Beavers host Finlandia in nonconference bout
Monday, February 15, 2010

This Week: The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team hosts Finlandia University Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in a nonconference bout at the BSU Gymnasium.  
About Bemidji State:  The Beavers are 9-14 overall and 6-11 in NSIC play for sole possession of 11th. BSU is coming off its first conference road sweep of the season and the first in head coach Matt Bowen’s four-years at the helm, defeating Minnesota State University Moorhead 79-75 and University of Minnesota, Crookston 81-64.
• Senior Seth Haake scored a career-high 30 points to guide the Beavers to victory against the Dragons, then freshman Lance Rongstad (27) and sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (22) posted career-highs against the Golden Eagles.
• The Beavers shot 51.1 percent from the field against UMC, surpassing the 50 percent mark for the first time since Jan. 16.
• Senior Seth Haake is shooting 54.5 percent from the field this season and is ninth in the NSIC. He is shooting 47.3 percent from beyond the arc to rank fourth in the league. Haake owns a 50.2 field goal percentage and 43.0 3-point percentage in his career.
• BSU is 4th in the nation in free throw percentage at a 76.4 clip.

About Finlandia: The Lions are 8-11 overall and 5-7 on the road this season. Finlandia won its last game 85-59, downing Northland International at home. Senior Tyler Gordon leads the squad in scoring with 21.5 points per game, adding 6.3 rebounds per contest. He has led the team in scoring in 14 games. He stands 25th in scoring for Division III, as of Feb. 7. The Lions compete at the Division III level and have been in existence since the 1999-00 season. Finlandia is coached by Charlie Kemppainen, who is in his eighth year, owning a 71-88 record at the school. The program is not currently affiliated with a conference.

Series History: The Beavers are 2-0 all-time against Finlandia, winning the last contest 89-83 Nov. 29, 2001 in Hancock, Mich. The other contest took place at the BSU Gymnasium Nov. 25, 2000. BSU won that game 85-63.

Last Action: The Beavers went 2-0 last weekend to earn their first NSIC road sweep in four years, defeating MSU Moorhead 79-75 and Minnesota, Crookston 81-64.

Feb. 12 - at MSU Moorhead: Senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) is making the most of his final games as a collegiate basketball player, scoring a career-high 30 points in a Bemidji State University men’s basketball 79-75 win against Minnesota State University Moorhead. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game was played at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. The Beavers ended a four-game losing skid.
    Freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) scored the first two points of the game on two free throws, returning to the line-up after missing two games due to injury. The Beavers then maintained the lead through most of the first half, gaining a lead as large as eight at 20-12 with 9:12 remaining. The Dragons then chipped-away at the BSU lead and tied the game at 33-33 with 1:45 left in the frame. A MSUM 3-pointer gave the home team its first lead of the game. With seven seconds left, sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) knocked-down a jumper to head into the locker room down one at 35-36. Haake had 10 points at the half to lead the Beavers.
    Haake hit the first shot of the second half to give BSU the lead. After trading quick baskets the two teams were tied 42-42, 45 seconds into the half. MSUM then went on a 13-4 run to snatch a nine-point lead with 15:12 remaining. BSU then caught fire and rattled-off 10 unanswered points to retake a one-point lead with 12:21 left. During the run, Haake scored five points to lead the four different Beavers that contributed to the stretch.
    Haake scored five points on consecutive possessions to give BSU a 63-57 lead with 9:05 remaining in the half. The Beavers were able to maintain a small lead over the following three minutes, stretching it to seven on Haake’s 28th and 29th points of the game that tied his career-high, making the score 70-63 with 6:19 left. MSUM wouldn’t go down without a fight and went on a 7-1 run to be down just one-point with 3:59 remaining in the game. Freshman Burke Lendl (F, St. Michael, Minn.) increased the lead to two with a free throw with 2:46 remaining and then junior Patrick Cassidy (F, St. Paul, Minn.) knocked-down a jumper to get the Beaver lead to four with 2:13 left. The Dragons created a turnover and hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one with 1:34 remaining. Cassidy was fouled with 1:11 left and hit both free throws to increase the lead to three. Haake came-up big on the defensive end on the next MSUM possession with a block of what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer and Cassidy pulled-down the rebound to give BSU the ball. The Dragons created a turnover and had a chance to tie the game. They hit a jumper to cut the deficit to one at 75-76 and then immediately fouled. Cassidy was put at the line and he the first before a MSUM timeout. Cassidy came back to the line and missed the second, giving the home team 15 seconds to score. The Dragons took a jumper with seven seconds left, but missed it and Tesdahl came down with the board, his ninth of the game. MSUM was forced to foul and Tesdahl, who is the 15th-ranked free throw shooter in the nation, went to the line and drained both shots to give BSU the two-possession lead at 79-75 and only one second on the clock.
    Haake tied his career-high for 3-pointers made with five, efficiently shooting a 62.5 percentage from beyond the arc. He shot 11-of-16 from the field, establishing a career-high in field goals made. He played every minute of the game. Cassidy and Tesdahl posted 14 points and Rongstad added 13. Tesdahl led the team in rebounds with nine rebounds and Rongstad added eight. Both teams shot the ball well in the game. BSU went 48.2 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point land. MSUM shot 44.4 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from beyond the arc. BSU outrebounded the Dragons 40-32, finally winning the battle of the boards after losing battle the last five games.   

