BSU Lets Game Slip Away In End; Lose To UM-Duluth
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Feb. 18, 2003

Friday, Feb. 21    Northern State& 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22    Minnesota-Morris& 5:30 p.m.
& NSIC contest played at BSU Gymnasium

Bemidji State (8-15, 4-10 NSIC) still needs to win out the rest of the season and get some help this weekend if it stands any chance of making post-season action. It stands ninth in the league, one game back of Minnesota-Crookston and Winona State for seventh. BSU has swept the season series with Crookston and plays Winona State one more time (March. 1). The Beavers lost 86-68 on Jan. 24th to the Warriors.

Northern State (9-15, 6-9 NSIC) currently sits in sixth-place by itself and two games behind Wayne State (NE) for fifth. The Wolves hold a mere one-half game lead over UM-C and WSU and one and one-half games over BSU. Minnesota-Morris (1-23, 0-15 NSIC) brings up the rear in the conference and is looking to snap a 17-game skid.

**Minnesota-Duluth 73, Bemidji State 69 - Saturday, Feb. 15 - Bemidji, Minn.
Minnesota-Duluth’s (18-4, 11-3 NSIC) Lindsey Dietz netted a career-high 39 points and tied a school record 16 field goals as she led a late Bulldog rally to overcome Bemidji State, 73-69, at the BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers held leads of 10 points on two occasions and maintained an advantage for much of the game, however after a free throw by senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) put the hosts up 52-47, the Bulldogs rode the 13 points by Dietz in a 26-17 game-ending run. The Beavers finished at 41 percent (26 of 63) with the second-best shooting team in the league going for 56 percent (29 of 52) including 58 percent in the second half. Also, UM-D held a +10 advantage on the boards (36-26) but shot only 14 percent (2 of 14) from three-point range. There were a combined 47 turnovers with the visitors totaling 26. Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) finished with 27 points, however she attempted just three shots and had one point in the second frame. Goodhart notched her fourth-straight double-digit effort with 18 points and senior guard Kristy Caviness (Pamona, Calif.) tied a career-high 12 points. The hosts received just three points from their bench as junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) tallied those points snapping her nine-game streak of 10 or more points. Junior forward Amber Thomas (Long Beach, Calif.) had a well-rounded game with five points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists.

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (8-15, 4-10 NSIC)    Northern State (9-15, 6-9 NSIC)
#20 Christi Goodhart    G    5-8    Sr.    #21 Liza Sizer    G    5-8    So.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    #23 Carin Rambow    G    5-7    Jr.
#23 Kristy Caviness    G    5-6    Sr.    #53 Jessi Mostad    C    5-10    Jr.
#10 Amber Thomas    F    5-9    Jr.    #50 Brooke Fandrich    F    6-0    So.
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So.    #40 Amanda Mollman    F    5-9    Jr.

Minnesota-Morris (1-23, 0-15 NSIC)
#14 Danielle Mercurio    G    5-5    Fr.
#35 Kay Saager    G    5-9    Fr.
#34 Malinda Berglund    F    5-7    Fr.
#44 Carrie Ryan    F    5-10    Jr.
#15 Stacy Nordgren    F    6-0    Jr.

Amber Graf’s three points on Saturday was her third lowest career output - she had 0 in her Beaver debut against South Dakota State (11/17/01) and two against Wayne State (1/26/02) - she entered Saturday’s game as the league’s third best scorer...The career points mark by Crystal Jones broke her old best of 16 set against UM-D in January...After hitting for double-digits once in the first 21 games of the year, Kristy Caviness has tied a personal-best with consecutive 12-point efforts...In losing the battle of the boards, BSU has now been out-rebounded in the last seven contests and have a -10.9 average margin in all 15 losses this season...It was the 12th straight game in which BSU has forced its opponents into more turnovers and the 17th game this season the opponent has gone for 20 or more...The Beavers fall to 7-2 on the year when leading at the half...The 12 three-point attempts is the lowest mark since BSU went for 10 against the Bulldogs, Jan. 11, 2003...The last 12 games has seen Bemidji State have more steals than its opponents with an average margin of +2.5...The Beavers are just eight three-point field goal attempts away from the school record they set last season (403).

(1st Year at BSU, 8-15 (.348); 14th Year Overall, 221-185 (.544))
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 (11/29/02), 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 in the Concordia-St. Paul contest (1/25/03). She was the team’s leader in steals, field goal percentage and rebounds and second in scoring.

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 51-103 (.331) overall mark with a 29-45 (.392) record away from Bemidji. At their home gym, the Beavers are 22-58 (.275) in league play.

In the Minnesota-Crookston game (1/3/03), 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 15 of the 23 contests. Recently, the Beavers attempted 27 three-pointers against MSU Moorhead (2/7/03), which was the seventh occasion of 20+ attempts and capped a streak of five out of six games.

