Beavers close 2009-10 season at UMD and WSC
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Beavers close 2009-10 season at UMD and WSC

This Week: The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team is on the road to close the 2009-10 regular season Feb. 24 and 27. BSU travels to University of Minnesota Duluth Feb. 24 to play at 8 p.m. before heading south to Wayne State College (Neb.) Feb. 27 with that game slated for a 6 p.m. tip-off.    
About Bemidji State:  The Beavers are 11-14 overall and 7-11 in the NSIC to hold down the 11th spot in the league. BSU has won four in a row, downing MSU Moorhead (79-75) and Minnesota, Crookston (81-64) on the road, Finlandia University (99-67) in a nonconference home game and Winona State University (88-86) in its final home game of the season. The win against WSU gave the Beavers their first season-sweep of the Warriors since the 2002-03 season.
• In the four wins, BSU outscored its opponent 86.8-73.0. The Beavers lost their previous four games, getting outscored 91.0-69.3.
• Senior Seth Haake has 1,157 career points. With two games left, he is 34 points shy from cracking BSU’s top-10 career points list.
• For his career, Haake is 51.1 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from the 3-point line.
• BSU is 2nd in the nation in free throw percentage at a 77.4 clip. Adelphi University (Garden City, N.Y.) is the nation’s leader at 78.2.

About Minnesota Duluth: The Bulldogs are 7-18 overall and 4-14 in the NSIC to hold the 13th spot in the standings. UMD has lost nine straight and are 2-12 in 2010. The Bulldogs are 6-6 at home, 4-4 in conference play. Sophomore Ryan Rasmussen is leading the team in scoring with 17.7 points per game, playing in 18 of the team’s 25 games.   

Series History: The Beavers are 36-82 all-time against the Bulldogs. BSU is 1-4 in the last five contests, earning that victory earlier this season at the BSU Gymnasium 71-69. The last time the Beavers swept the season-series with UMD was the 2001-02 season.

About Wayne State: The Wildcats are 12-13 overall and 9-9 in conference play to sit seventh in the NSIC. WSC is winners of its last three after falling in its last four. The Wildcats picked-up road wins last weekend against Northern State University (73-58) and University of Mary (76-53). WSC is 6-6 at home this season, 5-4 in conference play. Freshman Amry Shelby leads the team in points per game with 13.1 and 14.2 in NSIC games. Senior Brett Spiker has 12.5 points and a team-high 9.7 rebounds per game. WSC battles Southwest Minnesota State University Feb. 24 in its final road game of the season.

Series History: BSU is 13-25 all-time against the Wildcats. The Beavers are 1-4 in the last five games, losing earlier this season at the BSU Gymnasium 78-66.  

Last Action: The Beavers earned a season-sweep of Winona State with a 88-86 win at the BSU Gymnasium Feb. 20.

Feb. 20 - vs. Winona State: Freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) dropped a career-high 29 and senior guard Seth Haake (Eden Prairie, Minn.), playing in his final game at the BSU Gymnasium, scored 20 as the Bemidji State University men’s basketball team closed the home portion of the 2009-10 season with a battle against Winona State University, prevailing victorious 88-86. The win makes four in a row for the Beavers and a season sweep of the Warriors. The last time BSU swept WSU in a season was 2003-04. The Beavers needed overtime to down the Warriors in Winona, Dec, 12, winning that game 88-87.
    The Beavers (11-14, 7-11 NSIC) won the battle of the two best free throw shooting teams in the conference, going 33-of-38 (86.8%) from the line, which is almost 10 percent better than their season average of 76.7 percent heading into the contest. WSU (17-8 overall and 11-7 NSIC), who was shooting 76.2 percent from the charity stripe heading into the game, shot 14-of-23 (60.9%) in the game and 11-of-20 (55%) in the second half. Free throws were a key difference in the game that went right down to the wire. Rongstad had a career-high in free throws made and attempted, going 13-of-15.
    The Warriors shot better from the field (50%-49%) and from beyond the arc (41.4%-38.5%), but the young BSU squad didn’t flinch, holding a lead for all but 43 seconds of the game. The tip-off was a battle that set the tone for the rest of the game. WSU found the ball to start and made its first shot to take a 2-0 lead. Haake responded with a 3-point dagger that gave BSU the one-point lead, a lead it wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. Haake made it 5-2, then Rongstad knocked-down a 3-pointer to give BSU an early 8-2 lead. A 5-0 run by the Warriors made it a one-point game, then the two teams traded hoops over the next six minutes, settling to a 17-16 score with 10:35 on the clock. BSU then rattled-off nine unanswered points to take a 26-16 lead with 7:18 left in the half. BSU got scoring from four different players in the run. The Warriors chipped-away at the deficit and found themselves down 30-27 with 3:19 remaining. The Beavers responded with a 6-2 run to close the first 20 minutes and held a 36-29 lead and the momentum heading into the locker room.   
    The Beavers kept their feet on the gas pedal to start the second half, tying their largest lead of the contest at 56-46 with 13:40 remaining in regulation. WSU then realized how bad a loss would be at this point of the season and went on a 15-6 run over 4:25 to cut the deficit to one at 62-61. Haake wasn’t going to let his final home game slip away and converted an old school 3-point play to give BSU the 65-61 lead with 8:08 remaining. Then Rongstad followed with a deep 3-pointer to put BSU up seven. The Beavers were able to maintain at least a five-point lead until WSU made it a two-point deficit with 3:37 remaining at the score of 74-72. Then began the free throw show, as Rongstad started it making four from the charity stripe to give BSU the six point lead at 78-72 with 2:07 left. The Beavers were able to keep it to a two possession game with free throws, making 14-of-18 in the final 2:31, while WSU was 4-of-9 in the final 43 seconds. Winona State kept coming and scoring to make it a one-possession game, but BSU just kept dropping free throws. WSU’s Ben Fischer scored a desperation 3-pointer with 11 seconds on the clock to cut the deficit to one. Then freshman Burke Lendl (F, St. Michael, Minn.) was fouled with six ticks on the clock. He made the first, but missed the second. Rongstad then hustled for the loose rebound, grabbing the ball as he was going out of bounds and then spiked it off a WSU player like he had just scored a touchdown at Chet Anderson Stadium, keeping the ball on BSU’s end. He was fouled on the in-bounds play and then only made one of two shots, giving the home team a 88-85 lead with three seconds left.
    Fischer was put to the line with two seconds left and two shots. He made the first, but then missed the second. After a scrum, WSU came-up with the ball and was again fouled with just four tenths of a second on the clock, giving them a chance to knot the game with two free throws. They missed the first, forcing them to try and get a rebound off the second. They tried to convert the play, but was called for a lane violation and the game ended with a deep pass to Rongstad.
    Haake ended his career at the BSU Gymnasium by fouling out of the contest. He scored 20 points in 26 minutes, on 7of-11 shooting. Rongstad added seven rebounds and two key blocks down the stretch. Junior forward Patrick Cassidy (St. Paul, Minn.) scored nine points and added nine rebounds, four on the offensive end. He also had four assists. Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) played every minute of the game, scoring 14 points, while adding eight assists and four rebounds. Lendl had eight points and seven rebounds.   
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 1,157 career points. With two games left, he is 34 points shy from cracking BSU’s top-10 career points list.

