Bianco-led comeback falls short in 85-81 loss to No. 19 Upper Iowa

January 08, 20221st2ndFinal
Upper Iowa364985
Bemidji St.344781
Stats at a GlanceUIUBSU
FG Percentage.484 (30-62) .452 (33-73)
3P FG Percentage.455 (10-22) .250 (5-20)
FT Percentage.652 (15-23) .714 (10-14)
Offensive Rebounds1022
Defensive Rebounds2126
Total Rebounds3148
Bench Points1327
PointsSmoldt - 23
Bianco - 31
ReboundsReid - 10
TEAM - 11
AssistsHilmer - 7
Kone - 4
StealsDuax - 3
Ewefada - 2
Bianco - 2
BlocksReid - 1
Duax - 1
Smoldt - 1
Jones - 1
Moritz - 1
Kone - 1
Thompson - 1
Sutherland - 1
Bianco-led comeback falls short in 85-81 loss to No. 19 Upper Iowa
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Bianco-led comeback falls short in 85-81 loss to No. 19 Upper Iowa
Photo Credit: Zoey Mills

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) -- For the second straight game, senior guard Travis Bianco led the Bemidji State University men’s basketball to a comeback attempt that fell short in an 85-81 loss to No. 19 Upper Iowa University on Saturday afternoon at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers overcame a 16-point, first-half deficit and led by as many as 12 before falling to 6-8 overall and 3-7 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Bianco recorded his first career 30-point game, including his third with at least 20 points over the last four, and led BSU in scoring for the sixth time this season. He shot 12-of-21 from the field to go along with seven rebounds and two steals.

The Peacocks opened the game with eight of the game’s first 10 points and extended its lead to a game-high 16 points, 25-9, at the 10-minute mark. The Beavers missed 10 straight field goals with three turnovers given away before its comeback to end the first half.

Bemidji State closed the first half on a 25-11 run, including 13 points from Bianco and eight from sophomore forward Dalton Albrecht, and tied the game out of the halftime break. A layup from senior guard Mohamed Kone tied the game, 36-36, before Bianco gave BSU its first lead of the game, 40-38.

Following a 4-0 run by UIU to regain its lead, the Beavers limited the Peacocks to 1-of-6 shooting with one turnover over a near five-minute span to take the lead again and extend it to 10 points, 54-44. BSU sank two 3-pointers and two baskets in the paint over the next three minutes for its game-high, 12-point lead, 64-52, with 9:03 to play.

The Beavers held on to its double-digit lead with 7:16 to play but saw its lead dwindle despite making six straight field goals. BSU followed its hot streak 1-of-6 from the field with two turnovers given away to allow UIU to take the lead on a 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play. BSU followed with a turnover that forced it to start fouling UIU. The Peacocks made 5-of-6 shots from the free throw line to seal the game.

Bemidji State has shot over 44 percent from the field for the sixth straight game, hitting 45.2 percent from the field (33-73), 25.0 percent from 3-point range (5-20) and 71.4 percent from the free throw line (10-14). Upper Iowa hit 48.4 percent from the field (30-62), including 60.7 percent in the second half (17-28).

Bemidji State opens a four-game road trip Jan. 14-15, first taking on Minnesota State University, Mankato followed by Concordia University-St. Paul.

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), or like them on Facebook (

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).