Two League Games On Road Go Against BSU
Thursday, January 2, 2003
Friday, Jan. 3    UM-Crookston& 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 4    MSU Moorhead& 5:30 p.m.
& NSIC contests

Since Bemidji State joined the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference before the 1993-94 season, it is 2-7 in league home openers. It has dropped the last four and the last win came back during the 1997-98 campaign against Northern State, 80-76.

Wayne State (NE) 79, Bemidji State 51 - Saturday, Dec. 28
The conference opening loss in Wayne, Neb. could be attributed to the seven-for-29 shooting (32.7 percent) in the second half for BSU. In addition, Wayne State (7-3, 1-0) out-rebounded the Beavers 40-27 and connected on 10 more free throws. Junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) netted 14 points as she went five-for-five from the free throw line. Senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) chipped in 10 points in 21 minutes of action. WSC went on a 20-7 run to close out the first half and go up by the count of 43-27.

Southwest State 76, Bemidji State 55 - Sunday, Dec. 29
In Marshall, Minn., Southwest State (9-4, 1-1) shot 54.9 percent from the field including 18-for-27 (66.7 percent) in the second half to defeat the Beavers. Out of the intermission, SSU went on a 26-11 spurt to take control of the game. There were 50 total turnovers with SSU having 24. Both teams grabbed 32 rebounds. Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) tied a career-high with 15 points as she went five-for-seven from the floor including two-for-two from three-point range. Graf notched her third 20+ point effort of the year with 20 points to lead all scorers.

BSU is searching for that fifth win, which was last season’s total - it did not notch that fifth win till Feb. 23, 2002, 26 games into the season...When leading at the half, BSU is 3-0...Bemidji State is 4-3 when it records fewer turnovers than its opponent...Amber Graf led the club in scoring in both contests over the weekend to up her streak to five straight games -- her 20-point effort on Sunday was the third occasion in which she has gone at least 20 points this season...Graf went five-for-five from the free-throw line to lead BSU to a season-high mark of 92.9 percent (13 of 14) against Wayne State...However, the 17 made field goals that same game is a season-low...Crystal Jones tied a career-high of 15 points on five of seven shooting from the floor vs. Southwest State...(continued on page two)

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (4-7, 0-2 NSIC)    UM-Crookston (4-6, 0-1 NSIC)
#20 Christi Goodhart    G    5-8    Sr.    #21 Amy Kuznia    G    5-7    Jr.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    #20 Stephanie Mayclin    G    5-6    So.
#34 Amber Graf    C    6-1    Jr.    #45 Cathy Behr    C    5-11    Jr.
#33 Stacia Swanson F 5-11 So.    #23 Karna Plaine    F    5-10    Fr.
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So. #52 Tiffany Hasbrouck F 5-10 Jr.

MSU Moorhead (4-6, 1-0 NSIC)
#10 Jackie Doerr    G    5-7    So.
#22 Dana Weibel    G    5-11    So.
#33 Becky Schons    G    5-9    So.
#44 Katie Doerr    F    6-0    Sr.
#54 Liz Klukas    F    6-1    Jr.

BSU went just seven-for-26 from three-point range in both games...In the Beaver five-game losing streak, they have been out-scored by an average of 19.2 points (76.8-57.6) and have shot 35.9 percent (101 of 281) from the field.

The Beavers began NSIC play before the start of the 1993-94 season as the Northern Sun (women’s league) and the Northern Intercollegiate (male’s league) merged. All-time in the league, BSU maintains a 46-92 (.333) mark with a 20-52 (.278) record away from Bemidji. At their home gym, the Beavers are 26-40 (.394) in league play.