Currently, BSU averages 17.2 three-point attempts a game. If it keeps true to that form, it will finish with 464 overall as it stands at 395. The school record is 403, which was set last season.

Another season record that has a chance of being broken is free throw percentage. Right now, BSU maintains a 74.2 percent clip from the foul line. The program record is 74.1 percent set in 1999-2000.

Entering the 2002-03 campaign, junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) is primed to continue her play from last season when she was 18th in points per game (10.6) and 19th in rebounds a game (4.9). 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 (11/23/02). Graf has reached double-digits in scoring in 21 of the 22 games this season including a career-best 26 against MSU Moorhead (2/7/03). 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 four 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 15.3 points per game, free throws made (83), rebounding (4.3), total blocks (15) and second in field goal percentage (.405 - 128/316). Also, she is fourth in free throw percentage (.761 - 81/109) and tied for fourth in three-pointers (14) and total assists (24). Graf has either tied or topped the club in points 12 games, which is the most on the team. The Beavers are 6-3 when Graf pulls down 5 or more rebounds this season as she averages 5.3 rips in BSU’s eight wins compared to 3.9 in the losses.

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 total steals (49) and three-pointers (21), second in total assists (45), tied for second in free throw percentage (.800 - 20/25), third in scoring (8.3) and fourth in free throw percentage (.737 (14/19). She matched a career-high at the time of 15 points in the contest against Southwest State (12/29/02) 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 27 points against Minnesota-Duluth (2/15/03) as she had 26 at the half, almost defeating the Bulldogs herself as they had 34. Jones set a personal-best with nine field goals on 14 attempts and tied a career-high with three long-range bombs and six free throws. Jones has led or tied for the team lead six times in steals and six times in assists for a single game. She had a season-high five steals against MSU Moorhead (1/4/03) and seven assists against UM-Crookston (1/3/03). In BSU’s eight wins this season, Jones has a 1.9/1 assist to turnover ratio while holds a 0.8/1 mark in the losses.

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 (11/23/02), 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 21 contests and tallied a personal-best 14 points in a season-high 32 minutes against MSU-Mankato (12/4/02). She followed that up with eight points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists vs. #1 South Dakota State (12/6/02). In the conference home opener vs. UM-Crookston (1/3/03), Bessler went for 11 points, her fifth 10+ scoring effort of her career. The next night against MSU Moorhead, Bessler tied a personal-best with 14 points as she hit for three tri-fectas, which was also a career-high. She went for 14 points a third time against Wayne State (2/1/03) as she pulled down seven rebounds as well. Among her teammates, she is second in rebounding (3.8), total blocks (14), tied for fourth in three-pointers (14) and fourth with a 6.9 scoring average. In the BSU wins, Bessler averages 9.0 points as compared to 5.8 in the losses.

With her recent scoring outbursts, senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) is making a name for herself on the offensive end. Goodhart notched 15 points against Winona State (1/24/03), which was a season-high at that point. That performance ignited a scoring streak in which she has tallied 10 or more points in six of the last seven ball 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 10 games averaging 10.4 points during that stretch. She netted a season-best 20 against MSU Moorhead (1/7/03). She is first on the team in total assists (54), second in steals (38), scoring (8.7) and third in three-pointers (18). In the last nine games, Goodhart has dished out at least two assists. When Goodhart takes care of the ball, BSU is successful as well. In the Beaver wins, the 5-7 guard has a 2.5/1 assist to turnover ratio while in the losses, has a 0.7/1 mark. In NSIC action, Goodhart steps up her scoring as seen in her 10.6 average compared to 8.7 in non-conference games.

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. 16th, the Beavers stand in the top-five in the NSIC in one category: second in free throw percentage with a .742 clip (271/365). Also, BSU has six players that are in the top-30 in either steals or blocks including Crystal Jones (3rd) as she averages 2.13 thefts a game.

Six players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Feb. 16): Amber Graf is third in points per game (15.3), 12th in free throw percentage (.761 - 83/109), 13th in blocks per game (0.65), 20th in field goal percentage (.405 - 128/316) and 25th in rebounds per game (4.3); Melissa Bessler is 15th in blocks per game (0.61) and 21st in steals per game (1.35); Christi Goodhart is 13th in steals per game (1.65) and 20th in assists per game (2.35); Crystal Jones is third in steals per game (2.13) and 26th in assists per game (1.96); Kristy Caviness is 26th in steals per game (1.17); and Amber Thomas is 11h in steals per game (1.76).

vs. Northern State (9-15, 6-9 NSIC)
Curt Hendrickson owns a 545-132 (.805) overall record entering his 24th season as head coach of the Wolves program. Last season, NSU tied for second in the conference after going 19-9 overall are picked to finish fourth. It stands currently in sixth-place.

