NSIC road season ends with Mustangs and Mavericks
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
NSIC road season ends with Mustangs and Mavericks
Setting the Scene
Opponent: Southwest Minnesota State
Date: Friday, February 17, 2012
Location: Marshall, Minn.
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: R/A Facility
Capacity: 4,000

Setting the Scene
Opponent: Minnesota State
Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Location: Mankato, Minn.
Tip-off: 6:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: Taylor Center
Capacity: 4,521

Local Radio: KKBJ Talk Radio 1360 AM
    Play-by-play: Mark Ricci
Internet Audio: http://www.beaverradionetwork.com/
Local Television: none
    Play-by-Play: none  
Web cast: http://www.pennatlantic.com
Live stats at SMSU: http://smsumustangs.com/custompages/mbball/livestats/xlive.htm
Live stats at MSU: http://www.sidearmstats.com/mnsu/mbball/scoreboard.aspx

The Game
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team (17-7; 12-6 NSIC) concludes the road portion of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule Feb. 17-18 at Southwest Minnesota State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato. Game time is set for 8 p.m. Feb. 17 against the Mustangs and 6 p.m. Feb. 18 versus the Mavericks.        
The Beavers

The Beavers are 17-7 overall and 12-6 in the NSIC to sit fourth in the standings after a 1-1 NSIC weekend at home. BSU defeated University of Minnesota, Crookston 76-57 before falling to Minnesota State University Moorhead 84-77 in overtime. The loss was the second at the BSU Gymnasium this season. The Beavers are 6-0 after a loss in 2011-12. Senior James Ellisor is the league’s points leader with 21.5 points per game after scoring 25 and 24, respectfully last weekend. He has 966 points in his two seasons at BSU, 34 points shy of becoming the 15th member of the 1,000 point club at BSU. Senior Bryce Tesdahl leads the NSIC with 6.3 assists per game. He is 18 assists shy of breaking the BSU single-season record for assists and needs 15 assists to be the NSIC single-season record holder.

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 5-1 when scoring 80 or more points this season and 13-3 when scoring 70 or more.  
• Scoring a lot isn’t an issue, as the Beavers have the third best scoring defense in the NSIC, allowing just 65.9 points per contest.
• BSU is 15-2 when leading at halftime and 17-2 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 6-0 after a loss this season and have a 11-6 record when winning the previous game in 2011-12.
• BSU has outrebounded its opponent 12 times this season and owns a 10-2 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.
• BSU has also been disciplined on the defense end, with 16.0 personal fouls per game the Beavers rank No. 23 nationally.
• The Beavers have shot 50 percent or better in seven of the last nine games and are 11-0 this season when shooting above 50 percent.  
• Senior James Ellisor leads the league and ranks eight in the nation with 21.3 points per game. In other league rankings he sits first in 3-point percentage (52.7%), third in minutes per game (33.3 mpg), sixth in field goal percentage (56.6%), eighth in rebounding (6.7 rpg), 12th in free throw percentage (83.9%) and 15th in steals (1.21 spg).
• BSU leads the NSIC and ranks seventh in the nation in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.41 ratio. That is mostly in thanks to senior Bryce Tesdahl, who leads the league with a 3.19 ratio that also sits 4th in the nation. Tesdahl is the league’s leader in assists per game with 6.3 (11th nationally). He is already the program’s assist leader and has 528 career helpers.  
• As a team the Beavers are shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc to rank fourth in the conference and No. 26 in the nation. In conference games only the Beavers have a 39.3 percentage from downtown to sit second.
• Ellisor leads the NSIC in conference games with a 59.0 percentage from downtown, while Tesdahl is 13th (42.9%) and junior Mason Walters is 15th (42.0%).
• The Beavers are 8-3 on Saturday’s in 2011-12.
• The 17 victories by BSU is the most in a season under sixth-year head coach Matt Bowen. Only 14 teams have reached 17 wins in a season in program history, while just three teams have amassed 18 wins in a season.
• Bowen has started six different combinations of five this season. The line-up in the last 14 games of Tesdahl, junior Dermaine Crockrell, junior Lance Rongstad, Ellisor and Walters is 10-4.

The Mustangs
The Mustangs have won four straight and are 5-1 since falling to Bemidji State Jan. 21 in Bemidji. During the winning streak SMSU is outscoring its opponent 81.5-70.1. The Mustangs have an 8-1 home record in conference play. Junior Jordan Miller leads the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. Sophomore Nick Smith has 11.5 points and a team-best 5.6 rebounds per game this season. SMSU’s head coach is Brad Bigler, he is in his third season.

All-Time Series vs the Mustangs
The Beavers have a 37-50 all-time record against the Mustangs, including a 70-56 victory at BSU Gymnasium Jan. 21. Senior James Ellisor went 11-for-12 from the field in the win, scoring 26 points and adding six rebounds. BSU is 2-3 in the last five meetings, but both victories came at home. Head coach Matt Bowen has never won in Marshall and the last time the Beavers defeated SMSU at the R/A Facility was Feb. 11, 2006 by the score of 84-71.

The Mavericks
The Mavericks have lost their last four games and are 2-5 since visiting BSU Gymnasium Jan. 20. During the losing skid, MSU has failed to reach 70 points and are being outscored 71.5-61.5. Freshman Zach Romashko has led the team or tied for the team lead in scoring in three of the last four games. He is averaging 11.6 points per game. Senior Stephen Kirschbaum has 12.0 points per game to lead the Mavericks. Matt Margenthaler is in his 10th season as head coach at MSU.

All-Time Series vs the Mavericks
The Beavers earned their first victory against MSU since 1969 in a 75-67 win at home Jan. 20 - 0-23 up to that point. Ellisor tied a career-high with 34 points in the win, shooting 13-for-17 (76.5%) from the field. All-time BSU trails the series 32-63. Bowen has also never won at Taylor Center, as the Beavers’ last victory in Mankato was Jan. 18, 1969, winning 62-56.