BSU men’s hoops No. 1 nationally in free throws; women ranked sixth
Thursday, December 16, 2010
BSU men’s hoops No. 1 nationally in free throws; women ranked sixth
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Most basketball coaches will say games can be won and lost at the free throw line. The importance of this normally simple task is being taken seriously this season at Bemidji State University as the men’s program ranks No. 1 in NCAA Division II from the charity stripe and the women are No. 6. The high marks from the Beavers places them as the only men’s and women’s pair in the top six in free throw shooting.

The Beaver men (4-4, 1-3 NSIC) have a history of high free throw percentage, finishing last season fifth in the nation at a 76.7 clip. This season’s 83.4 mark is tops in the country as the first edition of the NCAA Statistics Summary was released Dec. 12. Junior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) is leading the team in the category with a 88.6 percentage, which ranks 44th in the nation. Junior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) owns a career free throw percentage of 82.4 and ranks 61st in the nation this season with a 87.2 clip.

The BSU women (4-4, 1-3 NSIC) have a 78.9 mark from the line this season, lead the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and rank sixth in the country. Junior guard Samantha Baldwin (St. Thomas, N.D.) leads the team and is tied for 14th in the NSIC with a 83.3 percentage from the line. The team has four players with at least 16 free throw attempts that are hitting at an 80 percent mark or higher, including two freshmen in Ellie Wessling (F, Winsted, Minn.) and Melissa Borstner (G, East Bethel, Minn.). Leading the country on the women’s side is Lake Erie College (Ohio) with a 83.3 percentage.

The Beavers put their high free throw marks on the line Dec. 17-18 at Northern State University and University of Mary, respectfully.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).