Northern State has very balanced scoring with eight players averaging over five points per game, however no player records double-digits. Carin Rambow leads the way with 9.2 points per game with Brooke Fandrich (7.1), Liza Sizer (7.0) and Michelle Hanson (6.6) contributing. Rambow also shoots a spectacular 91 percent from the charity stripe to lead the NSIC and is first on the team in steals (28). Amanda Mollman tops the club in rebounding (6.2), which is good for eighth in the league, while Jessi Mostad hits 53 percent of her shots. Tia Michalski is the conference’s best shot-blocker as she sends back 1.79 a game.

Since suffering through a seven-game losing streak, the Wolves went on to win six out of seven only to drop four of their last five. Recently, they defeated the Golden Eagles, 72-62 on Friday before dropping a 59-54 decision to MSU Moorhead on Saturday at home.

vs. Minnesota-Morris (1-23, 0-15 NSIC)
Head coach Jim Hall, who comes to Morris for his first season after four years in the collegiate coaching ranks, maintains a 55-53 (.509) overall record. In 2001-02, the Cougars went 0-27 with 18 of those losses coming in conference play.

Over the past weekend, the Cougars hosted MSU Moorhead and UM-Crookston and lost both, 82-50 and 84-54. They are searching for their first conference win since the 1999-200 season.

Freshman Malinda Berglund, who is 10th in the NSIC in scoring, leads the club with 13.5 points per game, field goal percentage (.420) and a 79 (85/108) percent clip from the free throw line. Berglund also is second in rebounding (3.5) and third in assists 53). Danielle Mercurio chips in 10.3 points per contest and is the team’s top assists player (71) and three point shooter as she has connected on 72 this season. Laurel Hennessy tops the club in rebounding (3.7) while Kay Saager hits on 36 percent (55/151) of her three’s.

UM-Morris ranks near the bottom of most statistical categories in the conference including rebound margin (-15.5) and scoring margin (-31.3), but are first in the league and eighth in the country in three-pointers made (8.4) per game.

ALL-TIME SERIES: vs. Northern State 6-30 // Minnesota-Morris 44-19
The Wolves have taken 11 straight in the series with the last Beaver win coming Jan. 19, 1998 by a 80-76 count. NSU took a 100-63 decision, Jan. 18, 2003 as it shot 59 percent (39 of 66) from the field compared to the 35 percent (25 of 71) on the part of Bemidji State. Also, the Wolves doubled the Beavers in rebounds (56-28) and went 40 percent from down-town. Amber Graf paced BSU with 18 points as she went seven of eight from the charity stripe. For Northern State, six players had over 10 points and five players had at least four rebounds. NSU’s bench out-scored BSU’s reserves, 51-13.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    25 (88-63, 2/14/86)
NSU Largest Margin of Victory:    40 (100-60, 2/7/98)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    91 (W, 91-86, 1/10/87)
NSU Highest Scoring Output:    106 (W, 106-77, 2/9/91)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    38 (L, 77-38, 1/8/93)
NSU Lowest Scoring Output:    56 (L, 72-56, 1/27/96)
The Beavers have totaled the most wins in school history (44) against Minnesota-Morris than any other opponent. BSU has swiped the last eight meetings with the Cougars including its last outing, Jan. 17, 2003, in the 69-55 victory. The key to the win was forcing 27 Cougar turnovers. BSU received 16 points from Amber Graf but as a team, shot just six percent (1 of 17) from three-point land. Bemidji State has won by an average margin of 23 points in its current win streak over UM-M.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    44 (92-48, 2/10/84)
UM-M Largest Margin of Victory:    25 (89-64, 1983)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    93 (W, 93-62, 2/21/96)
UM-M Highest Scoring Output:    90 (W, 90-72, 1/11/92)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    28 (L, 30-28, 1973)
UM-M Lowest Scoring Output:    28 (L, 70-28, 1977)

In the eight BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Seven times, the Beavers went into the intermission with a lead and once trailed by a mere two points to Lees-McRae (11/29/02). BSU led by an average margin of 4.5 points at the half. The second half has seen the Beavers outscore their opponents by at least five points in seven of those eight - five to LMC (11/29/02), six to Mankato (12/4/02), seven to Barry (11/30/02), seven to Minnesota-Morris (1/17/03), 12 to Finlandia (12/13/02) and UM-Crookston (2/8/03) and 19 to UM-Crookston (1/3/03). 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 +5.2 overall on the season in that category. BSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in its wins for an average of 25.8 per contest. Overall, BSU has 301 (13.1 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 206 (9.0 per game) as BSU holds a +4.1 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