Making his mark on the NSIC: Haake has 869 career points in NSIC play to rank 13th 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 has 11 wins with two games remaining. The seven NSIC victories the Beavers have totalled this season is the most conference wins under Bowen.

Double-digits: The Beavers have won 11 games this season, their first double-digit win mark since the 2005-06 team went 15-13.

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 97-of 111 from the charity stripe this season, posting a 87.4 percentage from the line that stands fourth in the NSIC and 26th in the nation.

We’re No. 2!: BSU is standing 2nd in the nation this season in free throw percentage at a 77.4 mark. Adelphi University (Garden City, N.Y.) is the nation’s leader at 78.2. The Beavers are first in the NSIC and its 78.5 percentage in conference play also ranks first.

Helping Hand: With 15.0 assists per game in conference play this season, the Beavers are fifth in the league. Tesdahl has 5.11 assists per game in league games, which is tied for third. With 5.04 apg in all games, Tesdahl is tied for second in the league and is 41st in the nation. Tesdahl has 126 assists this season to stand 6th on BSU’s top season assists list. His 211 career assists ranks 7th 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.    126    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.    211    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 has scored in the 20’s nine times this season. He scored 23 against UMD Jan. 23 and 26 in a loss to Concordia University, Feb. 5. 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. His eighth came against Finlandia University, Feb. 16, when he scored 22 and the ninth was against WSU Feb. 20 with 20 points.

National Ranking: In the NCAA national ranking summary from games thru Feb. 21, BSU is 2nd in free throw percentage at a 77.4 clip. The Beavers are also in the top 80 (270 ranked) in, field goal percentage (48th, 48.2 percent), assist to turnover ratio (56th, 1.09 ratio), turnovers per game (67th, 13.6 tpg), three-point field goal percentage (68th, 36.5%) and assists per game(78th, 14.8 apg). Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl is 26th in free throw percentage at a 87.4 mark, 38th in assist to turnover ratio at a 2.21 clip and stands 41st in assists per game with 5.0 per contest. Senior Seth Haake is 52th in field goal percentage with a 55.7 mark, 63rd in points per game with 18.2 ppg and 90th in steals per game at a 1.9 clip.

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 26.4 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 29.0 minpg.

Player     GP/GS     Rk     MPG
Bryce Tesdahl    18/18    9    33.9
Seth Haake    18/18    10    33.7
Lance Rongstad    16/14    23    29.0
Patrick Cassidy    18/18    ---    26.4

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.  

Warriors, Come out to Play: With an 88-86 win at the BSU Gymnasium Feb. 20 against Winona State, BSU earned its first season-series sweep of the Warriors since 2003-04.  The Beavers downed WSU 88-87 in overtime at the McCown Gymnsaium Dec. 12.

NSIC Honor: Freshman guard/forward Lance Rongstad was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Week by the league office Feb. 22. The award is the first of his career and the first for BSU this season. According to Bemidji State records dating back to 1998-99, Rongstad is the first freshman to earn the league honor. Rongstad scored a career-high 29 points in the 88-86 victory against Winona State Feb, 20. In the game he shot 7-of-12 from the field, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and 13-of-15 from the free throw line, establishing career-highs in both free throws made and attempted. In the game’s final 2:31, Rongstad hit 10-of-12 free throws, had a steal and an offensive rebound off a missed free throw to keep the ball on BSU’s end when the score was 87-85 and only four seconds on the clock. He added seven rebounds and two blocks, playing in 37 minutes in the game.

BSU Loves the 80’s: The Beavers are 6-1 this season when scoring in the 80’s.