Mavericks and Mustangs visit Bemidji State
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Mavericks and Mustangs visit Bemidji State
Setting the Scene
Opponent: Minnesota State
Date: Friday, January 20, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: BSU Gymnasium
Capacity: 2,500

Setting the Scene
Opponent: Southwest Minnesota State
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Tip-off: 6:00 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 (12-5; 7-4 NSIC) closes a four-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference homestad Jan. 20-21 when Minnesota State University, Mankato (Jan. 20 - 8 p.m.) and Southwest Minnesota State University (Jan. 21 - 6 p.m.) visit BSU Gymnasium.      

The Beavers
The Beavers boast a 12-5 overall and 7-4 NSIC record to sit in a three-way tie for fifth in the league standings with Augustana and Minnesota Duluth. Last weekend the Beavers lost their first game at home this season (7-1) when then-No. 21 St. Cloud State visited the BSU Gymnasium and got away with a 72-70 victory on a last second shot. BSU rebounded with a 100-77 victory against Concordia-St. Paul to improve to 5-0 after a loss this season. Senior Bryce Tesdahl had a career-high 12 assists in the win against CU and his 5.6 helpers per game leads the NSIC. Senior James Ellisor is the league’s points leader with 21.9 points per game. BSU is seeking its first win against MSU since 1969, owning a 0-23 record since the victory.

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 4-1 when scoring 80 or more points this season and 8-2 when scoring 70 or more.  
• No worries on the previous note, the Beavers have the second best scoring defense in the NSIC, allowing just 64.5 points per contest.
• BSU is 11-2 when leading at halftime this season. It’s losses coming from to then-No. 17 Winona State Dec. 9 and then-No. 21 St. Cloud State Jan. 13.
• The Beavers are 7-4 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 10.4 turnovers per game the team leads the NSIC and ranks second in the nation.
• Senior James Ellisor leads the league and ranks 12th in the nation with 21.9 points per game.
• BSU also leads the NSIC and ranks 9th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.37 ratio. That is mostly in thanks to senior Bryce Tesdahl, who leads the league with a 3.1 ratio that also sits 6th in the nation. Tesdahl is the league’s leader in assists per game with 5.6 (18th nationally).
• Ellisor leads the NSIC in conference games with a 57.7 percentage from downtown.
• The Beavers are 6-1 on Saturday’s in 2011-12.
• One win this weekend and the Beavers hit 13 victories, which would be the most in a season under sixth-year head coach Matt Bowen.
• Bowen has started six different combinations of five this season. The line-up in the last seven games of Tesdahl, Dermaine Crockrell, Lance Rongstad, Ellisor and Mason Walters is 5-2.

Last Time Out
For the second consecutive week the Beavers fell just short against the No. 21 team in the nation. Jan. 13 it was St. Cloud State. BSU tied the game 70-70 with 29 seconds remaining in regulation, but SCSU was able to find a bucket that left 0.7 showing and tarnish the Beavers’ perfect record at home in 2011-12 with a 72-70 win. BSU started slow after the emotional loss the next night against Concordia-St. Paul, but quickly found its rhythm, shooting a season-high 59.7 percent from the field and scoring 100 points for the 58th time in program history. Senior Bryce Tesdahl had a career-high and 2011-12 NSIC-best 12 assists.   

The Mavericks
The Mavericks are 5-10 overall and their 4-7 conference mark places them ninth in the NSIC. MSU is coming off a home split Jan. 13-14, falling to Northern State 62-49 before downing U-Mary 78-73. Eight different Mavericks have led the team in scoring in their 15 contests this season. Stephen Kirschbaum leads MSU with 11.0 points per game, while Connor O’Brien has 10.1 points and a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game. Matt Margenthaler has been head coach at Minnesota State for 10 seasons.    

All-Time Series vs the Mavericks
The Beavers are 31-63 all-time against Minnesota State with their last winning coming in Mankato Jan. 18, 1969. Since that win the Beavers have gone 0-23. Last season BSU played MSU close, losing in Mankato 87-82 before falling at home 77-73.    

The Mustangs
After starting the season 2-4, the Mustangs have lost just twice to move to 9-6 overall and hold down a fourth place spot in the league with an 8-3 mark. SMSU is on a three-game win streak, outscoring its opponents 75.3-61.7 during those games. In conference games only, the Mustangs lead the league in field goal percentage (48.1%) and steals (81, 7.4 spg). Jordan Miller has 13.9 points per game to guide and SMSU team that has a 3-5 record away from the R/A Facility in Marshall, Minn. Brad Bigler is in his third season as head coach of the Mustangs.

All-Time Series vs the Mustangs
The Beavers are 36-50 all-time against the Mustangs with a 1-4 record in the last five meetings. That one win came last season at BSU Gymnasium 84-66, snapping an eight-game losing streak when battling SMSU.