2002-03 Prospectus
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Oct. 16, 2002

Location: Bemidji, Minn. (15,000)
Founded: 1919
Enrollment: 4,800
Conference: Northern Sun Intercollegiate
NSIC Members: Concordia-St. Paul,
MSU-Moorhead,Northern St. Univ.,
Southwest St.Univ., UM-Crookston,
UM-Duluth,UM-Morris, Wayne St. (Neb.), Winona St.
Affiliation: NCAA Div.II
Nickname: Beavers
School Colors: Green (PMS 330) and White
Home Court: BSU Gymnasium (2,500)
President: Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard
Athletic Director: Dr. Rick Goeb
Athletic Trainer: Bill Crews
Athletic Trainer Phone: (218) 755-2769
Compliance Coordinator: Aaron Vlcko
Athletic Secretary: Mary Herried
Athletic Phone: (218) 255-2940
Athletic Fax: (218) 755-3898

Sports Information Director: Andy Bartlett
(Kansas St. '95)
SID Phone: (218) 755-4603
SID home phone: (218) 444-6624
SID Cell: (218) 766-2243
SID e-mail: jbart@bemidjistate.edu
Ass’t SID(Basketball Contact): Chad Waller
(Lawrence ‘00)
e-mail: cwaller@bemidjistate.edu
Graduate Assistant: Brad Folkestad (BSU ‘00)
SID Phone: (218) 755-2763
SID Fax: (218) 755-3898
Basketball Press Row: (218) 755-3374
Web site: /athletics/
Mailing Address:
Bemidji State University, PE 203 (Box 29)
1500 Birchmont Drive NE
Bemidji, MN 56601

2001-02 Record: 5-22/3-15 NSIC
Players Returning: 7
Players Lost: 9
Newcomers: Amber Thomas, Kristy Caviness, Stacia Swanson Nicole Wright

First year of Basketball: 1967-68
Overall record: 406-416-1 (.494 / 35 years)
Years in post season play: 0
NSIC Championships: 3 (1980, 1986, 1987)

Head Coach Mike Power (Nebraska ‘88)
email: mpower@bemidjistate.edu
Basketball Phone: (218) 755-3783
Record at School: 1st year
Career Record: 213-170 (.556)-13 years
Amanda Went (Nebraska ‘01) 1st year
Graduate Assistants:
Jason Sobolik (North Dakota ‘95) 2nd year
Paul Brunsdon (Minot State ‘01) 1st year

In taking a glance at the 2002-03 Bemidji State University women’s basketball program, one may not recognize several names. In fact, of the 11 players on the current roster, four of them are newcomers to BSU with two more fresh recruits taking a red-shirt year due to knee injures. In addition, a face-lift has occurred among the coaching ranks. Head coach Mike Power brings in a fresh attitude of hard work and intensity which has earned him a 213-170 (.556) overall record in 13 seasons at the collegiate level. In the mix, Amanda Went comes on board as the full-time assistant, while Paul Brunsdon joins second-year graduate assistant Jason Sobolik to round out the coaching staff.

Looking at last season, Bemidji State came on strong near the end in winning two of its final four games and ended up with a 5-22 overall record. The Beavers took Minnesota-Duluth, which finished 13-5 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, to overtime on Feb. 9, 2002 before bowing out in a 73-63 affair on the road. Two games later, BSU whipped Minnesota-Morris, 86-52, for its largest margin of victory on the season. Then, BSU took it to the wire vs. Concordia-St. Paul, which had the best winning percentage (.759) in the conference last year, only to lose by a count of 81-71. A night later, Bemidji State beat up on Winona State, 84-67. Overall, BSU won two out of its final four contests last season and will look to continue that momentum into this season.

This is the area where BSU will have the most depth and experience. Unfortunately, junior newcomer Shawne Koch (Clarence, Iowa) will red-shirt after suffering a knee injury. On the bright side, five of the seven BSU returners logged significant minutes last season and the most experienced of the group is senior captain Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.), who is the leading returner in minutes/game (23.4) a season ago. In addition, she was second with 109 total rebounds and third in points per game (7.3) in 2001-02.

“We are looking for some great leadership from Jones,” Power said. “She will bring a lot to the table with her speed, quickness and intelligence and she can really shoot the ball well.”

Senior Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) was second last season with a 8.1 ppg average and first among the Beavers with 86 field goals. Senior Katie Dale (Wilmar, Minn.), who started in 18 games and senior Katie Long (Mason City, Iowa), who appeared in 25, will add veteran leadership to the squad. Meanwhile, junior Yontel Handford (Milwaukee, Wis.) will be counted upon for her solid guard play as well.

Three transfers, two of which come from Power’s last coaching stint at Metro State, will be looked to for some immediate impact. Senior Kristy Caviness (Pamona, Calif.) is a player who Power says is someone who “will not turn the ball over nor is she flashy. She just gets the job done and puts the team in the right places.” The second Metro State product in sophomore Nicole Wright (Mandan, N.D.) “is one of those players that brings a lot of leadership, will work hard and do all those things that you ask her to do,” Power said. Junior Amber Thomas (Long Beach, Calif.), who was an all-region honoree twice at Mt. San Antonio College, will provide instant offense.

