2013 begins with NSIC road series at NSU and MSUM
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
2013 begins with NSIC road series at NSU and MSUM

Setting the Scene
Northern State
Friday, Jan. 4, 2013
Aberdeen, S.D.
8:00 p.m.
Wachs Arena

MSU Moorhead
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
Moorhead, Minn.
6:00 p.m.
Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse

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The Game
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team (6-3; 4-1 NSIC, 4-1 NSIC North) defends a three-game winning streak Jan. 4-5 in a pair of road Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contests at Northern State University (9-3; 4-1 NSIC, 4-1 North) and Minnesota State University Moorhead (10-1; 4-1 NSIC, 4-1 North). Friday the Beavers will battle the Wolves at 8 p.m. and Saturday’s contest versus the Dragons is set for a 6 p.m. tip.

The Beavers
The Beavers posted a 2-0 home NSIC home weekend Dec. 14-15 with wins against University of Mary (61-40) and Minot State University (73-63). The 40 points allowed Dec. 14 is the lowest output by a BSU opponent since the 1951-52 season and the lowest by a conference opponent since 1950-51. The Beavers led 7-0 and never looked back in the win. Against Minot State, a late run by Bemidji State lifted it to victory against its fellow Beavers. In the win, senior Dermaine Crockrell matched his Dec. 14 point total with 22, guided by a 5-for-8 performance from beyond the arc. Senior Lance Rongstad also found a rhythm from downtown and went 5-for-7 (17 points). The two combined for 10 of the 14 3-pointers hit by BSU, the most the Beavers have knocked down in an NSIC game this season.

Season Shot Clock
• Head coach Mike Boschee’s 6-3 record in his first nine games as BSU’s bench boss is the best start by a Beaver first-year head coach since Jack Vinje opened the 1958-59 season with a matching 6-3 record. Vinje went 8-3 in his first 11 contests.
• BSU holds a 4-1 record in league play to sit in a seven-way tie for first in the league standings. Two of those teams are this weekend’s opponents in Northern State and MSU Moorhead.
• BSU scored 212 points (106.0 ppg) and allowed 119 (59.2 ppg) points in back-to-back games Nov. 21-Dec. 1. The large offensive output those games has helped guide the Beavers to fifth in the league in scoring with 72.0 points per game this season.
• The Beavers have allowed 52.7 points per game in their three game win streak. Overall, the team’s scoring defense stands at 60.8 points per game, which sits second in the NSIC and 33rd nationally in all games, while the 56.8 points allowed per league contest is first.
• The first five games of the season were decided by 25 or more points, while three of the last four games have been decided by 11 points or less. BSU is 2-1 in those games.
• The Beavers are 75-for-190 (39.5%) from 3-point land this season and rank fourth in the NSIC. On the defensive end, BSU is third in the league in 3-point defense, allowing its opponent to shoot 31.1 percent from downtown.
• BSU is second in the league in 3-point field goals made per game (8.33 3-ptpg).
• With a 9.11 steals per game average, the Beavers rank third in the conference. BSU is tied for fourth with a +1.33 turnover margin.
• Senior Mason Walters is shooting free throws at a 93.8 percent clip to rank second in the NSIC and 14th in the nation.
• Walters is pulling in 7.4 rebounds per game in conference contests to rank fifth among his league counterparts.
• Senior Dermaine Crockrell is averaging 15.7 points per game to sit eighth in the league.
• Junior Zach Noreen sits eighth in 3-point percentage with a 48.6 percent mark from downtown (17-for-35).

The Wolves: The Wolves are 9-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play and are winners of nine of their last 10 games. NSU is 6-1 at home with its lone loss coming to then-No. 11 St. Cloud State University 73-54 Dec. 14. The Wolves are coming off a 76-50 victory against Mayville State Dec. 18 where they got 16 points from team leader Collin Pryor, who owns 14.8 points per game. He is also guiding the squad with 7.1 rebounds per contest. Three players are averaging 10 or more points per game. Northern State head coach Paul Sather is in his third season at NSU.

All-Time Series vs the Wolves: BSU is 24-54 all-time against the Wolves and are 2-3 in the last five meetings. Last season, BSU won 88-59 at home, but fell 70-55 on the road (one of just six NSIC losses).

The Dragons: The Dragons are 10-1 overall and have won five straight. The only loss the team has suffered this season came on the road in the NSIC opener to Northern State by the score of 69-66. MSUM owns a 4-1 NSIC mark that includes a 78-74 upset of then-No. 11 St. Cloud State at home Dec. 15. The Dragons made it five wins straight Dec. 29 with a 63-53 victory against visiting Viterbo. Anthony Tucker is the league’s scoring leader with 21.0 points per game, while Alex Novak has 9.0 rebounds per contest to sit second in the NSIC to go along with his 13.4 points per game. Chad Walthall is in his third season at the helm at MSU Moorhead.

