Beavers Snap Four-Game Skid With Weekend Split
Tuesday, February 4, 2003
Feb. 4, 2003

Friday, Feb. 7    @ MSU Moorhead& 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8    @ Minnesota-Crookston& 5:30 p.m.
& NSIC contest

Bemidji State (7-13, 3-8 NSIC) stands ninth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference race after a 76-67 win on Saturday against Wayne State (NE). The Beavers are one game back of Winona State for the final playoff spot. The top eight teams in the league make it to post-season play. MSU Moorhead (10-9, 7-3 NSIC) is third, one and one-half games back of Minnesota-Duluth and Concordia-St. Paul for the top spot. Minnesota-Crookston (8-11, 4-6 NSIC) is seventh, one-half game back of Northern State for sixth and just one and one-half game back of Wayne State (NE) for fifth.

**Southwest State 71, Bemidji State 46 - Friday, Jan. 31 - Bemidji, Minn.
Fortunes seemed promising for BSU in the early going as it jumped out early, 6-2, over Southwest State (15-6, 7-3). However, from that point on, BSU was held without a point for nearly eight minutes as SSU went on a 21-0 run en route to the 71-46 win. BSU finished 33 percent (17 of 52) from the field while the Mustangs hit on 26 of 46 (.565) from the floor. SSU out-rebounded BSU 39-24 and dished out 20 assists. Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) led the Beavers with 11 points while junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) chipped in 10 for her 18th double-digit point effort on the season. BSU was just four of 21 (.190) from three-point range in the game.
**Bemidji State 76, Wayne State (NE) 67 - Saturday, Feb. 1 - Bemidji, Minn.
A team does not get a lot of free opportunies to make up some ground on the scoreboard. The Beavers cashed in on those chances from the foul line by going 22 of 31 (.710) compared to the 10 of 15 (.667) on the part of Wayne State (NE) (12-8, 6-5 NSIC) in the 76-67 Beaver win. BSU finished the game at a 42 percent (24 of 57) clip from the field, including six of 17 (.353) from three-point land. WSC went 23 of 51 (.451) overall and 11-for-26 (.423) from behind the arc. The visitors finished with 23 turnovers and held a slim 38-33 rebound advantage. Graf came up big for the Beavers as she scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. In a career-high 35 minutes, junior forward Amber Thomas (Long Beach, Calif.) ripped down a personal-best nine rebounds to tie for game-high honors. Sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) tied a career-high with 14 points as she has done it four times in her career. Senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) hit for 13 points, her third 10+ scoring effort in the last four games.

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (7-13, 3-8 NSIC)    MSU Moorhead (10-9, 7-3 NSIC)
#20 Christi Goodhart    G    5-8    Sr.    #10 Jackie Doerr    G    5-7    So.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    #22 Dana Weibel    G    5-11    So.
#23 Kristy Caviness    G    5-6    Sr.    #33 Becky Schons    G    5-9    So.
#10 Amber Thomas    F    5-9    Jr.    #44 Katie Doerr    F    6-0    Sr.
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So.    #54 Liz Klukas    F    6-1    Jr.

UM-Crookston (8-11, 4-6 NSIC)
#21 Amy Kuznia    G    5-7    Jr.
#20 Stephanie Mayclin    G    5-6    So.
#33 Katie Carlson    C    5-9    Jr.
#45 Cathy Behr    F    5-11    Jr.
#52 Tiffany Hasbrouck    F    5-10    Jr.

