Beavers begin new year with Minnesota Duluth
Monday, January 2, 2012
Beavers begin new year with Minnesota Duluth
Setting the Scene
Opponent: University of Minnesota Duluth
Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: BSU Gymnasium
Capacity: 2,500

Local Radio: KKBJ Talk Radio 1360
    Play-by-play: Mark Ricci
Internet Audio:
Local Television: KBSU Ch. 17
    Play-by-Play: Scott Williams 
Web cast:
Live Stats: http://www.bsubeavers.com
The Game
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team (9-3; 4-2 NSIC) looks to protect its perfect 5-0 home record this season as it opens the new year with Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference-foe University of Minnesota Duluth Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. at the BSU Gymnasium.    

The Beavers
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team is off to its best 12 game start since 1973-74, as it holds a 9-3 record. The Beavers’ 4-2 record in NSIC play is good for a fifth place tie with Minnesota Duluth and Southwest Minnesota State University. BSU is on a three-game winning streak after taking care of home court Dec. 16-17 in wins against Northern State University (88-59) and University of Mary (82-61). With the wins the Beavers also improved to 5-0 in their friendly abode, the BSU Gymnasium. Senior guard James Ellisor not only leads BSU in points, but his 19.9 points per game average is tops in the NSIC. He also owns 7.8 rebounds per game to guide the Beavers and sit fifth in the conference. The Beavers knocked down 15 3-pointers on 20 attempts in the win against U-Mary Dec. 17, establishing a new program record for 3-point percentage in a game - 75 percent.

Fast Break
• The Beavers had yet to reach the 80 point plateau until doing it in back-to-back games Dec. 16-17. Last season through 12 games BSU had gone over 80 points on seven occasions. On the season the Beavers did so 12 times and posted a 7-5 record in those contests.
• No worries on the previous note, the Beavers have the best scoring defense in the NSIC and 18th best in the nation, allowing just 59.3 points per contest.
• BSU is 8-1 when leading at halftime this season. It’s only loss came to then-No. 17 Winona State Dec. 9.
• The Beavers are 3-0 when losing the previous game in 2011-12.
• BSU has outrebounded its opponent seven times this season and owns a 6-1 record. Last season the Beavers went 11-4 - all their wins - when bringing down more rebounds than their opponent.
• The Beavers have taken care of the ball this season. With an average of 10.2 turnovers per game the team leads the NSIC and ranks third in the nation.
• BSU also leads the NSIC and ranks 12th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.35 ratio. That is mostly in thanks to senior Bryce Tesdahl, who leads the league with a 2.48 ratio that also sits 24th in the nation.
• The Beavers have already played 36% of their NSIC road games this season, starting the first four league games away from the BSU Gymnasium. BSU went 2-2 in those games.
• Head coach Matt Bowen has started six different combinations of five this season.

Last Time Out
The Beavers used a strong opening of the second half against the Wolves to increase their three point halftime advantage to double-digits and then never looked back, en route to the 29 point victory. Junior forward Mason Walters guided the offensive attack with a career-high 27 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting performance from beyond the arc. BSU had a similar outcome against the Marauders as it held a slim one point lead at half, then exploded in the second half for the 21 point win. The Beavers hit 15 3-pointers in the game, including a mind-blowing 10-for-11 in the second half. Their 75 percent from 3-point land in the game set a program record.

The Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are 7-3 overall with a 4-2 record in NSIC play. UMD also went 2-0 against U-Mary and NSU Dec. 16-17, downing the Marauders 79-75 before beating the Wolves 93-82. The Bulldogs are averaging 84.0 points in NSIC games this season to lead the league, but are allowing a second to last 79.2 points per contest. Senior Ryan Rasmussen is leading UMD and ranks second to Ellisor in NSIC rankings in points per game with 18.8. Junior Jake Hottenstine owns 17.6 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds per game this season. The Bulldogs are coached by 14th year head coach Gary Holquist.

All-Time Series vs the Bulldogs
The Beavers and Bulldogs have been foes since 1931 when BSU downed UMD 28-26 in Duluth. Since then the Bulldogs have had the best of the Beavers with a 85-38 advantage. Despite the all-time record BSU has a 3-2 record in the last five contests. The teams split the season series last season by beating each other on the other’s home court. BSU downed UMD 101-76 in Duluth last season, while the Bulldogs got the best of the Beavers at the BSU Gymnasium 89-75.