Entering the 2002-03 campaign, junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) is primed to continue her play from last season. League coaches have taken notice of her as well as she is a 2002-03 preseason “Player to Watch.” Graf leads the BSU returners with 12 double-digit point efforts in 20 games last campaign and was tops on the squad in free throws made (48), free throw percentage (.800) and points per game (10.6). In the conference, she ranked 18th in ppg and 19th in rebounding per contest (4.9) in all games played. A transfer from the U.S. Naval Academy, Graf went six consecutive contests with 10+ points last season and against Minnesota-Morris (1-11-02), she tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds for her first career double-double. In addition, Graf established a school single-game record for accuracy with a five-for-five performance behind the arc against Winona State (1-18-02).

This season, Graf tallied 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting in her junior debut against St. Cloud State (11-23). Graf has reached double-digits in scoring in all 11 games this season including a career-best 24 against MSU-Mankato (12-4) and she followed that up with 22 vs. #1 South Dakota State (12-6). In the two BSU wins over Lees-McRae (11-29) and Barry (11-30), Graf totaled 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to earn Comfort Inn “On the Beach” Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament honors. So far this season, she holds the scoring lead on the team with 16.8 points per game and is first in blocks (10), made three-pointers (10) and free throws made (39) and percentage (.813 - 39/48). Graf has topped the club in points in seven games this season, including five straight. She holds the single-game high this season with her point total against Mankato.

Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) will return as the leader on the court this season as she was voted on by her teammate’s as the 2002-03 team captain. Last season, Jones led the squad twice in points and tallied double-digits in points on ten occasions. Jones opened up the season by scoring 10+ in three of the first four contests and was second on the squad with 22 three-point field goals made and 24 total steals. In addition, BSU was 3-0 when she grabbed seven or more boards. Jones takes her hard work beyond the hard wood as seen her 4.0 grade point average she maintained both semesters last year.

This season, Jones is second on the team in made three-pointers (9) and steals (20) and second in offensive rebounds (20). She matched a career-high of 15 points in the contest against Southwest State (12-29) as she went five-for-seven (.716) from the field. She also hit for the same clip from the field in the BSU win over Barry (FL) on Nov. 30, 2002 as she posted 13 points. The percentage mark is a team-high on the season. Jones has led or tied for the team lead twice in steals and twice in assists for a single game.

What a debut! In the season-opener against St. Cloud State (11-23), sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) hit for 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Metro State (CO) University transfer shot 6-for-15 from the floor, 5-for-5 from the free throw line, had three steals and an assist. Swanson had a double-double by halftime (10 points-10 rebounds).

As if that was not good enough, Swanson notched 37 points, 15 rebounds, 10 steals and four assists in the two wins down in Florida. She was named to the Comfort Inn “On the Beach” Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament squad and those performances earned her NSIC Co-Player of the Week accolades for Nov. 25. Then in a sub-par effort by her standards, she posted 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in the 67-59 win over MSU-Mankato (12-4).

Swanson is first on the club this season in rebounding (8.3 rpg), minutes a game (30.5) and steals (35) and second in field goal percentage (.433 - 58/134) and scoring (13.1 ppg). She stands first in the league with 3.10 steals a game and third with her rebounding average. Swanson has either led or tied for the team high nine times in rebounds and four times in points in a single game. Swanson got her scoring streak of double-digit points snapped at eight games with nine points against St. Cloud State (12-20).

Sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) is in her second season in a Beaver uniform after leading the club in rebounding (5.1) last season. In 2001-02, led the team seven times in rebounding and notched BSU’s single game high for rebounds (16) in the 84-67 victory over Winona State on Feb. 23, 2002. That same game she tallied 14 points for her first career double-double.

This campaign has seen Bessler improve since the first game. In the season-opener against St. Cloud State (11-23), Bessler came off the bench and fouled out in nine minutes of action as she had one point on zero-for-three shooting. Since then, she has been in the starting line-up in all 10 contests and tallied a personal-best 14 points in a season-high 32 minutes against MSU-Mankato (12-4). She followed that up with eight points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists vs. #1 South Dakota State (12-6). Among her teammates, she is third in rebounding with 4.2 per game and fifth with a 6.0 scoring average.

