Beavers host Wayne State in NSIC Tournament First Round
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Beavers host Wayne State in NSIC Tournament First Round
Setting the Scene
Opponent: Wayne State
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m.
Gymnasium: BSU Gymnasium
Capacity: 2,500

Local Radio: KKBJ Talk Radio 1360 AM
    Play-by-play: Mark Ricci
    Color: Kelly Schultz
Internet Audio:
Local Television: KBSU Ch. 17
    Play-by-Play: Scott Williams
    Color: Brett Leach  
Web cast:
Live stats: http://www.bsubeavers.com

The Game
After earning an outright Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Regular Season Championship the Bemidji State men’s basketball team earned the No. 1 seed and hosts No. 8 seed Wayne State College (Neb.) in the first round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament. The winner moves on to the semifinals, which will be played at Taylor Arena in Rochester, Minn. March 3. Full NSIC Tournament bracket on page 6.     
The Beavers
The Beavers have won four straight and are 6-1 in the month of February. BSU is fresh off a 94-84 victory against No. 22 Winona State University Feb. 25 that clinched an outright NSIC Regular Season Championship. The win moved the Beavers to 21-7 overall to establish the program record for wins in a season, while the 16-6 mark in NSIC play was also a program high for conference wins. Senior James Ellisor recorded his second and third consecutive 30-point games with 32 against Upper Iowa University Feb. 24 and 34 versus the Warriors. He averaged 6.5 rebounds per game and shot 71 percent on the weekend to earn his second consecutive and fourth NSIC Player of the Week award of the season.

Fast Break
• The Beavers received two votes in the Feb. 28 NABC DII Coaches’ National Poll. The second time in program history and the most  votes the program has ever received.
• 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 6-1 when scoring 80 or more points this season and 15-3 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 66.9 points per contest.
• BSU is 17-2 when leading at halftime and 19-2 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 7-0 after a loss this season and have a 14-6 record when winning the previous game in 2011-12.
• BSU has outrebounded its opponent 14 times this season and owns a 12-2 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 10.3 turnovers per game the team leads the NSIC and ranks No. 1 in the nation.
• The Beavers have shot 50 percent or better in nine of the last 13 games and are 13-0 this season when shooting above 50 percent.  
• Senior James Ellisor leads the league and ranks No. 3 in the nation with 22.5 points per game. In other league rankings he sits first in 3-point percentage (52.5%), second in minutes per game (33.82 mpg), third in field goal percentage (57.9%),seventh in free throw percentage (86.1%), ninth in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and 14th in steals (1.18 spg).
• BSU leads the NSIC and ranks seventh in the nation in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.42 ratio. That is mostly in thanks to senior Bryce Tesdahl, who leads the league with a 2.93 ratio that also sits 7th in the nation. Tesdahl is the league’s leader in assists per game with 6.1 (11th nationally). He is already the program’s assist leader and has 548 career helpers.  
• As a team the Beavers are shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc to rank third in the conference and No. 24 in the nation. In conference games only the Beavers have a 39.4 percentage from downtown to sit second.
• The Beavers are 10-3 on Saturday’s in 2011-12.
• Head coach Matt Bowen has started seven different combinations of five this season. The line-up of Tesdahl, junior Dermaine Crockrell, junior Lance Rongstad, Ellisor and junior Mason Walters is 10-4.

The Wildcats
The Wildcats won four straight and six of their last eight games to sneak into the No. 8 seed on the last day of the regular season, using a decisive 64-50 victory at Minnesota State University Moorhead Feb. 25 to cap the run. WSC is 10-16 overall and finished with a 9-13 NSIC record. Prior to the last eight games, the Wildcats had lost seven straight. During the losing streak, WSC averaged 53.9 points per game. In the last eight, the squad has 62.6 points per game.
    Junior Amry Shelby averaged 15.6 points per game in conference play to rank ninth in the league. Junior Derrell Williams has 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 47.8 percent from the field this season. Senior Vontrell Seroyer has 11.0 points per game, but after those three players the next scoring leader for the Wildcats has 3.8 points per contest. Head coach Paul Combs is in his third season at helm for the Wildcats.

All-Time Series vs the Wildcats
The Beavers are 16-25 against the Wildcats in the all-time series that dates back to a meeting in 1973. BSU has won two straight versus WSC, snapping a five-game losing streak last season. In that game, the Beavers downed the Wildcats 63-53 at the BSU Gymnasium. Earlier this season BSU traveled to Wayne, Neb. and came away with a 67-61 victory. The Beavers shot 56.8 percent from the field in the win and were guided by 16 points apiece from senior James Ellisor and junior Lance Rongstad. The Wildcats shot 42.9 percent and were led by 12 points from junior Amry Shelby and senior Vontrell Seroyer.     

Bemidji State Playoff Notes
• The Beavers are back to the NSIC Tournament for the first time since 2006-07 - head coach Matt Bowen’s first season at BSU. The Beavers were the No. 7 seed and traveled to Southwest Minnesota State (No. 2 seed) in 2006-07 and fell 86-43.
• The NSIC first had a conference tournament in 2000. The Beavers have a 5-8 all-time tournament record.
• BSU earned the No. 1 seed in 2004 after winning the 2003-04 regular season title.
• The Beavers have hosted five first round playoff games and are 5-0 in those contests.
• BSU has never won a NSIC Tournament semifinal game (0-5).
• BSU and WSC have met once in the NSIC playoffs. The Wildcats won a 2001 first round contest in Wayne, Neb. 73-67 in a contest between the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds.