MEN'S BASKETBALL: Beavers win big in season opener, cruise to 84-55 victory over D-III Northland
BEMIDJI -- It didn't take long for the Bemidji State men's basketball team to get rolling in its first game of the season against Division III Northland College.
BEMIDJI - It didn’t take long for the Bemidji State men’s basketball team to get rolling in its first game of the season against Division III Northland College.
The Beavers started the game on a 12-2 run and never looked back, winning by a final score of 84-55 on Friday night at the BSU Gymnasium.
“I was pleased with both starts to each half,” head coach Mike Boschee said.
BSU only surrendered two points within the first seven minutes of the game, and by the end of the half the Lumberjacks only had 16.
“We were good in a lot of areas,” said Boschee. “It’s a good start, a good team win.”
Ben Best led BSU offensively with 17 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Best also finished with seven rebounds after having just two in the first half.
“The first half I wasn’t attacking the O-boards as much as I could,” Best said.
“Second half, I felt like every time I was going for the boards, and I got a couple loose balls and I ended up finishing them.”
Elijah Valdez added 15 points off the bench, and Christian Pekarek dished out seven assists while committing just one turnover.
“He brings something like no other player,” Best said of Pekarek.
“He’s always looking to get us open looks. He’s not necessarily looking for his points, for his stats.”
Dan Campion led Northland College with 14 points, while Bryshaun Brown added 12 points and five rebounds to help the Lumberjacks’ cause. But the Beavers ensured that they kept their early lead for the 29-point victory.
“We were really good in transition, which hopefully will continue,” said Boschee, though he said he knew there were still things for his team to work on. “Defensively, I thought we played in spurts with our intensity.”
Despite the issues with defensive intensity that Boschee saw, the Beavers only surrendered 55 points, their least since Nov. 29 of last season when they beat Minnesota Crookston 78-50.
And although Bemidji State is coming away with a win on opening night, the focus will soon be shifting onto the next. The Beavers host another Division III opponent, Crown College, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the BSU Gymnasium.
“We can celebrate our win tonight,” Best said. “But we’ve got another game tomorrow.”