BSU Splits Weekend Series For Second Straight Time
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Feb. 11, 2003

Saturday, Feb. 15    Minnesota-Duluth& 5:30 p.m.
& NSIC contest played at BSU Gymnasium, broadcast live on local cable - KBSU 17

Bemidji State (8-14, 4-9 NSIC) is looking at the conference race from the outside as it stands ninth currently. The good news is that the Beavers are a mere one-half game back of Winona State and Minnesota-Crookston for the seventh spot and one game behind Northern State for sixth. BSU wins the tiebreaker against UM-C sweeping both games this season while it faces WSU in the final weekend of the season. Minnesota-Duluth (17-4, 10-3 NSIC), ranked fifth in the Feb. 2nd North Central Region poll, is currently second in the standings, one-half game behind Concordia-St. Paul for the league lead. The top eight teams in the conference move on to post-season play (more information on NSIC Tournament can be seen on page six.)

The game on Saturday will feature the top-three scorers in the league with UMD’s Kim Toewe (18.4), Lindsey Dietz (16.2) and BSU’s Amber Graf (15.9). Toewe is listed as questionable after suffering an ankle sprain on Saturday.

**MSU Moorhead 69, Bemidji State 69 - Friday, Feb. 7 - Moorhead, Minn.
Riding a five-game winning streak and holding a 45-27 advantage on the glass, MSU Moorhead (11-9, 8-3 NSIC) defeated visiting BSU 81-69 at the Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. In the league, the Dragons post a season-best +11.6 advantage per game. A 14-2 Beaver run cut the deficit to one at 49-48 with 12:13 remaining in the second half. From there, the Dragons scored 14 of the next 17 points to take a 63-51 lead at the 6:38 mark. BSU hung around narrowing the margin to six with 1:13 to play but the hosts hit on seven free throw attempts to seal the conference win. For the game, BSU shot 34 percent (23 of 67) from the floor with the Dragons going for 49 percent (24 of 49). MSU Moorhead was aided by a 29 of 39 mark (.763) from the charity stripe. Junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) poured in a career-high 26 points, her fourth career 20+ output while senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) netted a season-high 20.
**Bemidji State 57, UM-Crookston 42 - Saturday, Feb. 8 - Crookston, Minn.
In holding UM-Crookston (8-13, 4-8 NSIC) to 28 percent (16 of 57) shooting, including a 13 percent clip (three of 24) from three-point range, Bemidji State salvaged a weekend split with a 57-42 victory at the Lysaker Gymnasium (3,500). The Golden Eagles came into the contest shooting 38 percent from long range, good for second in the league. BSU was able to win despite shooting 38 percent (24 of 63) from the floor and getting out-rebounded 49-36. The Beavers were able to force UM-C into 29 turnovers. Senior guard Kristy Caviness (Pamona, Calif.) tied a career-high 12 points to pace four Beavers in double figures. Graf had 12 as well while sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) had 11 and Goodhart went for her fifth double-digit scoring effort in her last six games with 10 points. Junior forward Amber Thomas (Long Beach, Calif.) tied a personal-best with nine rebounds and her seven steals set a new career-high.

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (8-14, 4-9 NSIC)    Minnesota-Duluth (17-4, 10-3 NSIC)
#20 Christi Goodhart    G    5-8    Sr.    #41 Katie Pavlich    G    5-3    Jr.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    #21 Tasha Martin    G    5-8    So.
#23 Kristy Caviness    G    5-6    Sr.    #35 Jessica Berglund    G    6-0    Jr.
#10 Amber Thomas    F    5-9    Jr.    #55 Lindsey Dietz    F    6-0    Fr.
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So.    #25 Kim Toewe    F    6-1    Sr.

Amber Graf has hit for 15 or more points in six of the last nine contests after hitting for a personal-best 26 on Friday...The 20 by Christi Goodhart against MSUM was a season-high...It was the first time two Beavers have topped the 20+ scoring mark since Leah Laurich (21) and J. Cottingham (21) did it against UM-Morris, Feb. 10, 2001....After a career-high seven steals on Friday, Amber Thomas has either led or tied for the club-lead in steals in the last four games...Against UM-C, the 22 points allowed by BSU in the first half was the lowest total since Finlandia (MI) went for 17, Dec. 13, 2002 and the 42 total points was the lowest for a BSU opponent since it beat the Golden Eagles, 79-49, Dec. 2, 1997...The field goal percentage (.281) was the lowest for a BSU opponent since MSU Mankato went 27 percent from the floor, Dec. 4, 2002...The Beavers have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in the last 11 games and have forced 20 or more in eight of the last nine...The five road wins is the most in a campaign since BSU notched seven during the 1998-99 season...The four wins in the conference is the most for BSU since the 1999-2000 season (7)...The Beavers have been out-rebounded in the last seven games by an average of 13.3...After Saturday’s win, BSU moved to 6-1 on the season when holding an opponent under 45 percent shooting and is now 7-1 when leading at the half...An unblemished 5-0 mark is carried by the Beavers when shooting at a higher clip than their opposition...Saturday’s win broke a six-game stretch in which BSU shot worse from the field than its opponent.

