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SCORING 101: Beaver men school Northland in 101-58 victory

BEMIDJI -- It hadn't happened in over two years, but now the Bemidji State men's basketball team has done it twice in a row. For a second consecutive game, the Beavers (2-3) put triple-digits on the scoreboard, resulting in their first two wins o...

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BSU freshman Logan Bader takes a shot in the second half of Tuesday's game against Northland College at the BSU gymnasium. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- It hadn’t happened in over two years, but now the Bemidji State men’s basketball team has done it twice in a row.

For a second consecutive game, the Beavers (2-3) put triple-digits on the scoreboard, resulting in their first two wins of the year.

On Tuesday, it was a 101-58 result over Northland College that closed out BSU’s non-conference schedule on the right note.

“It’s hard to put up 100 against anybody,” BSU head coach Mike Boschee said. “It’s nice to see us move the ball, share the ball.”

It was a shootout early on, as Bemidji State put up six threes before attempting a jumper inside the arc.

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It stayed close as both teams traded deep shots, but BSU finally started to pull away when the inside game got going.

BSU worked up to its largest lead at 33-19 lead thanks to an 8-0 run. After a pair of free throws, Ben Best made a post move on the block for two, then got a steal on the ensuing Lumberjack possession. Best took it coast-to-coast, finishing with a Euro-step. Soon after, with plenty of attention on Best, Jai’Vionne Green split two helpside defenders for a layup of his own.

Northland refused to go away, however, outscoring the Beavers by one in the final 6 minutes, 23 seconds for a 47-34 halftime score.

Both teams shot 6-for-13 from deep in the first half, but the difference was down low. BSU was 13-for-20 from two, while Northland went just 5-19.

And in the second half, BSU made it a point to get it inside.

“We always want to get it into the paint,” Boschee said. “Definitely in the second half, we wanted to make it an extra point to get post touches in the paint, not just penetration in the paint.”

Best hit two inside shots to open the half, and then shortly after he found Green with a no-look, over-the-shoulder pass for two.

“I think in the second half we attacked better, we were finishing inside, and then we had shooters hit shots,” Best said.

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But still, Northland wouldn’t fold.

They kept within striking distance at a 55-46 deficit, but a wide open missed layup gave BSU the spark it needed to pull away, as the Beavers ran off 10 in a row after that.

Then, following a three by Christian Pekarek to make it 69-48, the score never got within 20 again.

BSU added the exclamation point late -- a 15-0 run -- to reach triple-digits for a second-straight game.

Including Saturday’s 104-67 victory over Wisconsin-Superior, BSU has now surpassed the century mark in back-to-back games for the first time since March 2003.

Green finished with a game-high 19 on the night, while Best added 18 and Pekarek 16. Pekarek’s eight rebounds paced the Beavers to a 47-28 advantage on the glass.

“(That’s) huge. We have to come every night, we gotta be ready to rebound, no matter who we’re playing,” Best said. “There’s a lot of big guys down low, we just gotta be ready to board and be a powerhouse down low.”

Bemidji State will now shift its focus to Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play, beginning with a 6 p.m. matchup on Friday at Minnesota Duluth.

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  Bemidji State 101, Northland College 58

NORTHLAND (1-4) -- Jackson 4-9 0-0 11; Whiting 5-12 1-2 11; Peterson 3-6 3-3 10; Campion 2-8 0-0 6; Harris 2-4 0-0 6; Smith 1-5 2-2 4; Gilbertson 1-2 1-1 3; Nicholls 1-2 0-0 2; Briggs 1-5 0-0 2; Galland 1-3 0-0 2; Zorn 0-1 1-2 1; Farrell 0-0 0-0 0; Lucas 0-1 0-0 0; Dunbar 0-0 0-0 0; Hagen 0-1 0-0 0; Houle 0-0 0-0 0; Larry Jr. 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 8-10 58.

BEMIDJI STATE (2-3) --  Green 7-11 3-6 19; Best 8-14 1-2 18; Pekarek 6-10 0-0 16; Black 3-7 5-6 13; Harvey 4-6 0-0 9; Bader 3-6 0-0 8; Dibble 2-5 2-2 7; Wendt, 2-5 0-0 4; White 2-3 0-0 4; McNallan 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 38-71 11-16 101.

Halftime: BSU 47, NC 34


Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.