BSU Hosts St. Cloud State; Travel To #2 North Dakota
Monday, December 16, 2002
Friday, Dec. 20    St. Cloud State& 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 21    @ #2 North Dakota    7:00 p.m.
& Played at the BSU Gymnasium

The next two opponents for Bemidji State are members of the North Central Conference in St. Cloud State and North Dakota. For their non-conference portion, the NCC has four teams that the Beavers play in 2002-03, the most for any league outside of the NSIC. The NCC is usually ranked as one of the toughest Division II conferences in the nation and BSU got a true taste of that by losing 85-67 (12/6) to #1 South Dakota State and now traveling to #2 North Dakota on Saturday. This season, four teams from that conference are in the top-25 including three in the top-10.

The Beavers split their contests on the road over the weekend. On Friday (12/13), BSU out-rebounded Finlandia (MI) (6-7) 46-32 and held the hosts to 30.8 percent (16 of 52) shooting for a 62-44 victory. Sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) posted a career-high 21 points on 10 of 15 shooting to lead all scorers.

One night after limiting Finlandia (MI) to poor shooting, the Beavers caught the same bug as it went 27.7 percent in the 72-57 loss to Michigan Tech (4-4) at the SDC Gym on Saturday (12/14). The Huskies used a 25-8 run midway through the first half to take control of the game. Going 8 of 8 from the charity stripe and notching 19 points to lead the Beavers was junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.).

**Note: Katie Long had 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting while Katie Dale did not score in the win against Finlandia. The original box score indicated that both Long and Dale had five points apiece.

The 16 field goals that Finlandia made (12/13) was the lowest for a BSU opponent since the Beavers held Peru State to 16, Nov. 24, 2001...The 32 rebounds for FU was the lowest for a BSU opponent since Wayne State (NE) had 32 on Jan. 26, 2002...BSU’s defense limited the Lions to 44 points, which was the lowest since UM-Morris tallied 42, Jan. 5, 2000...Stacia Swanson and Amber Graf have tallied 10+ points in all six of their games as a Beaver this year...In out-rebounding FU 46-32, that is the first time BSU has done that this season...BSU moves to 4-1 when having fewer turnovers than its opponents...With five steals against Michigan Tech (12/14), Swanson has led the squad five times this season and has nabbed four or. (continued on page two)

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (4-3, 0-0 NSIC)    St. Cloud State (2-6, 0-0 NCC)
#20 Christi Goodhart    G    5-8    Sr.    11 Sascha Hansen    G    5-9    Fr.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    14 Celestine Frank    G    5-8    Sr.
#34 Amber Graf C 6-1 Jr. 25 Katie Huschle G    5-7    So
#33 Stacia Swanson F 5-11 So.    40 Kris DeGroot    C    6-3    Jr
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So.    52 Jonelle Streed    P    6-0    Sr

#2 North Dakota (7-1, 0-0 NCC)
#1 Mary Perrizon    G    5-10    Jr.
#22 Becky Moen    G    5-11    Sr.
#52 Cara Demaine    C    6-3    Jr.
#44 Jenny Boll F 6-1    Sr.
#21 Marisa Leighton    F    6-0    Jr.

more on four occasions...BSU has dropped seven straight meetings with the Huskies...The 27.7 per cent (18 of 65) shooting on the part of BSU was its lowest since it went 22.6 per cent (12 of 53) in the 79-30 loss to Southwest State (2/23/01)...Either Graf or Swanson have led the Beavers in scoring this season with Swanson topping the club in four games...Kristy Caviness leads the team with 15 assists.

Entering the 2002-03 campaign, junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) is primed to continue her play from last season. League coaches have taken notice of her as well as she is a 2002-03 preseason “Player to Watch.” Graf leads the BSU returners with 12 double-digit point efforts in 20 games last campaign and was tops on the squad in free throws made (48), free throw percentage (.800) and points per game (10.6). In the conference, she ranked 18th in ppg and 19th in rebounding per contest (4.9) in all games played. A transfer from the U.S. Naval Academy, Graf went six consecutive contests with 10+ points last season and against Minnesota-Morris (1-11-02), she tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds for her first career double-double. In addition, Graf established a school single-game record for accuracy with a five-for-five performance behind the arc against Winona State (1-18-02).

