The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program returns from the holiday break Dec. 30-31 to face Upper Iowa University and Winona State University at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers and Peacocks meet Saturday for the 20th time in the series history before the 158th meeting between the Beavers and Warriors Sunday, both scheduled for 3:30 p.m. tip-off times.
Bemidji State owns the all-time record against Upper Iowa, 12-7, in the series that first began Dec. 16, 1949. The two programs took a 55-year hiatus before playing the next game in the series. BSU and UIU began to play each season after 2007. The Beavers have taken five of the last six against the Peacocks but dropped last season’s matchup, 80-61, in Fayette, Iowa also on Dec. 30.
Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green led BSU with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting while also pulling down five rebounds. Senior guard Sharif Black added nine points, four rebounds and two assists during the game.
Winona State holds an 86-71 advantage over Bemidji State in the series record that began Jan. 7, 1933. The two programs have played every year, except 1940 and 1945, since the series first began. The Warriors have taken the last five games of the series, including a 95-80 victory last season.
Black led BSU with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, while adding six assists and two steals. Green followed close behind with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting and four assists.
BSU went into the holiday break after a 65-50 loss to University of Minnesota Crookston Saturday, Dec. 16 at BSU Gymnasium, falling in both games to UMC this season.
The Beavers held a 34-29 advantage prior to halftime but were outscored, 36-16, in the second half. Bemidji State shot 35.1 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from beyond the arc, while Minnesota Crookston shot 31.1 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from long range.
Freshman Derek Thompson led BSU in scoring for the second consecutive game with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and was one rebound shy of his first career double-double.