Beaver Fever Friday – Travis Bianco – Mens Basketball

Men’s Basketball opens NSIC schedule Tuesday at Minn. Crookston

Bemidji State University men’s basketball opens Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play Tuesday with a trip to face the University of Minnesota Crookston in Crookston, Minn. The Beavers look to move to 3-0 on the season with a 6 p.m. tip-off against the Golden Eagles at Lysaker Gymnasium.

Bemidji State leads the all-time series against Minnesota Crookston, 52-19. The Beavers have won three in a row against the Golden Eagles, including a sweep during the 2020-21 season. During BSU’s final weekend of the 2020-21 season, it beat UMC 95-77 on Friday, Feb. 19 and 109-85 on Saturday, Feb. 20 at BSU Gymnasium.

Senior forward Derek Thompson averaged 32.0 points against Minnesota Crookston, including 45 points during the season finale to set the BSU single-game scoring record.

The series first began Jan. 13, 1922, a 21-15 win by UMC in Bemidji, Minn.

Bemidji State improved to 2-0 this season after a two-game weekend Nov. 19-20 in Bemidji. BSU opened its weekend with a 91-57 win in an exhibition against the University of Minnesota-Morris before a 110-61 victory against Northland College. The Beavers averaged 61.0 points in the paint per game, scoring 60 against the Cougars and 62 against the Lumberjacks.

Senior guard Travis Bianco led BSU in scoring in both games of the weekend, including 24 points with 10 rebounds for his first double-double with the program. He shot over 70 percent in both games and shot 5-of-7 from beyond the arc versus Northland.

During Friday’s exhibition, BSU featured four starters with double-digit scoring. Sophomore forward John Sutherland scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting with 14 rebounds for a double-double. The Beavers shot 57.6 percent from the field and won the rebound margin, 50-27, with 18 offensive rebounds against the Cougars. BSU shot 72.1 percent from the field (44-61) and 61.1 percent from the 3-point line (11-18) against NC, setting a program single-game record for field goal percentage. The Beavers pulled down 41 rebounds and limited the Lumberjacks to just 16, and scored 22 points off 16 Northland turnovers.

The Beavers’ 110-point effort against the Lumberjacks marks the team’s highest point total since a 127-point game against Martin Luther College on Nov. 16, 2019, and is just the seventh time BSU has posted 110 points or more in a game since 1992.

Senior guard Mohamed Kone recorded his third career 20-point game with 21 on 9-of-10 from the field against Northland. He added eight assists, three steals and two rebounds while going 2-of-3 from the 3-point line.

Bemidji State enters Tuesday’s game leading the conference shooting 62.9 percent from the field, pulling down 42.5 rebounds per game and allowing 21.5 rebounds per game. BSU ranks second in scoring with 96.0 points per game and fourth allowing 64.0 points per game, allowing 40.0 percent shooting from the floor and a 1.55 assist-to-turnover ratio.