This season, Graf tallied 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting in her junior debut against St. Cloud State (11-23). Graf has reached double-digits in scoring in all seven games this season including a career-best 24 against MSU-Mankato (12-4) and she followed that up with 22 vs. #1 South Dakota State (12-6). In the two BSU wins over Lees-McRae (11-29) and Barry (11-30), Graf totaled 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to earn Comfort Inn “On the Beach” Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament honors. So far this season, she holds the scoring lead on the team with 16.9 points per game. With her back-to-back 20+ scoring efforts last week, Graf moved from 13th to seventh on the conference scoring list. Graf has topped the club in points in four games this season, including three of the last four.

Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) will return as the leader on the court this season as she was voted on by her teammate’s as the 2002-03 team captain. Last season, Jones led the squad twice in points and tallied double-digits in points on ten occasions. Jones opened up the season by scoring 10+ in three of the first four contests and was second on the squad with 22 three-point field goals made and 24 total steals. In addition, BSU was 3-0 when she grabbed seven or more boards. Jones takes her hard work beyond the hard wood as seen her 4.0 grade point average she maintained both semesters last year.

This season, Jones is second on the team in made three-pointers (6) and steals (13) and third in offensive rebounds (15). She went for a season-high 13 points in the win over Barry (FL) on Nov. 30, 2002 and also shot at a .714 clip (5 of 7), which is a BSU season-high. Jones has led or tied for the team lead twice in steals and once in assists for a single game.

What a debut! In the season-opener against St. Cloud State (11-23), sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) hit for 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Metro State (CO) University transfer shot 6-for-15 from the floor, 5-for-5 from the free throw line, had three steals and an assist. Swanson had a double-double by halftime (10 points-10 rebounds).

As if that was not good enough, Swanson notched 37 points, 15 rebounds, 10 steals and four assists in the two wins down in Florida. She was named to the Comfort Inn “On the Beach” Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament squad and those performances earned her NSIC Co-Player of the Week accolades for Nov. 25. Then in a sub-par effort by her standards, she posted 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in the 67-59 win over MSU-Mankato (12-4).

Swanson is first on the club this season in rebounding (9.1 rpg), minutes a game (31.4) and steals (25) and second in free throw percentage (.769 - 20/26 FT) and scoring (15.9 ppg). She stands first in the league with 3.75 steals a game and second with her rebounding average. Swanson has led the team five times in rebounds and four times in points in a single game. All seven games has seen Swanson record at least seven rebounds and 10 points.

Sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) is in her second season in a Beaver uniform after leading the club in rebounding (5.1) last season. In 2001-02, led the team seven times in rebounding and notched BSU’s single game high for rebounds (16) in the 84-67 victory over Winona State on Feb. 23, 2002. That same game she tallied 14 points for her first career double-double.

This campaign has seen Bessler improve since the first game. In the season-opener against St. Cloud State (11-23), Bessler came off the bench and fouled out in nine minutes of action as she had one point on 0-for-3 shooting. Since then, she has been in the starting line-up in all six contests and tallied a personal-best 14 points in a season-high 32 minutes against MSU-Mankato (12-4). She followed that up with eight points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists vs. South Dakota State (12-6). Right now, she is tops on the team and third in the conference in blocks per game (1.50) and holds a 5.9 scoring average, good for fourth on the team. In the game against Michigan Tech (12-14), Bessler sprained her ankle and was limited to 10 minutes. Her status is probable for the game against St. Cloud State.

Three BSU players have accrued double-doubles in points and rebounds in their careers. Melissa Bessler leads the way with two, one coming this season, while Amber Graf and Stacia Swanson have one apiece. The following is a list of the players (italics indicates the 2002-03 season):

Melissa Bessler (14 points-16 rebounds)    vs. Winona State, 2-23-02
Melissa Bessler (14 points-10 rebounds)    vs. MSU-Mankato, 12-4-02
Amber Graf (12 points-13 rebounds)    vs. UM-Morris, 1-11-02
Stacia Swanson (17 points-15 rebounds)    vs. St. Cloud State, 11-23-02

The Beavers are playing some pretty solid defense as evidence in their conference rankings in two important defensive categories (through Dec. 13). They sit second in field goal percentage defense (.391 - 91-233 FG) and fifth in scoring defense (69.2 ppg). The 3-2 overall mark is tied for fourth for winning percentage (.600). Also, BSU has six players that are in the top-20 in either steals or blocks including the league leader (Swanson) in steals per game as she averages 3.75 thefts a game.

