Freshman guard Jai’Vionne Green led a consistent effort Saturday night to help the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team to a 96-86 win against Southwest Minnesota State University at BSU Gymnasium. Green finished the night with a career-high 25 points to propel the Beavers (6-11, 4-8 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) over the Mustangs (14-3, 9-3 NSIC), who received votes in this week’s National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.
Green finished the game shooting 10-for-19 from the field and scored 15 points in the second half. His 25 points accounted for over 25 percent of BSU’s point total while the team scored over 50 points in the second half for the third time in the last six outings.
Bemidji State shot over 50.0 percent from the floor during both halves, finishing 51.6 percent from the field compared to 32.0 percent for Southwest Minnesota State. The Beavers topped their season average heading into the weekend with 40 rebounds while allowing the Mustangs to just 27.
Pekarek followed Green with 19 points and recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 assists. He was close to a triple-double while leading BSU on the boards with seven rebounds. All five BSU starters recorded double-digit points as senior forward Ben Best totaled 17, freshman Jacob McNallan scored 11 and freshman forward Logan Bader put up 10.
Five Mustangs reached at least 10 points, including a team-high 23 from Taylor Schafer off the bench. Carter Kirk finished 7-for-7 from the field for 14 points with a team-high eight rebounds.
Bemidji State heads to North Dakota to take on Minot State University, Jan. 20, and University of Mary, Jan. 21, for its first road action since the end of December. BSU begins the first of a two-game season series against MiSU and U-Mary before closing the regular season against the duo.