All-Time Series vs the Dragons: The Beavers are looking to avenge three losses to the Dragons last season, including an NSIC Tournament semifinal loss in Rochester, Minn (73-64). BSU lost on the road in the league opener 77-57 and suffered one of just two home losses all season (both in overtime) by the score of 84-77. All-time, BSU trials the series 81-89 in a rivalry that dates back to 1928. The Beavers have lost five straight to MSU Moorhead, with their last win coming on the road 79-75 Feb. 12, 2010.

NSIC Preseason Poll: Losing Daktronics Division II Player of the Year James Ellisor, all-region point guard Bryce Tesdahl and head coach Matt Bowen from last season’s record-breaking campaign has left doubt in the minds of the NSIC coaches for this year, as the BSU men’s basketball team was tabbed to finish tied for 12th in the 2012-13 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Bemidji State earned 72 points in the overall poll to tie with Upper Iowa University and earned 25 points in the North Division poll to sit fifth.

BSU’s Player to Watch: Senior Dermaine Crockrell was an impact player the moment he stepped onto the court for BSU and earned 2011-12 NSIC Newcomer of the Year honors for his efforts last season. He averaged 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game and shot 50.3 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from beyond the arc. Crockrell played in his first game Dec. 16 and scored 10 points, but followed that with 21 in his second game in the green and white. Overall he posted four 20-point performances (season-high 27 at Minnesota Duluth Feb. 4) and finished the conference season second on the team and 23rd in the NSIC in scoring with 12.7 points per game.

Against Ranked Opponents: The Beavers got tested right out of the gates in 2011-12 with a contest at then-No. 10 Metro State Nov. 11 in the season opener, as it fell 71-60. BSU also fell to then-No. 17 Winona State Dec. 9 62-49, lost 103-93 in a double overtime thriller at then-No. 21 Augustana College and fell to then-No. 21 St. Cloud State 72-70 Jan. 13 to hold an 0-4 record against ranked opponents until downing then-No. 22 Winona State Feb. 25 at home 94-84.

BSU again battled Metro State early in the season, falling to the then-No. 5 Roadrunners 67-41 Nov. 17. The Beavers traveled to No. 14 St. Cloud State Dec. 7 and led more almost 35 minutes of clock time before losing a lead for good and falling 68-60.

The Beavers are 4-20 in the last seven seasons against ranked opponents. The last time BSU defeated a ranked opponent before Feb. 25, 2012 was at Winona State Dec. 12, 2009 when the Beavers upset the Warriors 88-87 in overtime.

Welcome to the BSU Three Party: The Beavers hit at least five 3-pointers in 28 of the 31 games last season to total 225, an average of 7.3 a game. BSU shot at a 38.8 percent clip from beyond the arc (225-for-580) to rank fourth in the NSIC and 30th in the nation.

Right out of the gates the Beavers posted a double-digit 3-pointer total with 10 against UC-Colorado Springs Nov. 16. BSU went 10-for-18 (55.6%) in the game. The Beavers racked-up 17 against Finlandia Nov. 21. BSU scored 12 3-pointers against Minnesota, Crookston Dec. 1 and knocked down 14 versus Minot State Dec. 15. BSU is 4-2 when it hits five or more 3-pointers.

Century Mark, Plus: The Beavers totaled 122 points in the 122-61 victory at Finlandia University Nov. 21. The BSU point total ranks second in program history in regulation games and third overall in points scored in a game. The record is a 126- 96 victory against Northland Dec. 13, 1991. BSU scored 124 points in a four overtime 126-124 loss at home to University of Minnesota Duluth Feb. 25, 2009. The last 100-point game for the Beavers came last season in a 100-77 home win against Concordia University, St. Paul. BSU also established a program record for point margin in the Nov. 21 win with 61. (List of all-time 100-point games can be found on page 11).

DEFENSE! [clap, clap] DEFENSE!: In a win, the most points the Beavers have allowed is 63. Overall, the team’s scoring defense stands at 60.8 points per game, which sits second in the NSIC and 33rd nationally in all games, while the 56.8 points allowed per league contest is first. The 40 points given up in the 61-40 victory Dec. 14 against University of Mary, marked the lowest output by a BSU opponent since the 1951-52 season and the lowest by a conference opponent since 1950-51.

1,000 Points Watch: Senior Lance Rongstad has accumulated 921 career points (11.0 ppg) in his three plus seasons as a Beaver. He is 79 points shy of becoming the 16th player at Bemidji State to reach the career 1,000-point mark. Last season, James Ellisor became the 15th player to reach the milestone and finished 13th all-time with 1,129 points in two seasons in the green and white.

Rongstad is also chasing BSU’s career rebounding and assist lists. With 374 career rebounds he is 81 boards shy of tying for 10th and with 122 assists, is 68 helpers short of tying for 10th.

For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).