(1st Year at BSU, 8-14 (.364); 14th Year Overall, 221-184 (.546))
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, who notched his first victory as a Beaver against Lees-McRae (11/29/02), will be first-year assistant Amanda Went, second-year graduate assistants Jason Sobolik and Paul Brunsdon.

Stacia Swanson will sit out the remainder of the year as she tore both her ACL and MCL in her left knee in the Concordia-St. Paul contest (1/25/03). She was the team’s leader in steals, field goal percentage and rebounds and second in scoring.

The Beavers are in their 11th season of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play as the Northern Sun (women’s league) and the Northern Intercollegiate (male’s league) merged before the 1992-93 season. All-time in the league, BSU maintains a 51-102 (.333) overall mark with a 29-45 (.392) record away from Bemidji. At their home gym, the Beavers are 22-57 (.278) in league play.

In the Minnesota-Crookston game (1/3/03), the Beavers hoisted up 30 three-pointers. That mark shattered the previous school record of 23 against MSU Moorhead (12-30-01). In fact, BSU has attempted at least 10 three’s in every game this season and have gone 15 or more attempts in 15 of the 22 contests. Recently, the Beavers attempted 27 three-pointers against MSU Moorhead (2/7/03), which was the seventh occasion of 20+ attempts and capped a streak of five out of six games.

Currently, BSU averages 17.4 three-point attempts a game. If it keeps true to that form, it will finish with 470 overall. The school record is 403, which was set last season as BSU sits at the 383 mark right now.

Another season record that has a chance of being broken is free throw percentage. Right now, BSU maintains a 71.9 percent clip from the foul line. The program record is 74.1 percent set in 1999-2000.

Entering the 2002-03 campaign, junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) is primed to continue her play from last season when she was 18th in points per game (10.6) and 19th in rebounds a game (4.9). League coaches have taken notice of her as well as she is a 2002-03 preseason “Player to Watch.” This season, Graf tallied 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting in her junior debut against St. Cloud State (11/23/02). Graf has reached double-digits in scoring in 21 of the 22 games this season including a career-best 26 against MSU Moorhead (2/7/03). 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. Graf has topped the 20+ point barrier four times this season and had a 12-game scoring streak of at least 10 points earlier this year.

In 2002-03, she holds the scoring lead on the team with 15.9 points per game, free throws made (82), rebounding (4.4), total blocks (14) and field goal percentage (.415 - 127/306). Also, she is third in free throw percentage (.766 - 82/107) and tied for fourth in three-pointers (14) and total assists (24). Graf has either tied or topped the club in points 12 games, which is the most on the team. The Beavers are 6-3 when Graf pulls down 5 or more rebounds this season.

Senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) returns as the leader on the court this season as she was voted by her teammate’s as the 2002-03 team captain. Jones is tops on the club in total steals (45), second in three-pointers (18) and total assists (44), third in scoring (7.5) and fourth in free throw percentage (.737 (14/19) and rebounding (3.0). She matched a career-high at the time of 15 points in the contest against Southwest State (12/29/02) as she went five-for-seven (.716) from the field. She also hit for the same clip from the field in the BSU win over Barry (FL) on Nov. 30, 2002 as she posted 13 points. The percentage mark is a team-high on the season. Recently, Jones hit for a career-high of 16 points against Minnesota-Duluth (1/11/03) as she was six-for-six from the foul line. Jones has led or tied for the team lead six times in steals and six times in assists for a single game. She had a season-high five steals against MSU Moorhead (1/4/03) and seven assists against UM-Crookston (1/3/03).

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. This campaign has seen Bessler improve since the first game. In the season-opener against St. Cloud State (11/23/02), Bessler came off the bench and fouled out in nine minutes of action as she had one point on zero-for-three shooting. Since then, she has been in the starting line-up in all 21 contests and tallied a personal-best 14 points in a season-high 32 minutes against MSU-Mankato (12/4/02). She followed that up with eight points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists vs. #1 South Dakota State (12/6/02). In the conference home opener vs. UM-Crookston (1/3/03), Bessler went for 11 points, her fifth 10+ scoring effort of her career. The next night against MSU Moorhead (1-4), Bessler tied a personal-best with 14 points as she hit for three tri-fectas, which was also a career-high. She went for 14 points a third time against Wayne State (2/1/03) as she pulled down seven rebounds as well. Among her teammates, she is second in rebounding (3.8), total blocks (12), tied for fourth in three-pointers (14) and fourth with a 7.0 scoring average.

