BEMIDJI, Minn. - The exuberant tones of red, orange and yellow can be seen throughout the north land and the crisp hints of frigid weather are both signs that winter is moving in on Northern Minnesota. The coldest months of the year also bring with them indoor sports and the Bemidji State University men’s and women’s basketball teams are taking the signs of winter as a green light to begin training for their upcoming seasons. Wednesday, both teams will open up the doors of the BSU Gymnasium for their first organized team practices in preparation for the 2008-09 season.
Head coach Mike Curfman and the BSU women basketball team are coming off a season in which they posted an overall record of 13-15 and a 9-9 mark in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). BSU’s 13 wins marked the third consecutive season with 13 wins or more. The last time the Beavers had 13 wins in three consecutive seasons was during the 1989-92 seasons. The teams earned a spot in the conference tournament but lost a quarterfinal, 80-78, heart-breaker at the University of Mary to close the book on the 2007-08 season.
With the bulk of its scoring gone from a year ago due to graduation there is a tremendous amount of anticipation for the women’s basketball team. BSU returns a solid group of players who saw considerable playing time last season led by senior guard Heidi Matzke (Red Lake Falls, Minn. Matzke finished the season ranked second on the team averaging 14.7 points per game while pulling down 4.9 rebounds per game. For her efforts she was named Third Team All-NSIC. Also returning is the team’s fifth leading scorer in 2007-08 Colleen McKay (So., F, Barnum, Minn.). The sophomore netted 9.0 points per game during her freshman campaign while grabbing just over four boards a contest. Two other seniors will be back for their final tour of duty in Melissa Roberts (F, Staples, Minn.) and Kristina Salscheider (G/F, Cass Lake, Minn.).
With the return of a strong crop of student-athletes along with the addition of eight highly talented newcomers, the Bemidji community can expect a new style of BSU women’s basketball this season.
The men’s team, under the tutelage of Matt Bowen who is in his third year at BSU, is coming off a year in which it posted a 6-21 overall record and finished the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season with a 3-15 mark.
The BSU men’s team return nine players from last years squad along with two red-shirt freshmen who practiced with the squad all last season. For the second consecutive season, Bowen and his staff brought in local talent with four freshman from Minnesota. This group is comprised of two all-state players along with McDonald’s All-American nominee Jake Lindstrom (Fr., G, Cottage Grove, Minn.) and Crosby-Ironton boy’s basketball all-time leading scorer Bryce Tesdahl (Fr., G, Crosby-Ironton, Minn.).
With virtually everyone returning from last season’s team and such a highly talented group of newcomers joining them there is high anticipation hanging over them.
The Bemidji State women open their season with a exhibition contest versus Division I South Dakota on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. in Vermillion, S.D. The 2008-09 opener is set for Nov. 21 versus Metro State University at 6 p.m. in St. Paul, Minn. at the Wildwood Lodge Tip-Off Classic.
The Bemidji State men open their season with an exhibition contest versus Division I Indiana University on Nov. 11 in Bloomington, Ind. BSU opens its 2008-09 season on Nov. 18 when it hosts Jamestown College at 7 p.m. from the BSU Gymnasium.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).
BSU Men’s Practice Schedule
Wednesday (10/15) 1-3 p.m. - BSU Gym
Thursday (10/16) 1-3 p.m. - BSU Gym
Friday (10/17) 1-3 p.m. - BSU Gym, 7-9 p.m. - BSU Gym
Saturday (10/18) 10-12 p.m. - BSU Gym, 4-6 p.m. - BSU Gym
Sunday (10/19) No Practice
BSU Women’s Practice Schedule
Wednesday (10/15) 5-7 p.m. - BSU Gym
Thursday (10/16) 5-7 p.m. - BSU Gym
Friday (10/17) 3:30-5:30 p.m. - BSU Gym
Saturday (10/18) No Practice
Sunday (10/19) 6-8 p.m. - BSU Gym