Beavers travel to NSIC Tournament Semifinals against Upper Iowa
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Beavers travel to NSIC Tournament Semifinals against Upper Iowa

Setting the Scene
Opponent:
Upper Iowa
Date:
Friday, March 8, 2013
Location:
Rochester, Minn.
Tip-off:
2:30 p.m.
Gymnasium:
Taylor Arena
Capacity:
4,900

 Potential Opponents: Augie/MSU
Date:
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Location:
Rochester, Minn.
Tip-off:
5:30 p.m.
Gymnasium:
Taylor Arena
Capacity:
4,900

Multimedia
Local Radio:
92.1 The River
         Play-by-play:
Mark Ricci
         Color Analyst: Steve Pappas
Internet Audio:
www.beaverradionetwork.com
Local Television:
none
         Play-by-Play:
none
Web cast:
http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/bsu.portal#
Live Stats:
http://sidearmstats.com/nsic/bball/scoreboard.aspx

The Game
The Bemidji State men’s basketball team (17-11; 13-9 NSIC, 9-5 NSIC North) makes its second consecutive trip to the semifinals of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament Friday, March 8 in a 2:30 p.m. contest against Upper Iowa University (20-10; 14-8 NSIC, 7-7 NSIC South). The Beavers earned the No. 3 seed in the North and have moved on to play the No. 4 seed in the South, the Peacocks.

The winner of the contest will advance to the finals and play the winner of No. 3 seed of the South, Augustana College vs No. 1 seed of the South, Minnesota State University, Mankato March 9 at 5:30 p.m. for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Series
Earlier this season the Beavers fell to Upper Iowa 81-67 in Fayette, Iowa to snap a three-game winning streak against the Peacocks. Since that loss, Bemidji State is 9-3, while Upper Iowa holds a 7-5 record in its last 12 games. BSU is 8-5 all-time against UIU and 3-2 in the last five meetings. The teams have met once on a neutral court, at the NSIC Holiday Hoops Fest in 2008. UIU won the game 84-68.    

Team Notes
• The Beavers are on a season-long five-game winning streak and own an 8-2 record in their last 10 games.
• Both Bemidji State and Upper Iowa were picked to tie for 12th in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll and now they are apart of the final four teams left.
• The Beavers are on a three-game winning streak in games against the nation’s best. BSU knocked off No. 5 Minnesota State 82-74 on the road Feb. 8, defeated No. 22 St. Cloud State at home 75-71 Feb. 23 and downed No. 21 Winona State 74-72 in the quarterfinals March 2 to improve to 10-24 in the last eight seasons (3-2 in 2012-13) against nationally ranked opponents (top 25). The win against the No. 5 ranking is the biggest upset in the last eight seasons.
• Bemidji State is 13-2 in 2012-13 when scoring 70 or more points.
• BSU finished 10-2 at BSU Gymnasium this season.
• The Beavers have allowed 66.2 points per game, which sits fifth in the NSIC while the 66.6 points allowed per league contest finished fifth.
• The first five games of the season were decided by 25 or more points, while 16 of the last 22 games have been decided by 11 points or less. BSU is 9-7 in those games decided by 11 or less - 5-5 in games decided by five points or less.
• BSU is third in the league in 3-point field goals made per game (7.89 3-ptpg), a mark that ranks 54th nationally.
• With a 7.75 steals per game average, the Beavers rank third in the conference.
• BSU ranks 57th nationally in turnovers per game with a 12.9 mark. Its +0.68 turnover margin ranks seventh in the NSIC.
• The Beavers missed just four free throws in the final regular season weekend and went 36-for-40 (90.0%) to increase their team free throw percentage from 73.4 to 74.7 percent. Bemidji State went 17-for-19 against Wayne State and 13-of-17 at Winona State. BSU ranks tied for third in the league and 19th nationally with a 75.4 percentage.  

Player/Coach Notes
• Seniors Dermaine Crockrell and Lance Rongstad were named All-NSIC Second Team Wednesday for their efforts this season.
• Head coach Mike Boschee started with a 6-3 record in his first nine games as BSU’s bench boss, which was the best start by a Beaver first-year head coach since Jack Vinje opened the 1958-59 season with a matching 6-3 record. He is the 20th coach all-time at BSU and currently ranks tied for first in first-year wins with 17. Both Jeff Guiot (2001-02) and Patrick Smith (2004-05) recorded 17 wins in their first season.
• Rongstad went over 1,000 career points at Winona State Jan. 18. He led or tied for the team lead in scoring in eight straight games Jan. 12-Feb. 2 with 21, 26, 24, 16, 17, 13, 18 and 20 points, respectfully.
• Senior Mason Walters totaled 34 points Feb. 22-23 to land right on 1,000 career points. The same weekend, Walters totaled 28 rebounds and moved from out of the career rebounding top 10 to ninth all-time at Bemidji State.
• He posted a career-best 18 rebounds against Winona State in the quarterfinal game to rank tied for second on BSU’s single game charts. With 495 career boards he sits ninth. His 222 rebounds this season is seventh on the single season charts at BSU.
• Walters pulled in 8.0 rebounds per game in conference contests to rank tied for third among his league counterparts (2.73 offensive rebounds ranked fourth). His 7.9 rebounds per game in all contests is third.
• The senior owns 10 double-doubles this season to rank second in the NSIC for most double-doubles. His mark also ranks 31st nationally.
• Crockrell finished third in league games only with 34.86 minutes per game. In all games, his 1.28 assist/turnover ratio is 10th.
• Rongstad is shooting free throws at a 86.3 percent clip to sit seventh in the NSIC. Walters’ 86.2 mark is eighth.
• Senior Jason Edwards closed the conference season eighth in the league with 1.41 steals per game.
• BSU had three players finish in the top 15 in scoring in the 22-game league schedule, Crockrell (11th - 15.2 ppg), Walters (T-13th - 14.3 ppg) and Rongstad (15th - 13.9 ppg).

