BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State head women’s basketball coach Mike Curfman has announced the team’s 2012-13 schedule. The campaign includes an exhibition at University of North Dakota, three home nonconference games and the new 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule.
“From a tough Division I exhibition opponent in North Dakota to kick off the season, all the way to the NSIC tournament schedule, it’s going to be a battle everyday,” Curfman said. “With every team making the postseason conference tournament, we will be building all season long to be playing our best basketball in March.”
With the additions of Minot State University and University of Sioux Falls, the NSIC became a 16 team league July 1. Divisions have been adopted for both men’s and women’s basketball, separating the 16 teams into a North and South Divisions. The North Division is made up of BSU, University of Mary, University of Minnesota, Crookston, University of Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minot State, Northern State University and St. Cloud State University. The South Division is comprised of Augustana College, Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Sioux Falls, Southwest Minnesota State University, Upper Iowa University, Wayne State College and Winona State University. Each team’s league schedule will include 14 games against divisional teams (two games against each team - home and away) and one game against every team in the opposite division.
The season begins Nov. 1 with an exhibition game at North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. Last season, the Beavers fell to UND 86-50 to close the 2011 calendar year.
The regular season opens at home with a pair of contests against Lakehead University (Ontario) Nov. 2-3. Last season, BSU used a 13-0 run to begin the second half against Lakehead to open a 25 point lead, en route to a 97-61 victory at the BSU Gymnasium.
Bemidji State remains at home for a Nov. 9 contest against Mayville State University. The Beavers and Comets have met at least once in each of the past five seasons. In that time span, BSU owns a 5-0 record against MSU, including a 100-51 victory at home last season. The nonconference season closes on the road Nov. 20 at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The meeting will mark the second all-time contest between the two institutions, as BSU traveled to Mount Mercy during the 1994-95 season, downing the Mustangs 73-69.
BSU will get 10 days to prepare for the 22-game NSIC slate, as it opens the conference season with a home game against its new travel partner in Minnesota, Crookston Dec. 1. The Beavers went 0-2 against UMC last season, falling 77-73 at home.
The conference road season begins Dec. 7-8 at St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth. The Beavers posted a combined record of 0-3 against the Huskies and Bulldogs in 2011-12. BSU returns home Dec. 14-15 to close the 2012 calendar year with U-Mary and Minot State. The Beavers fell twice to the Marauders last season, including an 81-77 deficit at home. The last meeting between BSU and Minot State came in 1991. There have been six all-time meetings between the squads, with MSU holding a 4-2 advantage, which includes the 1991 meeting by the score of 81-78.
The new year begins on the road Jan. 4-5 at Northern State and MSU Moorhead. The Beavers posted a 1-1 record against NSU, as it won 56-54 in Aberdeen, S.D. BSU had two close battles with the Dragons in 2011-12. Bemidji State opened the conference season with a 75-68 victory in Moorhead, Minn., but fell 95-93 in a three-overtime thriller at the BSU Gymnasium.
Potentially the toughest weekend on the docket for BSU is the combination of Augie and Wayne State. Those two teams visit Bemidji Jan. 11-12. Last season’s top two teams in the final conference standings, BSU posted an 0-2 record against AC and WSC. The Wildcats brought their successful season all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight after hosting and winning the NCAA Central Region Tournament.
A three-game roadie greets the Beavers next, as they travel to UMC Jan. 15 for their only mid-week conference game of the season, before heading south for Jan. 18-19 contests at Winona State and Upper Iowa. Last season, BSU swept the road series at WSU and Upper Iowa, while taking three of four games from the two squads overall.
The Beavers longest homestand of the season precedes the longest road trip of the campaign. BSU hosts MSUM and NSU Jan. 25-26 before welcoming Southwest Minnesota State and Sioux Falls Feb. 1-2. The green and white split the season series with SMSU last season including a 77-54 victory at the BSU Gymnasium. The meeting with the Cougars will be the second all-time and the first visit to Bemidji for USF, as BSU won the only meeting 81-79 in 1986.
The four-game road trip begins Feb. 8-9 at Minnesota State and Concordia-St. Paul. The Beavers split with MSU last season, edging out a 72-71 victory at home. In the only meeting with the Golden Bears, BSU fell 93-69 at the BSU Gymnasium. The road trip is concluded with Bemidji State’s first trip to Minot, N.D. for a league contest Feb. 15, followed by a Feb. 16 meeting in Bismarck, N.D. with U-Mary.
The regular season comes to an end Feb. 22-23 with BSU hosting Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State.
In addition to expanding the league to 16 teams, the NSIC also made a change to the conference tournament format. All 16 teams will make the postseason conference tournament in 2012-13. Top seeds host the first two rounds of the tournament Feb. 27 and March 2 to cut the field to four. Those four teams will head to Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8-9 to crown the NSIC Tournament champion and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Beavers return 10 student-athletes from the 2011-12 roster. Last season, BSU posted an 9-18 overall mark and a 7-15 NSIC record to finish 11th in the league standings. BSU graduated just two seniors in 2011-12 and will be guided in 2012-13 by guard Morgan Lee (Hayward, Minn.), who was selected 2011-12 Second Team All-NSIC.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).