U-Mary outlasts Bemidji State in overtime thriller, 88-80

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Regulation time was not enough for Bemidji State University and University of Mary men’s basketball Saturday night as BSU fell in an overtime thriller, 87-80, at BSU Gymnasium. Senior guard Sharif Black led the Beavers (8-10, 5-8 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) with 24 points for the second straight night and reached the 1,000-point plateau in his collegiate career.

Both teams traded the lead throughout the first half, with both programs taking seven-point leads before a 44-39 halftime score, in favor of Bemidji State. The Beavers scored on three of the first four baskets in the second half to grab their largest lead of the game, 51-41. U-Mary came back to take its first lead of the half midway through the second period, although BSU was able to climb back and tie the game at 71-71 with just over two minutes in regulation.

Each team went 1-for-2 from the free throw line for its final point of the game, although BSU had a chance for a game-winning shot with 1.7 seconds left. A half-court heave by senior guard Christian Pekarek hit off the rim and out to move the game to overtime. Freshman forward Derek Thompson sank two free throws within the first 30 seconds of the overtime period, but it would be the only points BSU scored before U-Mary took an 81-74 lead. The Beavers missed their first two field goals of the overtime and gave away two turnovers.

Black, who now has 627 points in his two-season career at BSU, went 10-for-19 from the field to finish with 24 points for the second consecutive night. All five starters also scored in double figures for the second straight game, as sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green followed Black with 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

Bemidji State shot 43.7 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from beyond the arc and went 7-for-11 from the free throw line on the night. U-Mary shot 43.5 percent from the floor, 39.3 percent from long range and went 16-for-20 from the charity stripe. The Beavers won the battle in the paint, 38-32, but the Marauders were able to take advantage on the boards with a 44-40 differential on the boards.

Bemidji State hits the road to finish the month of January while facing Concordia University-St. Paul and Minnesota State University Mankato Jan. 26-27.