Seven players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Dec. 13): Stacia Swanson is first in steals per game (3.75), second in rebounds per game (9.5), tied for sixth in points per game (16.0), 15th in free throw percentage (.714 - 10-14 FT); 18th in field goal percentage (.448 - 26-58 FG) and tied for 27th in assists per game (2.00); Amber Graf is fifth in points per game (16.2), tied for 11th in free throw percentage (.750 - 12-16 FT), 15th in field goal percentage (.456 - 26-57 FG), tied for 16th in blocks per game (0.50) and tied for 20th in rebounds per game (5.0); Kristy Caviness is tied for eighth in steals per game (2.00) and tied for 15th in assists per game (2.75); Melissa Bessler is third in blocks per game (1.50), tied for 18th in steals per game (1.50) and tied for 27th in rebounds per game (4.5); Christi Goodhart is tied for 15th in assists per game (2.75) and 28th in steals per game (1.25); Crystal Jones is tied for eighth in steals per game (2.00) and tied for 27th in rebounds per game (4.5) and Katie Dale is tied for 18th in steals per game (1.50).

ALL-TIME SERIES: vs. SCSU 12-20 // vs. UND 13-21
The Beavers have dropped nine straight to the Huskies after SCSU won 77-47, Nov. 23, 2002 in BSU’s season-opener. St. Cloud State held BSU to 30.2 per cent shooting and caused 28 BSU turnovers. Stacia Swanson opened up her green and white debut with 17 points and 15 rebounds. This is the first time in 18 years in the overall series that the two teams have met twice in the same season.

In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    28 (90-62, 12/21/93)
SCSU Largest Margin of Victory:    70 (102-32, 1983)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    93 (W, 93-84, 12/20/94)
SCSU Highest Scoring Output:    102 (W, 102-32, 1983)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    32 (L, 102-32, 1983)
SCSU Lowest Scoring Output:    31 2x (L, 44-31, 1974 & L, 44-31, 2/4/73)

This meeting will mark the fifth consecutive season in which the two teams have met and all five of those contest have been in either November or December. BSU is looking to snap a nine-game skid to the Fighting Sioux. The last Bemidji State won came Dec. 13, 1986 in a 93-80 affair. In the most recent outing, Amber Graf paced BSu with 13 points on 9-10 from the charity stripe while Crystal Jones had 11 and Christi Goodhart had 10.

In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    35 (89-54, 1978)
UND Largest Margin of Victory:    51 (95-44, 12/29/90)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    93 (W, 93-80, 12/13/86)
UND Highest Scoring Output:    102, (W, 102-73, 1982)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    29 2x (W, 29-21, 2/6/71 & L, 37-29, 2/26/71)
UND Lowest Scoring Output:    19 (L, 39-19, 1970)

vs. St. Cloud State (2-6, 0-0 NCC)
Dr. Lori Ulferts is in her ninth season with the Huskies and 18th as a collegiate head coach. She has compiled a 114-105 overall record for the North Central Conference institution.

St. Cloud State, picked to finish sixth in the ten-team league, came away with a 14-13 overall record and 9-9 NCC mark a season ago. The Huskies suffered losses to NSIC-schools Concordia-St. Paul, 76-64 Wednesday (12/11) and Winona State, 62-58 Saturday (12/14) and have dropped their last five games.

SCSU will try to break out of a five game losing streak, the longest since losing three straight in the 1999-2000 season during North Central Conference play. Senior post Jonelle Streed leads the team in scoring with 10.6 points per game. She had 31 points and 13 rebounds in the last two games. Junior post Kristine DeGroot leads the team in rebounding with 5.3 per game and is averaging 10.3 points per outing. Sophomore guard Katie Huschle leads the team in assists with 22. Five Huskies have ten or more steals this season. Senior guard Jessica Abrahams has missed the last three games due to injury. Abrahams is the Huskies top returning scorer from last season, having averaged 11.0 points per game.