Feb. 13 - at Minnesota, Crookston: Freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) scored a career-high 27 points and sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) had a career-high 22 to lead the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team to an 81-64 victory at University of Minnesota, Crookston Saturday in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game. The Beavers earn a conference road sweep for the first time this season and the first time in head coach Matt Bowen’s four years at BSU.
    Rongstad hit a jumper on BSU’s first possession to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead and the road team never looked back. With 12:52 left in the half, BSU owned a 10-point advantage at 16-6 after two free throws from Tesdahl. UMC was able to cut the deficit to five with 10:47 remaining and the scoreboard showing 18-13. The Beavers then rattled-off seven unanswered points, getting five from Tesdahl and two from freshman David Berthene (F, Lakeville, Minn.). The Golden Eagles then scored the next six points to cut the Beaver lead to six, with 6:13 remaining. BSU then went on lockdown on defense and held UMC to only four points to close the half, while scoring 18 points from all areas of the floor, owning a 43-23 lead at the break. The Beavers shot 61.9 percent from the field in the first half and converted on 14-of-15 free throws. Rongstad had 17 of his 26 in the first half and Tesdahl had accumulated 15 points, six from the charity stripe.
    The Beavers stretched their lead to 26 at 57-31 with 15:46 showing on the scoreboard, getting a 3-point bucket from senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.). The home team didn’t throw in the towel and worked its way back to a 12-point deficit with 8:45 remaining in regulation and the score at 64-52. Despite the soaring Golden Eagles’ effort, BSU wasn’t going to let the win get away and went on a 12-6 run to take an 18-point lead with 4:16 left. The Beaver lead never let the lead go below 16 for the rest of the contest, en route to the 81-64 victory.
    Rongstad tied a career-high in field goals made with eight, established career-highs in free throws made (10) and free throws attempted (11). Tesdahl went a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, 1-for-1 from 3-point land and 9-for-11 from the free throw line, while tying a career-high with five steals. Haake scored 16 points and had a team-high six rebounds. The Beavers shot 51.1 percent from the field, surpassing the 50 percent mark for the first time since Jan. 16. From the free throw line, BSU was 29-of-34 (85.3%). The Beavers had 13 steals to tie their season-high.

NSIC Preseason Poll: The Bemidji State men’s basketball team is ranked ninth in the 2009-10 edition of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, receiving 89 points. The Beavers are coming off a year where they finished tied for 10th in the NSIC with a 6-14 record.

NSIC Preseason Player to Watch: Senior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) played and started in all 27 games for the Beavers in 2008-09, leading the team in points (13.9 p/g), rebounds (4.7 r/g), minutes (30.4 m/g) and steals (1.7 s/g), while finishing second on the team in assists (2.0 a/g). His 13.9 points per game was the most by a Beaver player since 2003-04 and ranked 12th in overall scoring in the NSIC. Haake earned his first career NSIC Player of the Week award after leading BSU in a 3-0 week, Jan. 6-10, which included wins over Dickinson State, Concordia University and St. Cloud State. He averaged 20.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and shot 60 percent from the floor in the three games. In NSIC play he averaged 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.25 assists and shot .526 from the floor. Haake had a team-high 20 games in double-figures in scoring, including six games with over 20 points.

Bowen in Season Openers: Head coach Matt Bowen earned his first victory in season openers in his four seasons at BSU on Nov. 20. The Beavers defeated College of the Ozarks 60-54 at the Viterbo University Pepsi Tournament.

Season Opener Record
Date    Opponent    Site    Result
11/20/09    College of the Ozarks    La Crosse, Wis.    W, 60-54
11/18/08    Jamestown College    Bemidji, Minn.    L, 52-53
11/16/07    St. Cloud State    St. Cloud, Minn.    L, 61-86
11/15/06    Minnesota Duluth    Duluth, Minn.    L, 59-90

Grand Accomplishment: With a free throw with 4:38 remaining in a 71-69 win Jan. 23 against Minnesota Duluth, senior Seth Haake scored  his 1,000th point of his career. He is the first Beaver to accomplish the feat since All-America selection Charles Hanks did so from 2001-04. He has 1,115 points in his career. He is 75 points shy of cracking BSU’s top 10 career scoring list.