The Beavers
The Beavers will play an NSIC Tournament Semifinal game for the second consecutive season when it travels to Rochester, Minn. to battle Upper Iowa. The Beavers earned the No. 3 seed in the NSIC North and hosted Wayne State College (South No. 6 seed) Feb. 27 in a rematch of last year’s first round match up. BSU scored the first bucket and never looked back, en route to a 71-54 victory against the Wildcats. The win moved the Beavers on to the quarterfinals against No. 21 Winona State University Saturday. The contest was close from opening tip to the final buzzer, as the Beavers posted a 74-72 win to advance to the semifinals. Senior Mason Walters averaged 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in the two games, which included a 21-point, 18-rebound performance Saturday in the quarterfinal game.  

The Peacocks
Upper Iowa finished as the No. 4 seed in the NSIC South after a 14-8 league record. UIU hosted NSIC North No. 5 seed Minot State University March 2 and defeated the Beavers 86-72 to advance to the quarterfinals at NSIC North No. 1 seed St. Cloud State University Saturday. The Peacocks defeated the Huskies 73-55 to make the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time since moving to Division II before the 2006-07 season. Upper Iowa owns a 20-10 overall record, a Division II record for the Peacocks. Senior Tucker Wentzien leads the team with 14.6 points per game. He is also adding 6.1 rebounds per contest. Brian Dolan is in his seventh season as head coach at Upper Iowa..

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 this 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 for almost 35 minutes of clock time before losing a lead for good and falling 68-60. The Beavers then stunned No. 5 Minnesota State on the road Feb. 8 with an 82-74 victory and just weeks later defeated No. 22 St. Cloud State at home Feb. 23 by the score of 75-71. March 2, the Beavers downed No. 21 Winona State 74-72 in the quarterfinals of the NSIC tournament. BSU is also 1-3 against team’s earning votes in the national poll this season - losses to Michigan Tech (L, 86-59), MSU Moorhead (L, 82-48) and Winona State (70-67) and win against Augustana (W, 69-67).

The Beavers are 10-24 in the last eight seasons versus nationally ranked opponents.

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, knocked down 14 versus Minot State Dec. 15 and hit 12 against MSU Moorhead Jan. 25. BSU is 15-8 when it hits five or more 3-pointers. BSU is third in the league and 54th nationally in 3-point field goals made per game (7.89 3-ptpg).

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.

DEFENSE! [clap, clap] DEFENSE!: In all but four wins (75 in OT, 74 to No. 5 MSU, 71 to No. 22 SCSU and 72 to No. 21 Winona State) this season, the most points BSU has allowed in a win is 69. Overall, the team’s scoring defense stands at 66.2 points per game, which is fifth in the NSIC. The 66.6 points allowed per league contest was fifth. 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.

A Grand Accomplishment: Senior Lance Rongstad became the 16th player in Bemidji State men’s basketball program history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau in a career Jan. 18 at Winona State University on a 3-pointer early in the second half. He now has 1,195 career points (11.6 ppg) in his nearly four complete seasons as a Beaver to rank 11th on the career points list. He is seven points shy of cracking the top 10, Seth Haake (1,202, 2006-10).

Rongstad is also chasing BSU’s career rebounding and assist lists. With 463 career rebounds he is four boards shy of tying for 10th and with 177 assists, is 12 helpers short of tying for 10th. 

Senior Mason Walters reached the 1,000 point mark with two free throws in the season finale Feb. 23. He is the 17th player to reach the career accomplishment. He has 1,038 career points and has a career average of 9.6 points per game. In the two games Feb. 22-23, Walters racked up 28 rebounds to move into ninth on BSU’s career rebounds list. He has 495 career rebounds (4.6 rpg) to sit just three shy of tying for eighth, Mike Silk (498, 1970-73). His 222 rebounds this season ranks seventh and is tight shy of fifth, Charles Hanks (230, 2003-04).

With two players reaching the 1,000-point milestone this year, it marks the third time two teammates have eclipsed 1,000 points in the same season. Kevin Nichols (1,125, 1992, 1994) and Scott Kramer (1,361, 1991-94) did so in 1994, while David Lee (2,034, 1984-88) and Dale Harper (1,158, 1983-87) each moved past 1,000 career points in 1987. In 1988, Lee - the program’s all-time scorer - went over the 2,000 point mark, while David Muelken (1,190, 1985-88) reached 1,000 career points.

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).

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