BSU Drops Games To Winona St. & Concordia-St. Paul
Monday, January 27, 2003
Jan. 27, 2003

Friday, Jan. 31    Southwest State& 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1    Wayne State (NE)& 5:30 p.m.
& NSIC contest played at BSU Gymnasium

The pair of games this past weekend marked the end of the first half in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. At this point last season, BSU was 1-8 in the conference and 3-14 overall. Currently, the Beavers are in ninth-place, one game back of Winona State and two games away tying for sixth with Minnesota-Crookston and Northern State.

The Mustangs from Southwest State and the Wildcats from Wayne State (NE) are both tied with MSU Moorhead for third in the conference. SSU split its league games on the road over the weekend with UM-Crookston and the Dragons while WSC has dropped its last three including a pair to MSU-M and the Golden Eagles over the weekend.

**Winona State 86, Bemidji State 78 - Friday, Jan. 24. - Bemidji, Minn.
Behind 57 percent shooting, including 64 percent in the second half, Winona State (8-9, 3-5 NSIC) downed BSU, 86-78 at the BSU Gymnasium. With the score notched at 58 with 6:56 remaining, Winona State used a 28-20 run to close out the game, including a mark of 15-for-16 from the charity stripe to steal the NSIC win. At one point, the Warriors connected on 13 straight free throws. BSU shot 46 percent from the floor for the game, but went just six of seven from the free-throw line. Winona State hit on 22 of 28 from the foul line and held a slight advantage on the boards (34-28). Senior guard Katie Long (Mason City, Iowa), who scored 16 of her 19 points in the second half, hit for a career-best five three-pointers. Senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) notched a season-best 15 points while sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) was next with 12 points and tied for game-high honors with eight boards.
**Concordia-St. Paul 75, Bemidji State 68 - Saturday, Jan. 25. - Bemidji, Minn.
The Beavers cut the Concordia-St. Paul (14-4, 7-2) lead to three points with 2:02 remaining but the Golden Bears hit on all three of their free throw attempts and a lay-up to take the NSIC contest by a 75-68 score at the BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers finished 26 of 63 (.413) from the field, including an eight-for-20 mark from three-point land. Concordia-St. Paul went 47 percent (23 of 49) from the floor and connected on four of 14 from long-range. The Golden Bears held a 36 to 28 rebound advantage. Junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) led the way with a game-high 17 points on five of 11 shooting. Swanson hit her third career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Goodhart added 10 points.

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (6-12, 2-7 NSIC)    Southwest State (14-6, 6-3 NSIC)
#20 Christi Goodhart    G    5-8    Sr.    #14 Mary Roddel    G    5-7    Jr.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    #20 Regan French    G    5-8    So.
#15 Katie Long    G    5-7    Sr.    #24 Michelle Bruns    G    5-10    So.
#34 Amber Graf    F    6-1    Jr.    #30 Shelli Schoeneck    F    5-10    Sr.
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So.    #44 Lorrie Grems    F    5-11    Sr.

Wayne State (12-6, 6-3 NSIC)
#10 Dodie Martin    G    5-7    Sr.
#32 Lesley Menken    G    5-7    Sr.
#24 Tracy Williamson    F    5-11    Sr.
#34 Karen Hochstein    F    6-0    Sr.
#54 Kristin Humphries    F    6-2    Fr.

Against Winona State, it was the fourth game this season that BSU has attempted at least 20 three-pointers...The 46 percent shooting broke a string of four games that BSU shot below 45 percent...The 24 BSU assists in the contest was a season-high and the third time on the campaign that it has tallied 20+ assists - BSU was 2-0 in those games before the loss...It was the 13th game and the fourth straight that Stacia Swanson has either led or tied for the team-high in rebounds this season as she grabs 8.3 per contest...In the loss to C-SP, BSU has gone for fewer turnovers than its opponent in the last seven contests...The 28 rebounds by Bemidji State was the third straight game it has totaled that...It was the eighth game on the season that Amber Graf topped the club in scoring as she is first with 15.7 per game.

The games this past weekend turned to be unkind for the Beavers as their top-two scorers left the game due to an injury. Stacia Swanson left the game Saturday with about six minutes remaining and did not return. Initial diagnosis of her injury is a torn MCL of her left knee. An MRI will be done on Thursday, but she will miss the remainder of the season. Amber Graf sat out for a couple minutes preceeding Swanson’s injury and sprained her ankle. She is expected to play on Friday. Also, Nikki Wright sat out of both games most recently and is listed as day-to-day with a hip flexor.

The Beavers are in their 11th season of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play as the Northern Sun (women’s league) and the Northern Intercollegiate (male’s league) merged before the 1992-93 season. All-time in the league, BSU maintains a 49-100 (.329) overall mark with a 28-44 (.389) record away from Bemidji. At their home gym, the Beavers are 21-56 (.273) in league play.