After having freshman Linsey Rucker (Killeen, Texas) go down in the off-season with a knee injury, the Beavers are looking at the inside presence of junior Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) and the sophomore tandem of Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) and Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa).

Graf returns as the leading scorer from last year’s team (10.6 ppg) and Power sees her as one of those “go-to players in scoring. She also will be one of the players that we will look to try to get her some shots and get her involved in the offense.”

Bessler has tremendous potential as Power thinks that she is going to be “a really outstanding player. She will bring some intensity and tenacity to the defensive end in rebounding and blocking shots and she runs the floor well.”

With some work, Power notes that Swanson “has a really bright future as far as she can be a wonderful talent in this league. She does some really nice things and will make an impact on our program immediately.”

Looking at BSU’s first nine non-conference opponents of the season, four are recognized in the national or regional polls from a season ago. South Dakota State will visit Bemidji after the Beavers travel to the Barry University Tournament and to North Central Conference programs St. Cloud State and MSU-Mankato. SDSU posted a 28-9 overall record in 2001-02 and finished third in the final edition of the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II Women’s Basketball Poll. The next test will come Dec. 14th at Michigan Tech, which was 10th in the final Great Lakes Region poll last season. A week later, the University of North Dakota will be the opponent in Grand Forks as the Fighting Sioux were 12th in the final national poll.

As far as the NSIC is concerned, the Beavers will have to face the 2001-02 NSIC regular season champions in Southwest State on the road in the conference-opening weekend. To make things just as difficult, BSU has to travel to UM-Duluth and Northern State in mid-January before both programs come to Bemidji. Both squads finished with a 13-5 conference slate, which tied Concordia-St. Paul for second in the league. The Golden Bears are the only team from the top four conference finishers from last season that Bemidji State has the luxury of hosting first.

“We play one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the league,” Power said. “We have to go to North Dakota and Michigan Tech, which right there will be in the top five in the country. Then, we play the team that won our region (South Dakota State) last year, who has everybody back for our first game at home.”

The first contest of the campaign is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., Nov. 23 at St. Cloud State. From there, BSU will travel to the Barry University Tournament on Nov. 29-30 to take on Lees-Mcrae College, which was ninth in the final 2001-02 East Region poll, on Friday and Barry University on Saturday. The first event at the BSU Gymnasium will be Dec. 6 against powerhouse South Dakota State. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.

No. Player Ht. Pos. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
No. Player Ht. Pos. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
10 Amber Thomas 5-9 G/F JR Long Beach, Calif/Southern University
12 Katie Dale 5-4 G SR Wilmar, Minn./Ridgewater C.C.
15 Katie Long 5-7 G SR Mason City, Iowa/North Iowa Area C.C.
20 Christi Goodhart 5-8 G SR Manteca, Calif./San Joaquin Delta C.C.
23 Kristy Caviness 5-6 G SR Pamona, Calif./Metro State College
24 Yontel Handford 5-5 G JR Milwaukee, Wis./Harold Vincent H.S.
32 Crystal Jones 5-7 G SR Side Lake, Minn./Hibbing C.C.
33 Stacia Swanson 5-11 F SO Sioux City, Iowa/Metro State College
34 Amber Graf 6-1 F JR Hammond, Wis./U.S. Naval Academy
40 Nicole Wright 5-8 G/F SO Mandan, N.D./Metro State College
42 Melissa Bessler 5-11 F SO Lake George, Minn./North Dakota State U.

Head Coach: Mike Power (Nebraska ‘88 - 1st season at BSU)
Assistant Coach: Amanda Went (Nebraska ‘01 - 1st season at BSU)
Graduate Assistants: Jason Sobolik (North Dakota ‘95 - 2nd season at BSU)
Paul Brunsdon (Minot State ‘01 - 1st season at BSU)

2002-03 Season Schedule
Date Opponent Tme
Nov. 23 @ St. Cloud State 6:00 p.m.
Nov. 29 @ Barry University Tournament (Miami Shores, Fla.)
vs. Lees-Mcrae 4:00 p.m. ET
Nov. 30 @ Barry University Tournament (Miami Shores, Fla.)
@ Barry University 6:00 p.m. ET
Dec. 3 @ MSU-Mankato 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 6 South Dakota State 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 13 @ Finlandia 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 14 @ Michigan Tech 3:00 p.m.
Dec. 20 St. Cloud State 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 21 @ North Dakota 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 28 @ Wayne State (Neb.)* 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 29 @ Southwest State* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 3 UM-Crookston* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 4 MSU Moorhead* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 UM-Duluth* 1:00 p.m.
Jan. 17 UM-Morris* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 Northern State* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 Winona State* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 Concordia-St. Paul* 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 Southwest State* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 Wayne State (Neb.)* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 MSU Moorhead* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 UM-Crookston* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 15 UM-Duluth* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 21 Northern State* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 UM-Morris* 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 Concordia-St. Paul* 5:30 p.m.
March 1 Winona State* 5:30 p.m.
March 5 NSIC Tournament (@ top four seeds) TBA
March 8-9 NSIC Tournament TBA
* NSIC game