Making his mark on the NSIC: Haake has 849 career points in NSIC play to rank 16th on the conference’s career scoring chart. He joins Hanks (5th, 1,021) and David Lee (1984-88, 14th, 854) as players from BSU represented on the list.

Making Strides: Head coach Matt Bowen has increased BSU’s win total every season over his past four years. The Beavers won five games in his first campaign, then six in his second and eight in 2008-09. This season, BSU already has nine wins with four games remaining.

Two is Better than One: Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) posted 20 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in a 88-87 overtime victory against No. 17 Winona State University Dec. 12, posting the first double-double of his career and the first by Beaver in 2009-10. Both the point and assist totals were career-highs and the nine rebounds tied a career-high.

Thanks for the Charity:  Tesdahl is 87-of-99 from the charity stripe this season, posting a 87.9 percentage from the line that stands fourth in the NSIC and 20th in the nation. BSU is first in the conference (76.4) this season in free throw percentage, standing 4th in the nation.

Helping Hand: With 15.0 assists per game in conference play this season, the Beavers are tied for fifth in the league. Winona State is first at 17.94 apg. Tesdahl has 4.9 assists per game in league games, which is fourth. With 4.7 apg in all games, Tesdahl is fifth in the league and 55th in the nation. Tesdahl has 108 assists this season to stand 8th on BSU’s top season assists list. His 193 career assists ranks 9th on BSU’s career list (1976-present).

BSU’s Top Season Assists
#    Assists    Player    Season    Avg.
1.    167    James Roberson    2003-04    5.6
2.    145    Royce Bryan    2001-02    5.1
3.    142    Tyrone Terrill    1975-76    5.9
4.    135    James Roberson    2004-05    5.0
5.    129    Kevin Nichols    1993-94    5.0
6.    124    Mike Curry    1995-96    4.6
7.    114    Stan Johnson    2002-03    4.1
8.    108     Bryce Tesdahl    2009-10    4.9

BSU’s Top Career Assist Totals (1976-Present)
#    Assists    Player    Seasons
1.    314    David Lee    1984-88
2.    302    James Roberson    2003-05
3.    247    Royce Bryan    2002-03
    247    Tony Brown    1987-91
5.    233    Teaser Sweeney    1989-93
6.    212    B.J. LaVelle    1996-99
7.    207    Brian Weierke    1987-91
8.    200    Kevin Nichols    1991-92, ‘93-94
9.    193    Bryce Tesdahl    2008-SA

Andrew Jackson: Senior Seth Haake scored in the 20’s four consecutive games Dec.12-Jan. 2, pouring in a then season-high 27 against Northern Michigan Dec. 29. He scored 23 against UMD Jan. 23 for his fifth and posted 26 in a loss to Concordia University, Feb. 5 for his sixth. With a career-high 30 against MSUM Feb. 12, he posted is seventh 20-plus and first 30-plus point performance of the season and his career.

National Ranking: In the NCAA national ranking summary from games thru Feb. 14, BSU is 4th in free throw percentage at a 76.4 clip. The Beavers are also in the top 63 (270 ranked) in, field goal percentage (52nd, 47.5 percent), turnovers per game (59th, 13.5 tpg) and assist to turnover ratio (63rd, 1.08 ratio). Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl is 20th in free throw percentage at a 87.9 mark and stands 55th in assists per game with 4.7 per contest. He is also 59th in assist to turnover ratio with a 2.04 mark. Senior Seth Haake is 60th in field goal percentage with a 54.5 mark and is 73rd in points per game with 18.0 ppg.

Young Look: The Beavers’ active roster of 10 student-athletes consists of six true freshman, with only two upperclassmen. That makes 80 percent of the roster underclassmen. Last season, head coach Matt Bowen and his staff had to deal with 75 percent of the roster as underclassmen. In his first season (2006-07) Bowen inherited a team that had 7-of-12 (58%) players as upperclassmen. His second year balanced out at 52 percent underclassmen and 48 percent upperclassmen.

Work Horses: Four of the regular starters for the Beavers have logged at least 25.8 minutes per game in conference play this season, placing three of them in the top 30 in the conference rankings for minutes per game. Freshman Lance Rongstad has logged the second most minutes by a freshman this season with 28.5 minpg.

Player     GP/GS     Rk     MPG
Seth Haake    17/17    7    34.1
Bryce Tesdahl    17/17    10    33.5
Lance Rongstad    15/13    25    28.5
Patrick Cassidy    17/17    ---    25.8

It’s Been a Long Time: The Beavers earned an NSIC road sweep, Feb. 12-13, for the first time since the 2004-05 season. BSU defeated MSU Moorhead 79-75 before traveling to Minnesota, Crookston and winning 81-64. Senior Seth Haake scored a career-high 30 points to guide the Beavers to victory against the Dragons, then freshman Lance Rongstad (27) and sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (22) posted career-highs against the Golden Eagles.