In the Minnesota-Crookston game (1-3) earlier this year, the Beavers hoisted up 30 three-pointers. That mark shattered the previous school record of 23 against MSU Moorhead (12-30-01). In fact, BSU has attempted at least 10 three’s in every game this season and have gone 15 or more attempts in 12 of the 18 contests. Most recently, the Beavers attempted 20 three-pointers against Concordia-St. Paul (1-25), which was the fifth occasion and fourth straight game of 20+ attempts this season.

Currently, BSU averages 16.9 three-point attempts a game. If it keeps true to that form, it will finish with 457 overall. The school record is 403, which was set last season.

Two other season records that have a chance of being broken is free throw percentage and steals. Right now, BSU maintains a 76.9 percent clip from the foul line. The program record is 74.1 percent set in 1999-2000. For steals, the Beavers average a shade under 13 steals a game thus far. If that pace stays the same, BSU will total 348 on the season. The current best in a season is 356, which was recorded in 1985-86.

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 17 of the 18 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. Graf has topped the 20+-point barrier three times this season and had a 12-game scoring streak of at least 10 points earlier this year.

So far this season, she holds the scoring lead on the team with 15.7 points per game, free throws made (60) and blocks (12) and is second in rebounding (4.3) and third in free throw percentage (.779 - 60/77) and field goal percentage (.417 - 105/252). Graf has topped the club in points nine games this season, which is the most on the team. The Beavers are 4-2 when Graf pulls down 5 or more rebounds this season.

Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) returns as the leader on the court this season as she was voted 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 club in three-pointers (15) and assists (38), steals (38) and offensive rebounds (32), tied for third in scoring (7.6) and fourth in rebounding (3.1). She matched a career-high at the time 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. Most recently, Jones hit for a career-high of 16 points against Minnesota-Duluth (1-11) as she was six-for-six from the foul line. Jones has led or tied for the team lead five times in steals and assists for a single game. She had a season-high five steals against MSU Moorhead (1-4).

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), minutes a game (29.4), steals (48 - 2.67 spg) and field goal percentage (.484 - 104/215) and is second in scoring (13.8) and third in free throw percentage (.787 - 37/47). She stands second in the league in steals a game and third with her rebounding average. Swanson has either led or tied for the team high 14 times in rebounds, including the last five contests, and six times in points. Swanson got her scoring streak of double-digit points snapped at eight games with nine points against St. Cloud State (12-20). Swanson most recently notched her third career double-double with a 14 point-11 rebound effort against Concordia-St. Paul (1/25). Unfortunately, the Beavers are 0-3 when Swnaons records a double-double.

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 12 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). In the conference home opener vs. UM-Crookston (1-3), Bessler went for 11 points, her fifth 10+ scoring effort of her career. The next night against MSU Moorhead (1-4), Bessler tied a personal-best with 14 points as she hit for three tri-fectas, which was also a career-high. Among her teammates, she is third in rebounding (3.5), tied for second in blocks (9) and fifth with a 6.6 scoring average.

Three BSU players have accrued double-doubles in points and rebounds in their careers. Melissa Bessler and Stacia Swanson both have two apiece while Amber Graf has tallied one. 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
Stacia Swanson (14 points-10 rebound)    vs. UM-Duluth, 1-11-03
Stacia Swanson (14 points-11 rebounds)    vs. Concordia-St. Paul, 1-25-03

Through all games played through Jan. 25th, the Beavers stand in the top-five in the NSIC in one category: second in free throw percentage with a .769 clip (206/268). Also, BSU has five players that are in the top-30 in either steals or blocks including the league’s second-best (Swanson) in steals per game as she averages 2.67 thefts a game.

Five players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Jan. 25): Stacia Swanson is second in steals per game (2.67), third in rebounds per game (8.3), ninth in free throw percentage (.787 - 37/47), 12th in points per game (13.8) and field goal percentage (.484 - 104/215), and tied for 16th in blocks per game (0.50); Amber Graf is fourth in points per game (15.7), 11th in blocks per game (0.67), 12th in free throw percentage (.779 - 60/77), 21st in field goal percentage (.417 - 105/252), tied for 27th in steals per game (1.22) and rebounds per game (4.3); Melissa Bessler is tied for 16th in blocks per game (0.50) and tied for 22nd in steals per game (1.33); Christi Goodhart is tied for 19th in steals per game (1.39) and tied for 21st in assists per game (2.28); and Crystal Jones is tied for sixth in steals per game (2.11) and 24th in assists per game (2.11).

vs. Southwest State (14-6, 6-3 NSIC)
Kelly Kruger is entering his twelfth year at the helm of the Mustang women’s basketball program. Kruger led his team to their second consecutive NSIC title and an NSIC Tournament Championship in the 2001-02 season. Last year, Kruger’s team posted their third consecutive 20-win season and received their second straight bid to the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament. and advanced to the “Sweet 16” for the first time in school history. Kruger currently sits at 202-138 (.594) record while at SSU and has an overall record of 292-210 (.582) in 17 seasons of head coaching.