Three BSU players have accrued double-doubles in points and rebounds in their careers. Melissa Bessler leads the way with two, one coming this season, while Amber Graf and Stacia Swanson have one apiece. The following is a list of the players (italics indicates the 2002-03 season):

Melissa Bessler (14 points-16 rebounds)    vs. Winona State, 2-23-02
Melissa Bessler (14 points-10 rebounds)    vs. MSU-Mankato, 12-4-02
Amber Graf (12 points-13 rebounds)    vs. UM-Morris, 1-11-02
Stacia Swanson (17 points-15 rebounds)    vs. St. Cloud State, 11-23-02

Through all games played through Dec. 31st, the Beavers are tied for first in free throw percentage with a .758 clip (113-149). Also, BSU has six players that are in the top-30 in either steals or blocks including the league leader (Swanson) in steals per game as she averages 3.10 thefts a game.

Six players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Dec. 31): Stacia Swanson is first in steals per game (3.10), third in rebounds per game (8.2), 10th in blocks per game (0.70), 14th in points per game (13.1), and tied for 14th in field goal percentage (.455 - 55/121); Amber Graf is fourth in points per game (16.3), sixth in free throw percentage (.822 - 37/45), seventh in blocks per game (0.90), 20th in field goal percentage (.405 - 60/148), tied for 25th in rebounds per game (4.5) and tied for 29th in steals per game (1.20); Kristy Caviness is tied for 14th in steals per game (1.50) and tied for 30th in assists per game (1.90); Melissa Bessler is 13th in blocks per game (0.60), 29th in rebounds per game (4.0) and tied for 29th in steals per game (1.20); Christi Goodhart is 24th in steals per game (1.30); and Crystal Jones is tied for ninth in steals per game (1.90).

ALL-TIME SERIES: vs. UM-Crookston 7-3 // vs. MSU Moorhead 34-39
The last two and three of the last four meetings have gone in favor of the Golden Eagles. It has been almost two years since BSU notched a victory - Jan. 27, 2001 with a 58-55 win. The last meeting was a 79-64 Golden Eagles victory, Feb. 2, 2002 in Bemidji. There were a combined 48 turnovers as BSU shot just 34.3 percent (24-of-70) from the floor.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    45 (101-56, 1/6/96)
UM-C Largest Margin of Victory:    15 (79-65, 2/2/02)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    101 (W, 101-56, 1/6/96)
UM-C Highest Scoring Output:    79 (W, 79-64, 2/2/02)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    63 (L, 77-63, 12/8/00)
UM-C Lowest Scoring Output:    40 (L, 79-40, 12/2/97)

The Dragons have taken four straight and nine out of ten in the overall series with the Beavers. In the 75-66 MSU Moorhead victory, Feb. 1, 2002 in Bemidji, BSU hit on 9-22 from long-range while Moorhead hit on 47.5 percent of its shots overall.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    34 (76-42, 1978)
MSU, M Largest Margin of Victory:    38 (80-42, 1/26/01)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    98 (W, 98-94, 1/29/94)
MSU, M Highest Scoring Output:    95 (W, 95-75, 2/13/91)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    14 (L, 33-14, 1968)
MSU, M Lowest Scoring Output:    14 (L, 29-14, 1/27/71)

vs. UM-Crookston (4-6, 0-1 NSIC)
Head coach Mike Curfman begins his fourth season at the helm as he sports a 26-55 record going into the campaign. To start the season, the Golden Eagles won four of their first five games but have since dropped four out of their last five including their league opener to MSU Moorhead last Sunday, 103-75.

Karna Plaine leads the NSIC in scoring with a 20.4 per game clip and is first on the squad in rebounding as she grabs 6.5 per game. Cathy Behr (13.6 ppg) and Stephanie Mayclin (10.7 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for the Golden Eagles. Behr also gets 5.6 rebounds per game while Tiffany Hasbrouck adds 5.1. Amy Kuznia adds her name to the five-player starting rotation that has stayed the same for the entire season.

