Beavers travel to CU and SCSU
Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beavers travel to CU and SCSU

This Week: The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team travels to Concordia University and St. Cloud State University for a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference road weekend. BSU battles CU at 8 p.m. Jan. 8 and SCSU at 6 p.m. Jan. 9.  
About Bemidji State: The Beavers are 5-7 overall and 2-4 in the NSIC. BSU has lost its last four since downing then-No. 17 Winona State 88-87 in overtime at the McCown Gymnasium in Winona Dec. 12. The Beavers have lost their last three NSIC games, including last weekend against No. 24 Augustana College and Wayne State College at the BSU Gymnasium. The Vikings downed BSU 80-73 and the Wildcats won 78-66.

• Senior Seth Haake is averaging 20.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in NSIC play this season, while shooting a hot 55.1 percent from the floor.
• The entire BSU bench is composed of true freshmen.
• The Beavers are tops in the league in free throw percentage at a 75.9 percent mark. They are 11th in the nation in the same category.
• Freshman Lance Rongstad is a sophomore redshirt on the BSU football team, scoring a touchdown and earning 105 yards against SCSU Oct. 3, while gaining 30 yards rushing against CU Nov. 7.

About Concordia University: The Golden Bears are 5-7 overall and 2-3 in the NSIC this season, sitting in a tie for ninth place in conference rankings. CU has lost its last three contests after winning the previous three. The last loss came at the hands of St. Cloud State by the score of 85-73. Craig Heiman’s 16.0 points per game leads the squad. Brent Barz is averaging 10.5 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game.

Series History: The Beavers are 12-8 all-time against the Golden Bears, but are 1-4 in the their last five contests. Last season, the two teams split the season series 1-1. CU defeated BSU 85-73 in St. Paul in the last contest.       

About St. Cloud State:
The Huskies are 10-2 overall and 4-1 in the NSIC, sitting tied for second in league standings. St. Cloud State beat Concordia University 89-80 on Saturday on the road to earn its fourth conference win. SCSU has scored an average of 82.7 points per game this season, while giving-up 68.8 points per contest. Taylor Witt is the Huskies’ top scorer at an 18.3 clip. Matt Schneck has 17.7 points and a league-leading 11.3 rebounds per game this season.
Series History: The Huskies own the all-time series with Bemidji State with a 87-41 record. The Beavers are 1-4 in the last five contests, which includes a 1-1 record last season with SCSU. The last time in Halenbeck Hall, BSU lost 69-51.  

Last Action: The Beavers lost both contests last weekend in two NSIC home games against Augustana (80-73) and Wayne State (78-66).

Jan. 2 - vs. No. 24 Augustana:
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team were within three points of No. 24 Augustana College with 2:51 remaining in regulation but fell to the Vikings 80-73 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game played at the BSU Gymnasium Saturday. Senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) recorded his fourth consecutive game with 20-plus points, scoring a game-high 24.
    The Beavers (5-6, 2-3 NSIC) and Vikings (10-1, 3-1 NSIC) ended the game almost shooting the same percentage from the floor as BSU shot 47.9 percent and AC shot 47.5 percent. The Beavers shot better from 3-point land (41.2-36.4 percent), but struggled from the line, shooting just 20-of-28 (71.4 percent). BSU came into the contest shooting 76.3 from the charity stripe.
    BSU started the game hot out of the gates, earning a 5-0 lead two minutes into the contest. With 12:34 remaining in the half, the Beavers owned a 16-8 lead thanks to eight points from freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) and seven from Haake. The eight point advantage would prove to be the largest for BSU in the game, as Augie kept chipping at the deficit, finally tying the game at 23-23 with 6:26 left in the frame. The Beavers responded with a 9-2 run to make the score 32-25 with 4:42 on the clock. BSU would go on to only score two more points in the half and a buzzer beater from the Vikings gave them the three point lead heading into the locker room and the momentum for the second half. The two teams traded hoops to start the half, then the Vikings used a 7-0 run to gain a 10 point lead with 14.36 left in regulation. They again traded scores until BSU used a run of its own. From the 10:09 to the 6:44 mark, the Beavers posted a 12-5 run to cut the Augustana lead to just two. The Vikings got the lead back to a two possession game at 69-63 with just under four to play. With 2:51 ticks on the clock, Haake made it a three point game with a free throw. AC responded with a jumper, a defensive stop and then a 3-point dagger that put BSU on its heels with 1:39 remaining. The Beavers tried to get some steals without fouling, but ended up putting the Vikings to the line to ice the contest and ruin any hopes of an upset.

