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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Pekarek leads BSU to 82-76 comeback win

ST. PAUL -- In a had-to-have-it game for the Bemidji State men’s basketball team, Christian Pekarek stepped up the challenge.

The senior captain dropped a career-high 27 points -- 24 after halftime -- to lead the Beavers to an 82-76 comeback road win over Concordia-St. Paul on Friday.

The Golden Bears (3-18, 2-13 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) opened the night with seven straight points as part of a 15-3 start, but Logan Bader and Jai’Vionne Green combined for an 11-0 run soon after, bringing BSU (9-11, 6-9 NSIC) within three at 22-19.

C-SP regained a double-digit lead from there, but a layup for Sharif Black and a 3-pointer for Bader made for a 38-32 game at the break.

Bemidji State brought the score within a point at 44-43 with a 7-0 spurt early in the second half, which led to a 50-50 deadlock.

Later, Pekarek rattled off eight points during an 11-0 run for BSU, making for a 64-60 lead. And although Concordia-St. Paul regained a 72-70 edge, Pekarek made sure to swing the final in favor of the Beavers.

Pekarek found Black for a three, which put Bemidji State in a one-point lead. Then the senior veteran dished again, this time on a Derek Thompson three, before draining two free throws to cap a deciding 8-0 run.

The Beavers went ahead 78-72, and then Pekarek iced the game away with two more from the line as the Golden Bears were in desperation mode.

With Pekarek leading the way, BSU came out as victors in the 82-76 final.

Pekarek finished with 27 points and six assists, including a 10-for-10 performance from the charity stripe. All other started hit double-digits, as well, as Bader hit 15, Thompson 14, Green 13 and Black 11.

Bryndan Matthews poured in 28 points to go with 12 rebounds for C-SP, and Avan Ward added 20 points, as well.

The Beavers are back in action at 6 p.m. tonight for a showdown on the road with Minnesota State Mankato.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. 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 Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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