With the loss to Southwest State, the Beavers have dropped 11 straight in the series...The 46 points scored is a season-low for BSU - the lowest point total since it dropped in 45 to SSU, Jan. 25, 2003...With a 42-27 advantage at the half, the green and white is 6-1 when holding a lead at the break...BSU closed out the month of January with a 2-6 record and drop to 1-7 when the game is decided by 21+ points this season...The 12-point advantage BSU held from the charity stripe against Wayne State (NE) was the second-highest advantage all season - the Beavers made 18 free throws against Michigan Tech, Dec. 14, 2002 as MTU only made four...On the flip side, the Beavers have been out-scored 71-30 in the past four games from the foul line....With the 23 forced turnovers, BSU has made its opponents turn the ball over 20+ times on 15 occasions and six of the last seven games this season...The Beavers push their streak to nine games in having fewer turnovers than their opponent...The last BSU win in the overall series was Feb. 25, 1998 in a 70-69 affair...The 22 BSU free throws is a season-high...19 of Wayne State’s 23 turnovers came from its starters led by the seven from guard Lesley Menken...There were a combined 49 fouls whistled, which is the most this season in a BSU game...Stacia Swanson (knee) and Nikki Wright (hip) sat out both games - it was Swanson’s second and Wright’s fourth straight game missed.

(1st Year at BSU, 7-13 (.350); 14th Year Overall, 220-183 (.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.

Stacia Swanson will sit out the remainder of the year as she tore both her ACL and MCL in her left knee. She was the team’s leader in steals, field goal percentage and rebounds and second in scoring. Also, Nikki Wright sat out the last four 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 50-101 (.331) overall mark with a 28-44 (.389) record away from Bemidji. At their home gym, the Beavers are 22-57 (.278) in league play.

In the Minnesota-Crookston game (1-3-03) 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 13 of the 20 contests. Recently, the Beavers attempted 20 three-pointers against Concordia-St. Paul (1-25), which was the fifth occasion and capped a four-game streak this season.

Currently, BSU averages 17.2 three-point attempts a game. If it keeps true to that form, it will finish with 463 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 74.9 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 346 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.” 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.

In 2002-03, she holds the scoring lead on the team with 15.6 points per game, free throws made (73), rebounding (4.3) and blocks (12) and is second in field goal percentage (.412 - 113/274), third in free throw percentage (.768 - 73/95) and tied for fourth in three-pointers (13). Graf has topped the club in points 10 games, which is the most on the team. The Beavers are 5-2 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. Jones is tops on the club in steals (41), second in three-pointers (16) and assists (42), third in free throw percentage (.765 - 13/17) and fourth in scoring (7.6) and rebounding (3.0). 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. 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 six times in assists for a single game. She had a season-high five steals against MSU Moorhead (1-4).

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. 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 second in rebounding (3.7), blocks (10), third in field goal percentage (.405 - 51/126), tied for fouth in three-pointers (13) and fifth with a 7.0 scoring average.

With her recent scoring outburts, senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) is making a name for herself on the offensive end. Goodhart notched 13 points against Wayne State (NE) (2-1-03), which was her third double-digit scoring effort in the last four games. After averaging 5.0 points in her first seven games this season including two contests without a single tally, Goodhart has gone for 10+ points in seven games averaging 9.1 points during that stretch. She is first on the team in assists (45), second in steals (28) and third in scoring (7.6) and three-pointers (14). In the last six games, Goodhart has dished out at least two assists.

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 Feb. 2nd, the Beavers stand in the top-five in the NSIC in one category: second in free throw percentage with a .749 clip (236/315). Also, BSU has five players that are in the top-30 in either steals or blocks including Crystal Jones (tied-6th) as she averages 2.05 thefts a game.

Five players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Feb. 2): Amber Graf is fourth in points per game (15.6), tied for 14th in blocks per game (0.60), 16th in free throw percentage (.768 - 73/95), 21st in field goal percentage (.412 - 113/274), 27th in steals per game (1.20) and 28th in rebounds per game (4.2); Melissa Bessler is tied for 17th in blocks per game (0.50) and 21st in steals per game (1.30); Christi Goodhart is 18th in steals per game (1.40) and 22nd in assists per game (2.25); Crystal Jones is tied for sixth in steals per game (2.05) and tied for 25th in assists per game (2.10); and Amber Thomas is 26th in steals per game (1.22).

vs. MSU Moorhead (10-9, 7-3 NSIC)
Head coach Karla Nelson, who got her career started as a Dragon, maintains a 40-34 (.541) mark in four-plus seasons. On Saturday, the Dragons took down Minnesota-Crookston, 79-69 to stay third in the conference race.

