Beavers close three-game roadie with Bulldogs
Friday, February 3, 2012
Beavers close three-game roadie with Bulldogs
Setting the Scene
Opponent: University of Minnesota Duluth
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Location: Duluth, Minn.
Tip-off: 4:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: Romano Gymnasium
Capacity: 2,759

Local Radio: KKBJ Talk Radio 1360 AM
    Play-by-play: Mark Ricci
Internet Audio:
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    Play-by-Play: none  
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The Game
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team (15-6; 10-5 NSIC) closes a three-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference road trip with its travel partner, University of Minnesota Duluth (12-7, 9-6 NSIC), Feb. 4 at 4 p.m.      
The Beavers
The Beavers are 15-6 overall and 10-5 in the NSIC to sit third in the league standings. Last weekend BSU went on the road and downed University of Mary 72-65 to make four wins in a row, but Northern State University stopped the Beavers streak with a 70-55 victory. The win against the Marauders marked the first W in Bismarck in program history (1-6 all-time).  BSU started the game against U-Mary 1-for-14 from the field, but sophomore Jake Schalow and the rest of the bench proved the punch the Beavers needed to eventually take a lead and never let it go. Shot didn’t fall early in the game against the Wolves the next night, but this time BSU couldn’t find a way to come back and fell by 15. Senior James Ellisor leads the NSIC in scoring (21.3 ppg) and 3-point percentage (51.1%), while senior Bryce Tesdahl guides the league in assists (5.95 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (3.1 ratio).

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 11-2 when scoring 70 or more.  
• Scoring a lot isn’t an issue, as the Beavers have the second best scoring defense in the NSIC, allowing just 64.5 points per contest.
• BSU is 13-2 when leading at halftime and 15-2 when tied or having the advantage at half 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 5-0 after a loss this season and have a 10-5 record when winning the previous game in 2011-12.
• BSU has outrebounded its opponent 10 times this season and owns a 8-2 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 10.6 turnovers per game the team leads the NSIC and ranks second in the nation.
• BSU has also been disciplined on the defense end, with 16.0 personal fouls per game the Beavers rank No. 24 nationally.
• The Beavers have shot 50 percent or better in five of the last six games and are 9-0 this season when shooting above 50 percent.  
• Senior James Ellisor leads the league and ranks 10th in the nation with 21.3 points per game. In other league rankings he sits first in 3-point percentage (51.1%), third in field goal percentage (56.7%), eighth in rebounding (6.7 rpg) and 10 in free throw percentage (84.1%).
• BSU 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 5th in the nation. Tesdahl is the league’s leader in assists per game with 5.95 (13th nationally). He is already the program’s assist leader and has 503 career helpers.  
• Ellisor leads the NSIC in conference games with a 58.1 percentage from downtown.
• As a team the Beavers are shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc to rank third in the conference and No. 30 in the nation.  
• The Beavers are 7-2 on Saturday’s in 2011-12.
• The 15 victories by BSU is 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 11 games of Tesdahl, Dermaine Crockrell, Lance Rongstad, Ellisor and Mason Walters is 8-3.

The Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are 12-7 overall and 9-6 in the NSIC to sit in a three-way tie for fifth. UMD is 1-2 in its last three contests, falling to Minnesota State University, Mankato 89-82 Jan. 21 at home and at Northern State University 93-74 Jan. 27, before downing University of Mary 87-81 Jan. 28. In league games, Minnesota Duluth has the best scoring offense with 82.5 points per game, but the worst scoring defense allowing 83.5 points per contest. Senior Ryan Rasmussen has led the Bulldogs in scoring the last four games with 30, 32, 21 and 29 points, respectfully. He is leading the team in points per game with 19.8, trailing only Ellisor for the league’s scoring title. Junior Jake Hottenstine is averaging 16.8 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds per game. Gary Holquist is in his 13th season as head coach of the Bulldogs.    

All-Time Series vs the Bulldogs
On Jan. 3 of this year the Beavers downed the Bulldogs 85-72 at BSU Gymnasium to improve to 4-1 in the last five games against UMD. All-time Minnesota Duluth owns the series 85-39. BSU has won the last two games in Duluth. Last season at Romano Gymnasium, junior Mason Walters had a career-night scoring 19 points and adding 11 rebounds, with five assists and an 11-for-16 (68.8%) shooting performance from the charity stripe.