BEMIDJI, Minn. – The 2012-13 Bemidji State University men’s basketball schedule is set. The Beavers have a 26-game slate on the docket, including the opportunity to defend their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Regular Season Championship during the rigors of the 22-game league schedule that includes two new opponents.
With the additions of Minot State University and University of Sioux Falls, the NSIC became a 16 team league July 1. Divisions have been adopted for both men’s and women’s basketball, separating the 16 teams into a North and South Divisions. The North Division is made up of BSU, University of Mary, University of Minnesota, Crookston, University of Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minot State, Northern State University and St. Cloud State University. The South Division is comprised of Augustana College, Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Sioux Falls, Southwest Minnesota State University, Upper Iowa University, Wayne State College and Winona State University. Each team’s league schedule will include 14 games against divisional teams (two games against each team - home and away) and one game against every team in the opposite division.
Last season the Beavers made a trek to Colorado to do battle with Metro State College (Denver) and University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. This season, both those teams will head to Winona, Minn. and the Beavers will play UCCS Nov. 16 and Metro State Nov. 17 at McCown Gymnasium. BSU fell to then-No. 10 Metro State 71-60 before downing UC-Colorado Springs 77-69 in last season’s meetings.
The Beavers traveled to Michigan in 2010-11 to play Michigan Tech University and Finlandia University and will again load the bus to the play both teams Nov. 20-21. BSU downed MTU last season at BSU Gymnasium 63-58, but fell in its trip out to play the Huskies the previous season. The Beavers defeated Finlandia 84-63 in 2010-11.
The nonconference schedule ends with Finlandia, as the Beavers open NSIC play with their new travel partner, Minnesota, Crookston. BSU hosts the Golden Eagles Dec. 1 after defeating UMC twice last season.
A rematch of the first round of the NCAA Tournament greets the Beavers Dec. 7 as the squad heads to St. Cloud State for their first league road test of the season. Following a battle with the Huskies, BSU will travel to the new home of its former head coach Matt Bowen for a Dec. 8 contest at Minnesota Duluth.
After a big weekend on the road, the Beavers return home Dec. 14-15 to host U-Mary and Minot State to close the 2012 calendar year. BSU took two from the Marauders last season, including a 82-61 victory at home. The Beavers hosted Minot State last season during a Thanksgiving tournament and downed the fellow Beavers 74-45.
The new year begins at Northern State and MSU Moorhead Jan. 4-5. BSU split the season series with NSU in 2011-12, winning at home and falling on the road. The Beavers couldn’t find an answer for the Dragons last season, as they dropped all three contests. BSU lost in Moorhead, Minn. 77-57, at home 84-77 in overtime and in the semifinals of the NSIC Tournament 73-64.
Jan. 11-12 the Beavers host Augustana and Wayne State. BSU split the road trip to Sioux Falls, S.D. and Wayne, Neb. last season. Owning a late lead against Augie, the Beavers ended up falling in double overtime by the score of 103-93, but rebounded the next night to defeat the Wildcats 67-61. BSU needed late buckets, but also downed WSC in the first round of the NSIC Tournament at the BSU Gymnasium.
A mid-January three-game road trip begins with a Tuesday night dance at Minnesota, Crookston Jan. 15 before traveling south to play Winona State and Upper Iowa Jan. 18-19. The Beavers lost to WSU on the road 62-49 last season, but defeated the Warriors 94-84 at home on the final night of the regular season to secure sole possession of the NSIC title. BSU swept the season series with UIU a year ago. The 77-65 home victory against the Peacocks marked the 20th win of the season for a basketball program that had reached 20 wins just once before in its history.
The green and white begin a season-long four-game homestand Jan. 25-26 when MSU Moorhead and Northern State visit Bemidji. Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls then travel north for Feb. 1-2 contests at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers used a thrilling buzzer-beater to defeat SMSU in February, to sweep the series and start a string of four straight wins to close the regular season. In preparation for USF joining the NSIC for the 2012-13 season, BSU hosted the Cougars last season and downed the visitors 68-49.
The four games at home are followed by the longest conference road trip of the season. A four-game trip away from Bemidji begins at Minnesota State and Concordia-St. Paul Feb. 8-9. BSU swept the season series with MSU in 2011-12 for the first time since the 1968-69 season with a 75-67 win at home and 78-64 victory on the road. In the only meeting of the season between the Beavers and Golden Bears, BSU won at home 100-77. To close the road trip, BSU’s first trek west on US Highway 2 to Minot State since 1990 is slated or Feb. 15, followed by a commute to Bismarck, N.D. for a battle against U-Mary Feb. 16.
The conference season comes to an end at home with the highly anticipated return of Bowen to Bemidji Feb. 22 when the Bulldogs visit BSU Gymnasium. The regular season closes with the team that ended the Beavers’ 2011-12 historic campaign, as the Huskies invade Bemidji Feb. 23.
In addition to expanding the league to 16 teams, the NSIC also made a change to the conference tournament format. All 16 teams will make the postseason conference tournament in 2012-13. Top seeds host the first two rounds of the tournament Feb. 27 and March 2 to cut the field to four. Those four teams will head to Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8-9 to crown the NSIC Tournament champion and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The 2012-13 schedule will be the first for new head coach Mike Boschee, who was announced the program’s 16th head coach July 11.
The BSU men’s basketball team concluded the 2011-12 season with a program-best 22-9 record and made its second appearance in the NCAA tournament in program history. The Beavers finished the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season with a 16-6 record and the NSIC regular season championship. BSU lost three players to graduation at the conclusion of last season, including All-American James Ellisor and all-region and BSU’s all-time assist leader Bryce Tesdahl. On the flip side, the Beavers are returning a core group of student-athletes, including 2011-12 NSIC Newcomer of the Year Dermaine Crockrell.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).