BEMIDJI, Minn. -
California (Pa.) Preview
Friday’s meeting with Bemidji State will mark the season opener for the California University Vulcans. Coach Mark Swasey’s squad is coming off a 24-8 record and an NCAA tournament berth last season. The Vulcans return three starters from last year’s squad but suffered a major loss in the form of two-time All-America selection Brooque Williams. Returning to lead California in 2010-11 is WBCA All-America honorable selection Kayla Smith who averaged a double-double last season (15.4 points and 11.9 rebounds). Smith is joined by returning starters Stephanie Michael and Amy Johns to anchor the Vulcans line-up. Johns averaged 9.0 points and 5.9 rebounds a season ago while Michael averaged 5.0 points per game. Key reserves Danielle Luckett and Megan Kermond also return for the 2010-11 season. The rest of the production for the Vulcans will be relied upon the play of several newcomers.
Friday’s meeting marks the second meeting between the two programs. California University and Bemidji State University last met on Dec. 28, 1998 with the Vulcans winning 72-61.
Grand View Preview
Grand View University comes into Saturday’s meeting with a 3-4 record. The Vikings are coming off a NAIA Elite Eight berth from a season ago after putting up a 27-9 record. Grand View is led by 5-10 guard Jennifer Jorgenson who comes in averaging 15.7 points and 10.8 rebounds. Jorgenson also leads the Vikings with 28 assists. Grand View is also getting scoring production off the bench in the form of Megan Hamner. She comes into Saturday averaging 9.8 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Saturday’s meeting between Bemidji State University and Grand View University will mark the second meeting between the two schools. BSU defeated Grand View 87-65 on Nov. 22, 1985.
BSU Weekend Preview
The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team is coming off a season-opening win against the Mayville State Comets on Tuesday. The Beavers got strong performances out of several fresh faces as Ellie Wessling (Fr., G/F, Winsted, Minn.) and Melissa Borstner (Fr., G, East Bethel, Minn.) led the squad in scoring in the contest. The win was BSU’s second-consecutive season opening victory after defeating Mayville State to open the 2009-10 campaign.
In addition, the Beavers got a strong overall performance by scrappy Samantha Baldwin (Jr., G, St. Thomas, N.D.), who tallied 12 points and eight rebounds on Tuesday. BSU also got a strong outing from guard Shannon Thompson (So., Rosemount, Minn.) who tallied seven assists. Senior center Colleen McKay (Barnum, Minn.) chipped in five points and five rebounds coming off the bench while NSIC Preseason Player to Watch Jessie Althoff added eight points and six rebounds.
The newcomers of the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team exploded onto the scene in their first game on Tuesday as Ellie Wessling (Fr., G/F, Winsted, Minn.) and Melissa Borstner (Fr., G, East Bethel, Minn.) led the Beavers past Mayville State, 87-76. Wessling tallied 16 points and four rebounds while Borstner added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. As good as Wessling and Borstner played they still came up shy of Katie Pettit’s 18 points scored in the first game of her collegiate career last season against Mayville State.
In addition to Wessling and Borstner’s performance, Morgan Lee (Fr., G, Hayward, Wis.) and Kate Warmack (Fr., C, East Grand Forks, Minn.) also made their first appearances for the green and white. Lee tallied six points including a crucial first-half three-pointer where she showed her shooting bloodlines, as Lee is the daughter of BSU men’s basketball all-time leading scorer David Lee. Warmack added one rebound in six minutes of play.
Sydney Epema (Jr., G, Crookston, Minn.) had shown her prowess from beyond the arc in her first two seasons in Bemidji as she currently ranks fifth all-time for career threes with 131. Epema needs 38 threes to surpass Kris DeMaris in fourth place. Epema had 56 made three-pointers as a sophomore after tallying 73 as a freshman. Her 73 made three-pointers still ranks third all-time for most made threes in a season.
Curfman wins second season opener
Tuesday’s victory against Mayville State marked the second-conseuctive season opener that head coach Mike Curfman has captured in his six years at BSU. Curfman is now 2-4 in season openers. Both wins have come against the Comets of Mayville State.
Winning Game No. 2
Bemidji State is 1-4 in their second game of the season under Mike Curfman. Last season marked the Beavers’ first victory in a second game in the Curfman era as they defeated Martin Luther at the Grinnell Tip-Off tournament to start the season 2-0.
Bemidji State in Tournament Games
BSU holds an 8-12 record in tournament games under Curfman. The Beavers went 3-1 last season in nonconference tournaments picking up wins against Western State and Western New Mexico at the Grand Canyon Thanksgiving Tournament and Martin Luther at the Grinnell Tip-Off Tournament. The three tournament victories in 2009 were the most in one season under a Curfman coached squad. The Beavers went 2-2 in 2007 with victories over St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Stout at the University of Wisconsin-Stout Tournament.
BSU Against Ranked Foes
Bemidji State will play their first game against a ranked foe on Friday when they face No. 19 California University (Pa.). BSU is 3-12 in the Curfman era against ranked foes. Last season they upended defending NCAA Champion Minnesota State, ranked No. 11 at the time.
NSIC Player to Watch
Jessie Althoff (So., F/C, Becker, Minn.) was selected as BSU’s Player to Watch by the NSIC heading into the season. Althoff led the team in scoring last season with 10.1 points per game as a freshman. She was selected as an NSIC All-Freshman team member following the conclusion of the season. Multimedia Live Stats:http://www.sidearmstats.com/mnsu/wbball/index.htm Video: http://www.pennatlantic.com/