vs. #2 North Dakota (7-1, 0-0 NCC)
North Dakota is coached by Gene Roebuck (Mayville State, ’69), who is in his 16th season. The winningest active coach in women’s Division II basketball (by percentage), Roebuck has guided the Sioux to a record of 388-66 (.855) and eight North Central Conference championships. The seven-time NCC Coach of the Year led UND to national championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and took the Sioux to the national title game in 2001. North Dakota has had 13 straight 20-win seasons and 13 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

Leading the way for the Fighting Sioux is Becky Moen with a 21.0 points per game as she connects on 56 of 114 (.491) of her attempts. She also leads the team with 19 three-pointers. Jenny Boll (16.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Kristi Boese (11.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg) round out the double-digit scorers. Marisa Leighton is tops on the club with 6.3 rebounds per game. UND jumps out on its opponents early as seen in the 333-213 point advantage in the first half. Of its seven victories, UND has won by an average of 25.4 points.

Over the weekend, North Dakota defeated Northern State, 84-53 on Wednesday (12/11) before dropping a 89-77 decision to Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday (12/14).

(1st Year at BSU, 4-3 (.571); 14th Year Overall, 217-173 (.556))
Mike Power has a long history of resurrecting basketball programs with losing traditions into winners. The first-year coach comes here after a four-year stay at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo. where he posted a 56-52 record, setting a school record for best winning percentage by a head coach in his first two years (.636). Power’s teams finished in the top seven in the 14-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference three of his four years at the helm, making the RMAC Tournament three times.

Prior to his stay at Metro State, Power resurrected the Briar Cliff College program in Sioux City, Iowa. Power inherited an 0-29 team and in six seasons there posted a 127-73 record - including 93-17 over his final three seasons - and made three consecutive NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances. He led the Chargers to Elite Eight appearances in 1996 and 1997. Power’s teams posted two consecutive 30-win seasons at Briar Cliff, a 37-1 march in 1996-’97 which included a school-record 32-0 unbeaten regular season and a 37-0 record before suffering the first loss, and 31-4 in 1997-’98. Power developed three All-America players at Briar Cliff and won three consecutive NAIA Independent Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors.

Power also turned around a program with a losing history during a three-year stay at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb. After a 5-20 finish during his first year at the helm, Power had built a program with a winning record by his third year when the Prairie Wolves finished 15-11. Under Power’s watch, Wesleyan led the nation (NCAA Division III) in scoring during the 1990-’91 season and also led the nation in three-point field goals per game in both 1989-’90 and 1990-’91.

Power also has experience coaching at the high school level, spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Pius X High School in Lincoln, Neb. from 1985-’88 and one year as head coach and physical education teacher at Gothenburg High School in Gothenburg, Neb. in 1991-’92.

The eighth head coach in the history of BSU women’s basketball earned a bachelor of science degree in social science from the University of Nebraska in 1988 and a master of physical education from Nebraska in 1994.

Walking the sidelines with Power will be first-year assistant Amanda Went, second-year graduate assistants Jason Sobolik and Paul Brunsdon.

In the four BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Three times, the Beavers went into the intermission with a lead, albeit slim ones at one, two and six points, and once trailed by a mere two points to Lees-McRae (11/29). The second half has seen the Beavers outscore their opponents by a total of 12 points - five to LMC, six to Mankato, seven to Barry and 12 to Finlandia.

One glaring statistic that favors the green and white is turnover differential. BSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in those same games: 31 vs. Lees-McRae, 23 against Barry, 24 at Mankato and 20 vs. Finlandia for a total of 98 while committing 70 themselves. Opposing teams are frustrated due to the full-court trapping defense that coach Power has installed while having an 11 player rotation. Overall, BSU has 105 (15.0 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 59 (8.4 per game).

Looking at BSU’s first nine non-conference opponents of the season, four are recognized in the national or regional polls from a season ago. South Dakota State visited Bemidji (12/6). SDSU, which posted a 28-9 overall record in 2001-02 and was first in the preseason edition of the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II Women’s Basketball Poll, defeated BSU by a count of 85-67. The next test came Dec. 14th at Michigan Tech, which was 10th in the final Great Lakes Region poll last season. “Tech,” which was 3-3 at the time it played the Beavers, prevailed 72-57. A week later, the University of North Dakota will be the opponent in Grand Forks as the Fighting Sioux are second in the lastest Division II poll.