In the league, UM-C is second in scoring offense (77.6 ppg) as it shoots the ball well behind the three-point line (.404), which is good for second. However, its defense is in the lower half of the conference as it is ninth in scoring defense (86.6 ppg). Two players in Plaine (2.40 spg) and Behr (2.80 spg) stand in the top-five in steals per game as Plaine is fourth and Behr is fifth.

vs. MSU Moorhead (4-6, 1-0 NSIC)
Head coach Karla Nelson, who got her career started as a Dragon, maintains a 30-25 mark in three seasons for the women. One key to MSU, M’s success is being able to outrebound its opponents as it holds a +10.2 advantage (43.7-33.5) in that category. On Sunday, the Dragons halted a five-game losing skid by defeating UM-Crookston, 103-75. Liz Klukas set a school record connecting on nine-of-nine from the field as she hit for 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Klukas and Katie Doerr are tops on the squad in points (14.3 ppg) as they are tied for ninth in the league in that category. Both players shoot well from the field with Doeer connecting on 50.4 percent (58-for-115) of her shots while Klukas maintains a 50.0 percent mark (56-for-112). Also, Doerr leads the conference in rebounding as she grabs 10.5 per contest while Klukas has a 7.5 rebounding average. Dana Weibel compliments Klukas and Doerr as she chips in 12.2 points per game.

(1st Year at BSU, 4-7 (.364); 14th Year Overall, 217-177 (.551))
Mike Power has a long history of resurrecting basketball programs with losing traditions into winners. The first-year coach comes here after a four-year stay at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo. where he posted a 56-52 record, setting a school record for best winning percentage by a head coach in his first two years (.636). Power’s teams finished in the top seven in the 14-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference three of his four years at the helm, making the RMAC Tournament three times.

Prior to his stay at Metro State, Power resurrected the Briar Cliff College program in Sioux City, Iowa. Power inherited an 0-29 team and in six seasons there posted a 127-73 record - including 93-17 over his final three seasons - and made three consecutive NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances. He led the Chargers to Elite Eight appearances in 1996 and 1997. Power’s teams posted two consecutive 30-win seasons at Briar Cliff, a 37-1 march in 1996-’97 which included a school-record 32-0 unbeaten regular season and a 37-0 record before suffering the first loss, and 31-4 in 1997-’98. Power developed three All-America players at Briar Cliff and won three consecutive NAIA Independent Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors.

Power also turned around a program with a losing history during a three-year stay at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb. After a 5-20 finish during his first year at the helm, Power had built a program with a winning record by his third year when the Prairie Wolves finished 15-11. Under Power’s watch, Wesleyan led the nation (NCAA Division III) in scoring during the 1990-’91 season and also led the nation in three-point field goals per game in both 1989-’90 and 1990-’91.

Power also has experience coaching at the high school level, spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Pius X High School in Lincoln, Neb. from 1985-’88 and one year as head coach and physical education teacher at Gothenburg High School in Gothenburg, Neb. in 1991-’92.

The eighth head coach in the history of BSU women’s basketball earned a bachelor of science degree in social science from the University of Nebraska in 1988 and a master of physical education from Nebraska in 1994.

Walking the sidelines with Power will be first-year assistant Amanda Went, second-year graduate assistants Jason Sobolik and Paul Brunsdon.

In the four BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Three times, the Beavers went into the intermission with a lead, albeit slim ones at one, two and six points, and once trailed by a mere two points to Lees-McRae (11/29). The second half has seen the Beavers outscore their opponents by at least five points - five to LMC, six to Mankato, seven to Barry and 12 to Finlandia.

One glaring statistic that favors the green and white is turnover differential. Currently, the Beavers are +2.5 in that category. BSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in those same games: 31 vs. Lees-McRae, 23 against Barry, 24 at Mankato and 20 vs. Finlandia for a total of 98 while committing 70 themselves. Opposing teams are frustrated due to the full-court trapping defense that coach Power has installed while having an 11 player rotation. Overall, BSU has 144 (13.1 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 109 (9.9 per game) as BSU holds a +3.2 advantage.