Katie Doerr is tops on the squad in points (14.5 ppg) as she brings down 9.9 rebounds per game, which is best in the league. Liz Klukas (13.1) and Dana Weibel (12.6) compliment Doerr’s scoring as Klukas chips in 8.1 boards per contest. The Dragons maintain a +11.6 rebounding advantage, which is first in the NSIC. Becky Schons (2.79) is the team leader in assists while Lindsey Hartmann leads five players who shoot the three well as she has compiled a 50 percent (22/44) mark from long-range.

The Dragons are on a roll thanks to their rebounding margin and the fact that they hold their opponents to 39.5 percent shooting, which is third in the league. They have won four straight including top-five caliber clubs in Wayne State (NE) and Southwest State. Currently, MSU Moorhead stands third in the NSIC by itself.

vs. UM-Crookston (8-11, 4-6 NSIC)
Head coach Mike Curfman is in the middle of his fourth season as he sports a 34-66 (.340) overall record. The Golden Eagles has been one of streaks as they won three straight and four out of their first five. Then, they dropped seven in a row before most recently going 4-3 in the last seven contests. UM-C sits seventh in the conference standings after dropping a 79-69 decision to MSU Moorhead on Saturday.

Karna Plaine is second in the NSIC in scoring with a 16.1 per game clip and is third on the squad in rebounding as she grabs 4.6 per game. Cathy Behr, with her 15.1 points per game average, is fifth in the league in scoring. Also, she is the best in the conference with 2.95 steals per contest and leads the club in rebounding (5.7). Stephanie Mayclin (11.2 ppg) is the league-leader in assists with 5.68 per game. Amy Kuznia has been hot in confernce games with 10.2 points/game. Katie Carlson is the third player to average at least 4.5 rebounds per game as she is second with 5.3.

In the league, UM-C is third in scoring offense (75.0 ppg) as it shoots the ball well behind the three-point line (.380 - 112/295), which is good for second.

ALL-TIME SERIES: vs. MSU Moorhead 34-40 // vs. UM-Crookston 8-3
The Dragons have taken five straight and 10 out of 11 in the overall series after squeaking by the Beavers, 70-68 in January. MSU Moorhead scored 12 of the game’s final 18 points after BSU went up 64-56 with 5:49 remaining. The last BSU win was Jan. 28, 2000 in a 89-78 decision.
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)
BSU won in the last meeting between the two after UM-C won three of the last four. In the 93-70 Beaver win, they went on a 32-9 run that ended with BSU up 61-41 at the 15:42 mark of the second half. The hosts shot 62 percent in the second half and made more free throws (19) than UM-C attempts (14).
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)

In the seven BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Six times, the Beavers went into the intermission with a lead, albeit mostly slim ones at one, two, four, six, seven and 15 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. Wayne State (2/1) was the only opponent to score more (6) in the second half when the Beavers have won.

One glaring statistic that favors the green and white is turnover margin. Currently, the Beavers are +4.9 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, 27 vs. UM-Morris and 23 vs. Wayne State for a total of 177 (25.3 tpg) while committing 118 (16.9 tpg) themselves. Overall, BSU has 256 (12.8 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 177 (8.9 per game) as BSU holds a +3.9 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.

The top eight squads in the 10-team conference will move on to the post-season and play in the 2003 NSIC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament. The tournmanet champion gets an automatic bid to the NCCA Division II tournament. NSIC Quarterfinal action will take place Wednesday, March 5th on various campuses as the higher seed hosts. The format will be as follows: #5 at #4, #6 at #3, #7 at #2 and #8 at #1 with the game-times to be determined by the host school. The semifinals are held on the campus of Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, March 8th. The winner of the #3/#6 game will play against the winner of the #2/#7 game at 12:00 p.m. while the winner of the #4/#5 game will face the winner of the #1/#8 game at 4:00 p.m. The tournament champion will be crowned the following afternoon at 2:00 p.m. More information can be obtained by visiting the conference website at

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.