As far as the NSIC is concerned, the Beavers will have to face the 2001-02 NSIC regular season champions in Southwest State on the road in the conference-opening weekend. To make things just as difficult, BSU has to travel to UM-Duluth and Northern State in mid-January before both programs come to Bemidji. Both squads finished with a 13-5 conference slate, which tied Concordia-St. Paul for second in the league. The Golden Bears are the only team from the top four conference finishers from last season that Bemidji State has the luxury of hosting first.

“We play one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the league,” Power said. “We have to go to North Dakota and Michigan Tech, which right there will be in the top five in the country. Then, we play the team that won our region (South Dakota State) last year, who has everybody back for our first game at home.”

According to the 2002-03 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll, the Beavers were chosen ninth with 31 votes in the preseason coaches poll. The league’s champion from last season in Southwest State was narrowly picked as the top team with 85 votes. BSU ended ninth in the NSIC as it went 3-15 in league play last season.

Concordia-St. Paul was second (84), Minnesota-Duluth third (77), Northern State fourth (62), MSU Moorhead fifth (56), Wayne State (Neb.) sixth (48), Minnesota-Crookston seventh (43), Winona State eighth (36) and Minnesota-Morris rounding out the list (18). Both SSU, which is #10 in the Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25, and C-SP, which received five first-place votes, are recognized on the national level.

As far as the NSIC is concerned, the Beavers will have to face Southwest State on the road in the conference-opening weekend, Dec. 29. To make things just as difficult, BSU has to travel to UM-Duluth and Northern State in mid-January before both programs come to Bemidji. Both squads finished with a 13-5 conference slate, which tied Concordia-St. Paul for second in the league. The Golden Bears are the only team from the top four conference finishers from last season that Bemidji State has the luxury of hosting first.

The BSU Gymnasium, which seats 2,200, was originally constructed in 1959. Almost a year of work came to fruition as the physical education complex, the all-encompassing building that houses the BSU Gymnasium, was dedicated on January 4, 1960 by Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman in front of a packed crowd. This large building contains the gym, a swimming pool, classrooms and faculty offices.

The BSU Gymnasium hosts all Bemidji State University volleyball matches, men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as area high school playoff games. In addition, there are events ranging from concerts and recitals to faculty meetings and commencement ceremonies that take place there.

Not only does it house an array of activities, but perhaps more importantly it gives a distinct “home-court” advantage for the athletic squads that use it. BSU fans and boosters of all ages are regularly seen sporting the green and white colors in peculiar styles.

All tickets for BSU home events can be purchased at the gate or by calling 218-755-2045. Ticket prices are as follows: $5 general admission, $2 senior citizens/non-BSU students, $1 under-12 and BSU students with valid ID are free.

Voice of the Beavers Shaun Michaels returns for his fourth year behind the mic as Bemidji State continues its broadcast agreement with R.P. Broadcasting of Bemidji. Michaels, who also hosts the morning show on Real Country 98.3, provides the Beavers with one of the most enthusiastic young radio voices in college athletics today. Brian Bisonette provides expert analysis and color commentary.

KKBJ is scheduled to provide live coverage of select Beaver women’s basketball games and also will have broadcasts available for any potential post-season contests. Mark your calenders for three contests to be aired on KKBJ: Dec. 20 vs. St. Cloud State, Jan. 3 vs. UM-Crookston and Jan. 4 vs. MSU Moorhead. The SCSU contest will be begin at 6:00 p.m. while the other two start at 5:30 p.m.

Additionally, these game broadcasts will be streamed live over the Internet via KKBJ’s web site. Broadcasts are available to Windows, Macintosh and UNIX computer users and are distributed in RealAudio format (requires RealOne player, available as a free download at

For more information or to listen to the Internet audio broadcasts, point your web browser to:

Internet listeners should be aware that server limitations allow only 120 concurrent listeners to BSU’s audio broadcasts. Internet audio broadcasts do not begin until approximately five minutes prior to the scheduled starting time of the pre-game show.

Fans will have an opportunity to watch live television broadcasts of select Beaver men’s basketball games for the 2002-03 season. Three more games in the season are slated to be broadcast: Jan. 3, 4 & Feb. 15 with all games beginning at 7:30 p.m. Join Scott Williams as he handles the play-by-play duties for exciting Beaver basketball.

All three of these broadcasts are scheduled to be shown on a tape-delay basis as well.