Bemidji State men's basketball team returns home to face U-Mary, Northern State
It is hard to fault the Bemidji State men's basketball team for losing the last four games.
The Beavers faced opponents currently holding a combined 44-24 record during the two-week road trip. BSU was competitive against St. Cloud State, Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota State, losing three of those games by a combined margin of 15 points.
After wrapping up the road trip with a 78-62 loss to Southwest Minnesota State last weekend, the Beavers will have another stiff challenge against the University of Mary Marauders at BSU Gymnasium Friday at 8 p.m. The Beavers host Northern State Saturday at 6 p.m.
"We're on a four-game losing streak and we played well for all but the last eight minutes against Southwest Minnesota," Bemidji State coach Matt Bowen said. "It's frustrating. We just didn't execute enough down the stretch of those games. There's a lot of season left to turn things around."
The Beavers currently stand 12th in the tightly contested 14-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings with a 4-9 (7-10 overall) record. Only one win separates the Beavers from eighth place and five wins from second place. One of the teams in the second place-tie is U-Mary, winners of six straight games.
There are nine games left in the regular season for BSU and five of those are at BSU Gymnasium.
"The conference has been wild this year: I'd say we could go 9-0, 0-9 and everything in between with the way the teams in the league are playing," Bowen said.
Bowen said it is hard to accept BSU's seven total wins given the team's performance in statistical categories in NSIC play. He pointed to several stats: BSU is sixth in scoring offense, seventh in scoring margin, third in free throw shooting, fifth in field goal percentage, fifth in field goal percentage defense, fifth in 3-point percentage defense and seventh in rebounding margin.
BSU junior point guard Bryce Tesdahl ranks first in the NSIC in assists and passed David Lee for BSU's all-time career assist record last week. Lee's previous record was 315 assists.
The numbers do not seem to add up to a 12th place team, but that's where BSU finds itself.
"We're doing a lot of things well," Bowen said before making a joke. "But the biggest thing we're doing well is making dumb decisions at the worst times. I don't think they make a statistic for that because if they did, we'd probably be leading it."
Leading the Marauders (13-4 overall, 9-4 NSIC) into Bemidji is Anthony Moody and Eric Erdmann. Bowen characterized Moody, who ranks fourth in NSIC scoring at 20 points per game, as one of the most dynamic players to play in the NSIC in recent years.
Northern State enters the weekend 7-10 overall (3-10 NSIC). BSU defeated Northern State 92-86 earlier this season and lost to U-Mary 78-56.
The Bemidji State women's basketball team is home this weekend as well.
The Beavers host U-Mary at 6 p.m. Friday and Northern State at 4 p.m. Saturday.
BSU enters the weekend looking to snap a five-game losing streak. The Beavers are 5-12 overall and 2-11 in NSIC play.
While the Beavers have struggled on the road and are winless in seven contests, the team has played better at home and are 4-4 at BSU Gymnasium.
BSU enters the weekend in 13th place in the NSIC.
U-Mary is 9-8 overall (7-6 NSIC) and Northern State is 12-5 overall (8-4 NSIC) entering the weekend.