2004-05 Basketbal Schedule Announced
Monday, July 26, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A Division I exhibition against Iowa State, the Pepsi Tip-Off and a four-game swing through Colorado highlight the 2004-05 Bemidji State men’s basketball schedule, announced today by first-year head coach Patrick Smith.

Iowa State, a member of the Big 12 Conference, welcomes Bemidji State Nov. 9 to Ames, Iowa after the season-opener against Grand Forks Air Force Base Nov. 3. The Cyclones are the first BSU Division I opposition since Northern Arizona defeated the Beavers, 79-64, Dec. 3, 1991. ISU is coming off a 20-13 season and its first ever appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Semifinals.

A single affair at Minnesota Duluth, Nov. 15 gives the Beavers the opportunity to avenge a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Semifinal loss last March. UM-Duluth was the only NSIC squad to defeat BSU twice during the course of the 2003-04 season. That game precedes the Pepsi Tip-Off Tournament, Nov. 19-20, hosted by Minnesota State. In Mankato, Minn., BSU battles Augustana and MSU on the final day. AC went 6-21 while MSU logged an 18-10 overall mark last season.

BSU will trek into the land of unfamiliarity with a contest against Lake Superior State, Nov. 22, in the 2004-05 home opener. The Beavers and Lakers have never met in reported school history. A member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), LSS finished 9-19 overall last year. Two more North Central Conference (NCC) opponents (North Dakota and Augustana), visit the BSU Gymnasium, Nov. 24 & 26, before the trip out west.

Three of the four Colorado schools compiled winning records in 2003-04, Colorado Christian (19-9), Regis (14-13) and Colorado State-Pueblo (19-9). BSU starts with Colorado Christian Nov. 30, followed by Regis Dec. 1 and Colorado State-Pueblo and New Mexico Highlands at the CS-P Tournament (Dec. 3-4). NMH wrapped up last year with a 9-18 mark.

Two NCC institutions, St. Cloud State (Dec. 8) and North Dakota (Dec. 10), along with NCAA Division III member Upper Iowa (Dec. 12), wrap up non-conference play. The meeting with Upper Iowa will mark the first between the two schools.

NSIC play begins with a streak of four straight home games. Concordia-St. Paul, who finished eighth in the 2003-04 league standings, visits Jan. 7 with Winona State to follow Jan. 8. The ensuing weekend (Jan. 14-15) has Minnesota State-Moorhead and Northern State on the slate. The Beavers have taken five of the last seven meetings with NSU - despite the Wolves winning two NSIC Championships (2002 & 2003) during that time.

Late January has BSU visiting SW Minnesota State (Jan. 21), Wayne State (Jan. 22) and Minnesota-Crookston (Jan. 29). The UM-C game marks the end of the first half of league action. None of those three teams maintained a record above the .500 mark last season.

The second half of the league run is highlighted by trips to Northern State (Feb. 18) and Winona State (Feb. 25). The Beavers have not won in Aberdeen, S.D. the past two seasons and the average margin of victory in South Dakota the last four games has been four points. WSU went 17-12 a year ago despite missing two starters to injury.

Smith welcomes back three returners from a 2003-04 club that went 20-10, grabbed its first NSIC regular season title in 37 years and made its inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament. Schedule Notes: Nov. 15 is the same starting date as last season...The eight road non-conference contests keep up a recent trend as the Beavers appeared on the road 11 times before NSIC play in 2003-04...BSU has won the last two games when opening the season on the road (2002 & 2003)...Lake Superior State is the first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent in a BSU home opener since Northern Michigan, Nov. 15, 1997...In reported history, the Beavers are 3-10 against Division I opposition with the last win coming vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Nov. 22, 1986...Despite leaving the league to join the North Central Conference for the 2004-05 season, Minnesota Duluth remains on the schedule for the 29th consecutive season...BSU has dropped its last five games against North Central Conference opposition...The combined 2003-04 record of the 11 non-league opponents is 153-151 (.503) and of all opposition from a year ago is 243-258 (.485)...There is the possibility of an exhibition against Grand Forks Air Force Base at home around Nov. 10 or 11.