Beavers host No. 21 Huskies and Golden Bears in NSIC action
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Beavers host No. 21 Huskies and Golden Bears in NSIC action
Setting the Scene
Opponent: St. Cloud State
Date:  Friday, January 13, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: BSU Gymnasium
Capacity: 2,500

Setting the Scene
Opponent: Concordia-St. Paul
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Tip-off: 6:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: BSU Gymnasium
Capacity: 2,500

Local Radio: none
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 (11-4; 6-3 NSIC) is seeking to protect its 6-0 home record in 2011-12, Jan. 13-14 as No. 21 St. Cloud State University and Concordia University, St. Paul visit BSU Gymnasium. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tilt with the Huskies is at 8 p.m., while the game with the Golden Bears will tip at 6 p.m.     

The Beavers
The Beavers’ 6-3 NSIC mark stands in a three-way tie for fourth in the league standings with University of Minnesota Duluth and Southwest Minnesota State University. The 11-4 record through 15 games is the best 15 game record at BSU since 1973-74. The Beavers are coming off a NSIC road split Jan. 7-8 where they fell to then-No. 21 Augustana College 103-93 in a double overtime thriller, before downing Wayne State College 67-61. Senior guard James Ellisor scored 34 points in the loss to Augustana to establish a career-high and record the most points by any league player in NSIC contests this season. The loss to Augie moved the Beavers to 0-3 against nationally ranked opponents this season, but the win at WSC improved BSU to 4-0 after a loss in 2011-12.

Fast Break
• It took the Beavers 10 games to reach the 80 point plateau until doing it in four consecutive games Dec. 16-Jan. 7. BSU is 3-1 when scoring 80 or more points this season. Last season the Beavers scored 80+ 12 times and posted a 7-5 record in those contests.
• No worries on the previous note, the Beavers have the second best scoring defense in the NSIC, allowing just 63.2 points per contest.
• BSU is 10-1 when leading at halftime this season. It’s only loss came to then-No. 17 Winona State Dec. 9.
• The Beavers are 7-2 when winning the previous game in 2011-12.
• BSU has outrebounded its opponent nine times this season and owns a 7-2 record when doing so. 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 10.7 turnovers per game the team leads the NSIC and ranks fourth in the nation.
• Senior James Ellisor leads the league and ranks 17th in the nation with 20.9 points per game.
• BSU also leads the NSIC and ranks 14th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.30 ratio. That is mostly in thanks to senior Bryce Tesdahl, who leads the league with a 2.50 ratio that also sits 21st in the nation. Tesdahl is the league’s leader in assists per game with 5.0. In conference contests he is tied for first with St. Cloud State’s Shaun Jensen (5.44 assists per game).
• Ellisor is tied for first in the NSIC in conference games with a 54.5 percentage from downtown.
• The Beavers are 5-1 on Saturday’s in 2011-12.
• BSU has a home-heavy NSIC schedule the rest of the way with eight games at the BSU Gymnasium and five games on the road.
• Head coach Matt Bowen has started six different combinations of five this season. The line-up in the last five games of Tesdahl, Dermaine Crockrell, Lance Rongstad, Ellisor and Mason Walters is 4-1.

Last Time Out
The Beavers were on the brink on handing then-No. 21 Augustana their fourth straight loss with a three point lead at 79-76 with just eight ticks left on the game clock, until Augie’s top scorer Cody Schilling hit a deep 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime. After the first OT didn’t decide anything the Vikings ran with the last four minutes of the second extra session, en route to the 103-93 victory. Senior James Ellisor posted a career-high 34 points in the game. BSU rebounded the next day against Wayne State and downed the Wildcats 67-61. BSU had just a one point lead at 61-60 with 1:37 remaining, but a jumper from junior Lance Rongstad moved the lead to three and after missed attempts by WSC the Beavers increased their lead with free throws for the six point win. Rongstad and Ellisor led BSU with 16 points apiece.  

The Huskies
The Huskies are 11-2 overall and 7-2 in conference play to sit in third in the league standings. SCSU fell to then-No. 10 Winona State Jan. 8, ending a five-game winning streak. The Huskies are averaging 79.4 points per game in league contests this season and are allowing 70.6 points per contest. St. Cloud State has four players scoring in double-figures, led by sophomore Tim Bergstraser’s 14.6 points per game. He also guides the team in rebounds per contest (8.1 rpg). Head coach Kevin Schlagel is in his 15th season at SCSU.   

All-Time Series vs the Huskies
The Beavers are 42-90 all-time against the Huskies and are 1-4 in the last five contests and have won just twice since 1993 (19 contests). The last time BSU defeated SCSU was Jan. 10, 2009 when then-No. 24 St. Cloud State visited the BSU Gymnasium and the Beavers found a 69-66 victory. In the one meeting last season, the Beavers pushed the Huskies to overtime in St. Cloud before falling 92-88.    

The Golden Bears
The Golden Bears are 6-7 overall and hold a 3-6 conference record that stands tied for ninth. Last weekend CU came away with a NSIC road split with a 70-66 loss at No. 10 Winona State and an 84-73 victory against Upper Iowa. The Golden Bears are 2-4 in their last six games and hold a 2-2 record on the road this season. CU is guided offensively by twin seniors Peter (16.9 ppg/5.1 rpg) and Kenny Olafeso (16.8 ppg/5.6 rpg). Kelly Boe is in his sixth season as the head coach of the Golden Bears.

All-Time Series vs the Golden Bears
The Beavers hold a 12-11 all-time advantage over the Golden Bears, but CU has owned the recent history, going 4-1 in the last five and 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. BSU most recently defeated CU at home Jan. 9, 2009 with a 90-75 victory. Last season in St. Paul the Beavers fell 79-73.