The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program secured its first season sweep over Minnesota State University Moorhead since the 2003-04 season with an 80-73 victory Friday night at BSU Gymnasium. Sophomore forward Logan Bader led the way for the Beavers (11-13, 8-11 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) after totaling his second double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds to overtake the Dragons (6-19, 4-15 NSIC).
Both teams started cold from the field, combining for an 0-for-7 start from the field, but Bemidji State caught fire quick to go up 7-0. Senior guard Sharif Black scored five of BSU’s first seven points and gave the Beavers a 7-0 lead with his first 3-pointer of the game. Sophomore forward Logan Bader made the first of his four first-half 3-pointers to put BSU up, 10-2, while senior guard Christian Pekarek made his lone shot from beyond the arc in the first half to give BSU a first-half-high 11-point lead, 15-4.
After BSU held MSUM 1-for-13 from the field to begin the game, the Dragons felt the hot touch while going on a 13-0 run. MSU Moorhead grabbed its first lead of the night and extended it to five points late in the first half before sophomore guard Jacob McNallan scored five straight points to tie the game, 36-36, just before halftime.
The game went back-and-forth in baskets over the first 12 scores of the second half, including four 3-pointers from MSUM guard Tanner Kretchman in the first six minutes of the half. Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green helped create the first separation in the final period with a floater in the lane to bring BSU within two points, 54-52.
Five different Beavers helped the team go on a 13-0 run, including two baskets by freshman forward Derek Thompson, to go up, 61-54. The Dragons went 0-for-6 from the field during the stretch and gave away two turnovers. Bemidji State took an eight-point lead multiple times through the following five minutes, but a quick 5-0 run by MSUM allowed it to pull within one possession. Green was able to put in a layup with 16 seconds remaining before grabbing a rebound on the defensive end and converting free throws to seal the win.
Five Beavers reached double-digit scoring, led by Bader with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, and recorded second double-double of the season. Black followed with 16 points and six assists, while Thompson scored 15 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double. Pekarek finished the game with a team-high 10 assists, which is just the 22nd time in the history of the program a player reached double-figure assists.
Bemidji State finished the game shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from long range and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. The Beavers won the rebound battle, 42-35, and scored 34 points in the paint compared to 28 for the Dragons.
Bemidji State will honor two seniors in the final home game of the season Saturday against Northern State University. The Beavers and Wolves tip-off from BSU Gymnasium at 6 p.m.