Beaver Fever Friday – Mens Basketball – Derek Thompson

Beavers welcome in Minot State and U-Mary for lone January home games

The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program hosts its only home games of January on Friday and Saturday in the first season meetings against Minot State University and University of Mary. The Beavers of BSU meet the Beavers of MiSU for the 21st time Friday night before the Beavers and Marauders play for the 24th time in the series history.

Bemidji State and Minot State began the 20-game series Dec. 28, 1967, an 86-62 win by BSU at the Mayville Invitational in Mayville, N.D. BSU leads the all-time record, 11-9, although MiSU has won the last five meetings, including a sweep last season. Minot State took wins of 79-71 on Jan. 20, 2017 in Minot, N.D., and 86-69 on Feb. 18, 2017 in Bemidji, Minn.

Senior guard Sharif Black averaged 16.5 points per game against Minot State last season while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor. He also dished out 5.0 assists, including a career-high eight Feb. 18, and grabbed 4.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green was the only other Beaver to average double-digit scoring against MiSU with 11.5 on 42.1 percent shooting. Senior guard Christian Pekarek holds a career-high 24 points scored against Minot State as a true freshman Feb. 14, 2015.

U-Mary leads the all-time series versus Bemidji State, 13-10, which began Dec. 18, 1971 in Bismarck, N.D., with a 92-87 victory over the Beavers. BSU grabbed six of their 10 wins in the series consecutively from 2011-14. Bemidji State’s 78-67 win in the first meeting with U-Mary last season snapped a four-game skid to the Marauders.

Black also led Bemidji State in scoring over both games against U-Mary last season, averaging 12.0 points per game on 35.0 percent shooting from the field, including an 18-point performance in BSU’s win at U-Mary. As a team, BSU shot 46.4 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from long range and pulled down 37.0 rebounds per game in the two-game split last season.