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MEN’S BASKETBALL: BSU staying in rhythm

BEMIDJI -- As the playoff race continues to heat up, the Bemidji State men’s basketball team continues to keep things the same.

“It’s a process where you can’t get ahead of yourself. It’s just got to be one game at a time,” BSU head coach Mike Boschee said. “We’ve got to continue to play well and prepare as well as we can for whoever we’re playing Friday night -- and that’s Wayne State this weekend -- and then you’ve got to scramble and quickly get information to your guys in order to help them try to play well on Saturday night.”

The Beavers (9-12, 6-10 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) are hosting WSC and Augustana this weekend with hopes of holding onto fourth -- the last spot with a home playoff game -- in the NSIC North Division. Bemidji State currently sits half a game ahead of Minnesota Duluth and one game ahead of Minnesota Crookston with six games to play.

“We’re all looking forward to hopefully getting a home (playoff) game,” sophomore forward Logan Bader said. “We’re looking forward to getting (seniors Christian Pekarek and Sharif Black) a home game for the playoffs. We’re looking to get that.”

Meanwhile, BSU’s opponents are in similar shoes within the South Division standings. The Wildcats (12-12, 7-9 NSIC) and Vikings (13-9, 8-8 NSIC) sit sixth and fifth, respectively, in the South, and both are within two games of fourth.

“Wayne is a team that is really scrappy, really aggressive… They pick you up full court a lot,” Boschee said. “It’s a little unique in their style that we have to be ready for. And then Augie has been a power. They still have a national championship point guard out there (in Jordan Spencer) that controls a lot of things that happen.”

But for the Beavers, it still comes back to going about the week the same way.

“I do like our guys, and I think they’re still competing and still wanting to learn,” Boschee said. “I think we’re getting a lot of things done in our film sessions… We’re still practicing hard and trying to get better. And that’s it. That’s all you can do. We’re just trying to keep the focus on trying to get better.”

The weekend series gets underway at 8 p.m. tonight when Bemidji State takes on Wayne State. Then, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, the Beavers will be back at the BSU Gymnasium to host Augustana.

“They’re both pretty good teams. We had a little rough game last weekend against Mankato, but we’re looking to bounce back this weekend and be ready to go,” Bader said. “Especially being at home… We’ve just got to come out and play each game. Hopefully we’ll get it done this weekend and get a sweep.”

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.

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