Jan. 3 - vs. Wayne State:  The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team trailed for most of a 78-66 loss to Wayne State College Sunday, but made a run to tie the game 62-62 with 4:31 left in the regulation before running out of gas in the final minutes of a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game played at the BSU Gymnasium. The Wildcats shot 58.3 percent from the field, the most by a BSU opponent this season.
    The Beavers (5-7, 2-4 NSIC) had its only lead of the game in the first three minutes of the game. A couple of buckets from freshman Lance Rongstad (G/F, Eleva, Wis.) gave BSU a 4-2 lead and then a 6-5 lead, but WSC went on a 9-0 run to grab a 14-6 lead at the 14:07 mark. The Wildcats kept a two-possession lead through the rest of the half until a free throw from senior Seth Haake (G, Eden Prairie, Minn.) put BSU within three with 4:44 remaining in the frame. The two teams traded hoops for the rest of the half and the Beavers trailed 34-31 heading into the locker room.
    BSU kept the deficit low to start the second half, but a 16-4 Wildcat run that took six minutes off the clock put the Beavers in a deep hole. BSU responded with a 7-0 run to cut the WSC lead to six, as four different beavers lit-up the scoreboard. The Beavers were able to keep the deficit to single-digits over the next six minutes of the game, finally tying the score at 62-62 with 4:31 on the clock. BSU tied the score with seven unanswered points, all from its Wisconsin natives, four coming from Rongstad and the other three from freshman Mason Walters (G/F, Milton, Wis.). Two free throws from each side again tied the game at 64-64 with 3:05 left on the clock. WSC’s Brad Starken broke the tie on the next possession with a 3-pointer. BSU failed to respond and the Wildcats took a five point lead with two free throws. Junior Patrick Cassidy (F, St. Paul, Minn.) cut the deficit to three with two free throws with 2:12 remaining. Unfortunately for BSU those points would be the last the home team would post on the scoreboard, as six free throws and another Starken bomb closed out the game and handed BSU its fourth consecutive loss.

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

Thanks for the Charity: Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl is 44-of-48 from the charity stripe this season, posting a 91.7 percentage from the line that stands second in the NSIC and 9th in the nation. BSU is first in overall games and in conference games this season, standing 12th in the nation at a 75.9 percentage.

Helping Hand
: With 16.83 assists per game in conference play this season, the Beavers are second in the league to Winona State which is at 20.8 apg. Tesdahl has 6.50 assists per game in league games, which is second. With 5.3 apg in all games, Tesdahl is 45th in the nation.

Andrew Jackson:
Senior Seth Haake scored in the 20’s four consecutive games Dec.12-Jan. 2, pouring in a season-high 27 against Northern Michigan Dec. 29. He had six 20-plus point games last season.

National Ranking: In the NCAA national ranking summary from games thru Jan. 3, BSU is 11th in free throw percentage at a 75.9 clip. The Beavers are also in the top 55 (270 ranked) in field goal percentage (46th, 48.4 percent), turnovers per game (51st, 13.6 tpg) and assist to turnover ratio (53rd, 1.1 ratio). Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl is ninth in free throw percentage at a 91.7 mark and stands 45th in assists per game with 5.3 per contest. He is also 81st in assist to turnover ratio with a 1.97 mark. Senior Seth Haake is 75th in field goal percentage with a 55.1 percentage.