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Beaver Fever Friday – Playoff Edition – @BSUBeaversMBB – Cody Landwehr

Men’s Basketball opens NSIC Tournament Wednesday at Minnesota State

The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program opens the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Wednesday, Feb. 27 with a trip to face the No. 1 seed in the south division, Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers and Mavericks will tip-off at 6 p.m. from Taylor Center in their second NSIC Tournament First Round meeting in the last four seasons.

Minnesota State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 70-35. The Mavericks have won four straight games against the Beavers, including a 77-66 victory in the lone 2018-19 regular season meeting Feb. 9 in Bemidji, Minn. After trailing MSU by 13 points at halftime, 39-26, BSU battled back to within four, 49-45, midway through the second half. The Mavericks pulled away in the final 10 minutes thanks to a 13-3 run after the Beavers’ four-point deficit.

Junior guard Ja Morgan scored a team-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc while adding six assists. Sophomores Jacob Hoffman and Derek Thompson followed with 12 points each.

The Beavers and Mavericks have played twice in the NSIC postseason since head coach Mike Boschee took over in 2012, including a meeting in the NSIC Tournament final March 9, 2013. MSU in 2-0 in those games, including an 81-71 victory to end BSU’s 2015-16 campaign.

The series began Jan. 27, 1933, a 24-23 win by MSU in Bemidji.

Bemidji State finished the regular season 9-17 overall and 6-16 in conference play after falling on the wrong end of a sweep at St. Cloud State University, 85-58, and University of Minnesota Duluth, 74-62.

The Beavers took an early lead against the Huskies before coming up on the short end of a 16-2 run to trail for the remainder of the game. BSU allowed its highest shooting percentage as a defense in NSIC play since early in December as SCSU shot 53.4 percent from the field.

Freshman forward Cody Landwehr led BSU with 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench while shooting 9-of-12 from the field. Sophomore guard Griffin Chase was the only other Beaver to reach double-figure scoring with 10 points.

Bemidji State opened its regular-season-finale with strong defense against Minnesota Duluth but allowed at least 50.0 percent shooting on defense for the second straight game.

Landwehr recorded his second straight double-double and his third in his last four games with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Hoffman led BSU with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field.

On the season, Thompson leads the squad with 14.2 points per game, good for 22nd in the conference, with seven games of at least 22 points. Bader paces the team on the boards with 6.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 10th in the NSIC. Thompson ranks fourth in the NSIC in field goal percentage at .539. Hoffman ranks third in the NSIC shooting 45.0 percent from beyond the arc. Morgan paces the league with 6.5 assists per game and ranks second for the most assists in a single-season at BSU with 169.

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