The Mustangs, which were ranked #10 in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Polls, were picked to win the league crown in the NSIC preseason polls. Michelle Bruns, who is sixth in the league in scoring and first in three-point percentage (.571), paces Southwest State with 15.0 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 88 assists. The assist average (4.4) is good for second in the NSIC. Shelli Schoeneck puts down 14.8 points per game and is the fifth-best in the conference with 2.2 steals per game. Mary Roddel rounds out the double-digit scorers (11.0) and is first in the conference in free throw percentage (.889) as she connects on 64 of 72 attempts.

SSU, winners six out of its last eight, leads the league in free throw percentage (.773) and three-point field goal percentage (.409) and is second in field goal percentage (.452). Also, the Mustangs are second in holding opponents to 62.7 points per game.

vs. Wayne State (NE) (12-6, 6-3 NSIC)
Head coach Ryun Williams is in his fifth season as head coach at Wayne State College. Williams has compiled the third highest winning percentage in Wildcat history at .591. and holds a 80-53 (.602) record in the midst of his fifth season at WSC.

Karen Hochstein leads the club and is tied for seventh in the league in scoring with 14.8 points per contest. Also, her 7.1 rebounds per match is fifth in the NSIC and 54 percent field goal shooting third. Dodie Martin is right behind in points with 13.9 per game and her 40 steals is fourth in the conference. Tracy Williamson knocks down 45 percent (38 of 84) from behind the arc, good for second-best in the NSIC. Lesley Menken dishes out 3.4 assists per game, which is fourth in the league and is third on the club with 5.1 rebounds per contest.

The Wildcats were picked to finish sixth in the NSIC preseason polls after a 12-15 mark a season ago and taking seventh. They like to shoot the long-ball as they hit for 6.9 three’s a contest, good for second in the league. Also, they hold opponents to 63.8 points per game, which is third behind SSU and UM-D.

ALL-TIME SERIES: vs. SSU 24-28 // WSC 7-14
The Beavers look to snap a 10-game skid against the Mustangs after losing 76-55, Dec. 29, 2002 in Marshall, Minn. In the losing streak, the average margin of victory for SSU was 23 points. The last BSU win was Feb. 25, 1998 in a 70-69 affair as that capped a four-game Beaver winning streak. In their last meeting, Southwest State went 28 of 51 (.549) from the floor including nine-for-16 from three-point land. Amber Graf led all scorers with 20 points on eight of 15 shooting.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    51 (99-48, 2/7/87)
SSU Largest Margin of Victory:    49 (79-30, 2/23/01)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    103 (W, 103-93, 2/28/97)
SSU Highest Scoring Output:    93 3x, most recently (W, 93-78, 2/23/99)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    30 (L, 79-30, 2/23/01)
SSU Lowest Scoring Output:    45 (L, 63-45, 2/1/85)

The last 11 meetings have gone in favor of the Wildcats including the most recent outing this past December, 79-51. That margin of victory was WSC’s largest in the overall series as BSU tied a season-high with 24 fouls being called against them. Graf netted 14 points while Stacia Swanson added 10. March 1, 1997 was the last time that the Beavers have won in a 77-75 decision.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    40 (107-67, 2/1/97)
WSC Largest Margin of Victory:    28 (79-51, 12/28/02)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    107 (W, 107-67, 2/1/97)
WSC Highest Scoring Output:    90 (W, 90-76, 1/19/01)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    48 (L, 68-48, 2/21/98)
WSC Lowest Scoring Output:    64 (W, 64-63, 2/4/95)

(1st Year at BSU, 6-12 (.333); 14th Year Overall, 219-182 (.546))
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, who notched his first victory as a Beaver against Lees-McRae (11/29), will be first-year assistant Amanda Went, second-year graduate assistants Jason Sobolik and Paul Brunsdon.

In the six BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Five times, the Beavers went into the intermission with a lead, albeit slim ones at one, two, four, six, and seven 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, seven to Minnesota-Morris, 12 to Finlandia and 19 to UM-Crookston.

One glaring statistic that favors the green and white is turnover margin. Currently, the Beavers are +4.4 on the season in that category. BSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in its wins: 31 vs. Lees-McRae, 23 against Barry, 24 at Mankato, 20 vs. Finlandia, 29 vs. UM-Crookton and 27 vs. UM-Morris for a total of 154 (25.7 tpg) while committing 106 (17.7 tpg) themselves. Overall, BSU has 232 (12.9 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 166 (9.2 per game) as BSU holds a +3.7 advantage.

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.

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.