 78-48 win by Bemidji State in Bemidji, which stands as the largest margin of victory in a BSU win over NSU.
Fast Break Bemidji State
• Bemidji State and Northern State will open conference play this weekend as only games played against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference division opponents will count towards conference records.
• BSU began the 2020-21 season with a 74-59 win over Minnesota State University, Mankato on Jan. 2 followed by a 91-67 loss on Jan. 3 in Mankato, Minn. The Beavers and Mavericks closed out the opening weekend of games with their only non-conference games of the season.
• The Beavers’ opening day win gave head coach Mike Boschee his 101st career win in his ninth season at BSU.
• The Beavers are now 6-3 in season-openers under Boschee, 3-6 in road openers, and 5-4 when facing an NSIC team for the first time. Heading into Friday’s game, BSU is 6-2 in games to officially start conference play.
• Senior forward Derek Thompson paced the Beavers last weekend while averaging 23.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, including his 10th career double-double of 33 points and 12 rebounds in BSU’s season-opening win. Bemidji State is 7-3 in games in which Thompson records a double-double.
• Thompson set a career-high in scoring with 33 points, on 13-of-25 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line, to top his previous high of 28 points, which he recorded on three occasions. His 12 rebounds were three shy of his career best.
• Senior guard Nick Wagner followed Thompson in scoring with 13.5 points per game, including 18 in BSU’s win. He went 6-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-9 from 3-point range in the game.
• In his first career games at BSU, junior guard Mohamed Kone recorded 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, currently standing as the leading assist-man for the Beavers.
• After playing in 10 minutes in his first career game with BSU Saturday, freshman forward Dalton Albrecht led the team in rebounds on Sunday with a career-high seven, all on the defensive end. He also went 6-of-7 from the free throw line in the game.
• In BSU’s win, the Beavers outshot the Mavericks from the field, 45.3 percent to 41.0 percent, and won the rebound battle, 41-37. During Bemidji State’s loss, BSU was outshot from the floor, 43.9 percent to 48.4 percent, and lost the rebound margin, 43-30.
• Bemidji State was voted to finish third in the NSIC North Division, as the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released mid-December. The conference poll was split into divisions without an overall poll, as the 2020-21 season will crown only North Division and South Division champions.
• BSU’s preseason ranking is the highest for the program since the NSIC split into the North and South Division format during the 2012-13 season.
• BSU received 35 points in the preseason coaches’ poll, falling behind Northern State in first with 49 total points and seven first-place votes, and Minnesota State University Moorhead in second with 43 total points and one first-place vote.
Scouting Northern State
• Northern State opened the 2020-21 season with two wins at NSIC South Division opponent Wayne State College, 66-62 on Jan. 2 and 64-51 on Jan. 3.
• The Wolves are guided by second-year head coach Saul Phillips. In his first season, Phillips led the Wolves to a 26-6 record and the program’s third straight NSIC Overall and Tournament Championships.
• Junior guard Mason Stark was named the NSIC North Division Player of the Week after the opening series at Wayne State. He averaged 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game and shot 57.1 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. Stark scored 17 points in each game and did not commit a turnover in 68 minutes played.
• NSU is averaging 65.0 points per game after its first two games of the season and is shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 30.2 percent from 3-point range and 62.5 percent from the free throw line. The Wolves lead the nation thus far with 8.5 blocks per game and rank fifth with a scoring defense of 56.5 points per game.
• The Wolves are currently ranked seventh in the NABC Top 25 Coaches Poll, moving up one spot from the previous poll.
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), or like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers).
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).