Bowen releases 2011-12 schedule
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Bowen releases 2011-12 schedule
BEMIDJI, Minn.  – Bemidji State head men’s basketball coach Matt Bowen announced the 2011-12 schedule today. The season is highlighted by an exhibition game with University of Minnesota, a trip to Colorado, a Thanksgiving tournament in Bemidji, Minn. and the rigors of the 22-game schedule in one of the premier Division II basketball leagues in the country.

“Our schedule this year is probably the most challenging its been since I’ve been here,” Bowen said. “We have 28 games and 27 of them are NCAA Division II games. We start the year with an exhibition with the University of Minnesota which is another great opportunity for our fans and players to play against another Big 10 team. We also have a great opportunity to travel this year. We are going out to Denver to play in the NSIC/RMAC Challenge to play Metro State University and University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. We are hosting our first Thanksgiving Classic then we go into our regular 22-game schedule which is as challenging as ever. It should be an entertaining year.”  

After a one year hiatus from opening the season with a high profile Division I exhibition game, the Beavers will start the 2011-12 campaign with an exhibition contest at University of Minnesota Nov. 1. BSU played Minnesota in Bowen’s first season (2006-07), battled Indiana University to start the 2008-09 season and traveled to University of Wisconsin to kickoff the 2009-10 season.

After experiencing The Barn, the Beavers will have 10 days before hitting the floor in competition to truly begin the season as it travels to Colorado for the NSIC/RMAC Challenge Nov. 11-12. BSU plays at Metro State University Nov. 11 in Denver, Colo. and then heads to University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Nov. 12 to complete to challenge. Metro State finished last season 22-8 overall and earned a spot in the NCAA regional tournament. UC-Colorado Springs went 9-17 on the season and finished 10th in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The Beavers crack open the home season with University of Sioux Falls Nov. 20, welcoming the Cougars to the NSIC which they will be an official member of beginning the 2012-13 season. The game will serve as the first between the Beavers and the Cougars. Nov. 22 BSU will travel to University of Wisconsin Stout for a nonconference contest. Last season the Beavers downed the Blue Devils 89-87 at the BSU Gymnasium.

To wrap-up the nonconference slate, BSU is hosting the InnKeepers Beaver Classic Nov. 25-26 at the BSU Gymnasium. Four teams will compete in the two-day tournament. The Beavers will host the other NSIC newcomer starting 2012-13, Minot State University Nov. 25 and then will welcome Michigan Tech University Nov. 26. BSU and Minot State haven’t met under Bowen, but have battled 10 times in the past with Bemidji State owning the 6-4 all-time advantage. The Beavers opened last season at Michigan Tech, falling to the Huskies 101-88. NSIC-foe Southwest Minnesota State University is the fourth team in the tournament and will face Michigan Tech Nov. 25 and Minot State Nov. 26.

The start to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season will not be an easy one as the Beavers will be on the road for the first four contests. BSU travels to Minnesota State University Moorhead Dec. 3 to open the NSIC slate, then hits Highway 2 for a game against University of Minnesota, Crookston Dec. 4. Dec. 9-10 the Beavers travel south to play Winona State University and Upper Iowa University. A shinning light to starting the conference season at these four opponents is last season BSU went 3-1 on the road against MSUM, UMC, WSU and UIU, losing only to the Dragons.

The Beavers begin the conference home season Dec. 16-17 when University of Mary and Northern State University come to the BSU Gymnasium. Last season BSU went 1-3 against U-Mary and NSU with its one win coming at Northern State.

The Beavers break for the holiday after the game against the Wolves and return to action with a home contest against University of Minnesota Duluth Jan. 3. BSU went 1-1 against the Bulldogs last season, losing at home and picking-up a victory at UMD.

BSU travels to Augustana College and Wayne State College Jan. 7-8 for its only games against those teams in 2011-12. Last season the Beavers fell to the Vikings 69-67 and downed Wildcats 63-53 at the BSU Gymnasium.

The Beavers’ only four-game homestand runs from Jan. 13-21 versus four teams that finished in at least a tie for eighth last season. BSU welcomes St. Cloud State University Jan. 13 for its only meeting with the Huskies. Last season the Beavers took the game in St. Cloud, Minn. to overtime, but eventually fell to the senior leadership of SCSU. Concordia University, St. Paul visits the BSU Gymnasium Jan. 14 for the lone contest between the Beavers and Golden Bears. CU earned a six point victory against BSU last season in St. Paul, Minn.

Reigning regular season champions and fresh off an NCAA Division II Final Four appearance, Minnesota State University, Mankato comes to Bemidji for a NSIC contest Jan. 20. The Beavers went 0-2 against MSU last season, but hung with the then-No. 14 Mavericks at the BSU Gymnasium, falling in the end by the score of 77-73. Southwest Minnesota State University is next on the schedule for a game Jan. 21. BSU cruised past the Mustangs at home last season, but fell on the road at SMSU.

After the contest with SMSU the Beavers will see opponents they saw earlier in the season, starting Jan. 27-28 at U-Mary and Northern State. BSU will stay on the road Feb. 4 with a game at Minnesota Duluth.

Four of the final six games are at home for the Beavers as they host Minnesota, Crookston and MSU Moorhead Feb. 10-11, respectfully. BSU downed UMC at the BSU Gymnasium last season, but fell in the NSIC opener to the Dragons 60-58. The final two regular season road games are at Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State Feb. 17-18. The Beavers went 0-2 on that road trip in 2010-11.

The regular season ends at home with Upper Iowa Feb. 24 and Winona State Feb. 25. BSU lost both games against UIU and WSU last season at home, but will take the confidence gained from defeating the two squads on their own floor at the conclusion of last season. At the end of the regular season, the top eight teams make the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is set to begin Feb. 29 with the top four seeds hosting the first round. The single elimination tournament is set conclude March 3-4 at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul.

The Beavers finished the 2010-11 regular season 11-15 overall and 8-14 in the NSIC to sit in a three-way tie for 10th and just a game out of eighth. BSU closed the season winning four of its last six games, which included downing Winona State University in the season finale Feb. 26, beating the Warriors for the second consecutive season in Winona, Minn. The Beavers welcome back 11 student-athletes to the 2011-12 squad, including five players who started at least 12 games.

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