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 visited Bemidji (12/6). SDSU, which posted a 28-9 overall record in 2001-02 and was first in the preseason edition of the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II Women’s Basketball Poll, defeated BSU by a count of 85-67. The next test came Dec. 14th at Michigan Tech, which was 10th in the final Great Lakes Region poll last season. “Tech,” which was 3-3 at the time it played the Beavers, prevailed 72-57. A week later, the #6 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux handed the Beavers its tenth straight loss in the series, 86-58.

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. In that contest, BSU got downed 76-55 (12/29). 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.”

According to the 2002-03 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll, the Beavers were chosen ninth with 31 votes in the preseason coaches poll. The league’s champion from last season in Southwest State was narrowly picked as the top team with 85 votes. BSU ended ninth in the NSIC as it went 3-15 in league play last season.

Concordia-St. Paul was second (84), Minnesota-Duluth third (77), Northern State fourth (62), MSU Moorhead fifth (56), Wayne State (Neb.) sixth (48), Minnesota-Crookston seventh (43), Winona State eighth (36) and Minnesota-Morris rounding out the list (18). Both SSU, which is #10 in the Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25, and C-SP, which received five first-place votes, are recognized on the national level.

As far as the NSIC is concerned, the Beavers will have to face Southwest State on the road in the conference-opening weekend, Dec. 29. 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.

The BSU Gymnasium, which seats 2,200, was originally constructed in 1959. Almost a year of work came to fruition as the physical education complex, the all-encompassing building that houses the BSU Gymnasium, was dedicated on January 4, 1960 by Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman in front of a packed crowd. This large building contains the gym, a swimming pool, classrooms and faculty offices.

The BSU Gymnasium hosts all Bemidji State University volleyball matches, men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as area high school playoff games. In addition, there are events ranging from concerts and recitals to faculty meetings and commencement ceremonies that take place there.

Not only does it house an array of activities, but perhaps more importantly it gives a distinct “home-court” advantage for the athletic squads that use it. BSU fans and boosters of all ages are regularly seen sporting the green and white colors in peculiar styles.

All tickets for BSU home events can be purchased at the gate or by calling 218-755-2045. Ticket prices are as follows: $5 general admission, $2 senior citizens/non-BSU students, $1 under-12 and BSU students with valid ID are free.

Voice of the Beavers Shaun Michaels returns for his fourth year behind the mic as Bemidji State continues its broadcast agreement with R.P. Broadcasting of Bemidji. Michaels, who also hosts the morning show on Real Country 98.3, provides the Beavers with one of the most enthusiastic young radio voices in college athletics today. Brian Bisonette provides expert analysis and color commentary.

KKBJ is scheduled to provide live coverage of select Beaver women’s basketball games and also will have broadcasts available for any potential post-season contests. Mark your calenders for three contests to be aired on KKBJ: Dec. 20 vs. St. Cloud State, Jan. 3 vs. UM-Crookston and Jan. 4 vs. MSU Moorhead. The SCSU contest will be begin at 6:00 p.m. while the other two start at 5:30 p.m.

Additionally, these game broadcasts will be streamed live over the Internet via KKBJ’s web site. Broadcasts are available to Windows, Macintosh and UNIX computer users and are distributed in RealAudio format (requires RealOne player, available as a free download at

For more information or to listen to the Internet audio broadcasts, point your web browser to:

Internet listeners should be aware that server limitations allow only 120 concurrent listeners to BSU’s audio broadcasts. Internet audio broadcasts do not begin until approximately five minutes prior to the scheduled starting time of the pre-game show.

Fans will have an opportunity to watch live television broadcasts of select Beaver women’s basketball games for the 2002-03 season. Three games are slated to be broadcast: Jan. 3, 4 & Feb. 15 with all games beginning at 5:30 p.m. Join Scott Williams as he handles the play-by-play duties and color commentary provided by Kevin Drexel for exciting Beaver basketball.
All three of these broadcasts are scheduled to be shown on a tape-delay basis as well.