With her recent scoring outburts, senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) is making a name for herself on the offensive end. Goodhart notched 15 points against Winona State (1/24/03), which was a season-high at that point. After averaging 5.0 points in her first seven games this season including two contests without a single tally, Goodhart has gone for 10+ points in nine games averaging 8.7 points during that stretch. She has gone for double-figures in five of the last six contests including a season-best 20 against MSU Moorhead (1/7/03). She is first on the team in total assists (51), second in steals (34), scoring (8.3) and third in three-pointers (17). In the last eight games, Goodhart has dished out at least two assists.

Three BSU players have accrued double-doubles in points and rebounds in their careers. Melissa Bessler and Stacia Swanson both have two apiece while Amber Graf has tallied one. 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
Stacia Swanson (14 points-10 rebound)    vs. UM-Duluth, 1-11-03
Stacia Swanson (14 points-11 rebounds)    vs. Concordia-St. Paul, 1-25-03

Through all games played through Feb. 9th, the Beavers stand in the top-five in the NSIC in one category: third in free throw percentage with a .742 clip (259/349). Also, BSU has six players that are in the top-30 in either steals or blocks including Crystal Jones (6th) as she averages 2.05 thefts a game.

Six players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Feb. 9): Amber Graf is third in points per game (15.9), 13th in free throw percentage (.766 - 82/107), 14th in blocks per game (0.64), 20th in field goal percentage (.415 - 127/306) and 22nd in rebounds per game (4.4); Melissa Bessler is tied for 16th in blocks per game (0.55) and 23rd in steals per game (1.32); Christi Goodhart is 14th in steals per game (1.55) and 21st in assists per game (2.32); Crystal Jones is sixth in steals per game (2.05) and tied for 24th in assists per game (2.00); Kristy Caviness is 28th in steals per game (1.18); and Amber Thomas is 12th in steals per game (1.60).

vs. Minnesota-Duluth (10-2, 3-1 NSIC)
Head coach Karen Stromme has spent all 18 seasons at UM-D as she enters her 19th campaign with a 375-159 (.702) overall mark. UM-Duluth has not lost back-to-back games this season as it sits second in the league standings after dropping a 80-67 decision to MSU Moorhead on Saturday.

Four of the five Bulldog starters tally at least nine points per game with Kim Toewe (18.4) and Lindsey Dietz (16.2) leading the charge. Toewe and Dietz are the one-two punch in scoring in the league. Toewe also leads the club in rebounds (8.4), blocks (22) and steals (39) as the rebounding clip is second in the league. Dietz maintains a 61 percent clip from the floor, which is tops in the NSIC, and grabs 6.5 rebounds a contest. Jessica Berglund (.500) and Tasha Martin (.407) lead the way from three-point land.

The Bulldogs have a high-octane offense scoring 75.0 points per game, out-scoring their opponents by an 11.4 margin. They stand first in the NSIC in field goal percentage (.472), second in scoring defense (63.6) and have connected on more than twice as many three-pointers (131-64) than their opponents.

ALL-TIME SERIES: vs. Minnesota-Duluth 26-47
The Beavers are looking to snap a 22-game losing streak to the Bulldogs with their last win coming Feb. 11, 1992. The lost 20 losses have been by at least 10 points. Last January, the Bulldogs took a 88-64 decision as they shot 62 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Beavers 35-22.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    40 (65-25, 2/3/71)
UM-D Largest Margin of Victory:    42 (85-43 (1/5/02)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    88 2x (W, 88-53 2/15/83; W, 88-88-69, 2/11/87)
UM-D Highest Scoring Output:    96 (W, 96-67, 2/3/01)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    33 (L, 50-33, 1970)
UM-D Lowest Scoring Output:    25 (L, 65-25, 2/3/71)

In the eight BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Seven times, the Beavers went into the intermission with a lead and once trailed by a mere two points to Lees-McRae (11/29/02). The average margin at the half was +4.5 in BSU’s favor. The second half has seen the Beavers outscore their opponents by at least five points in seven of those eight - five to LMC (11/29/02), six to Mankato (12/4/02), seven to Barry (11/30/02), seven to Minnesota-Morris (1/17/03), 12 to Finlandia (12/13/02) and UM-Crookston (2/8/03) and 19 to UM-Crookston (1/3/03). Wayne State (2/1) was the only opponent to score more (6) in the second half when the Beavers have won.

One glaring statistic that favors the green and white is turnover margin. Currently, the Beavers are +5.2 on the season in that category. BSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in its wins for an average of 25.8 per contest. Overall, BSU has 284 (12.9 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 195 (8.9 per game) as BSU holds a +4.0 advantage.

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.

The top eight squads in the 10-team conference will move on to the post-season and play in the 2003 NSIC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament. The tournmanet champion gets an automatic bid to the NCCA Division II tournament. NSIC Quarterfinal action will take place Wednesday, March 5th on various campuses as the higher seed hosts. The format will be as follows: #5 at #4, #6 at #3, #7 at #2 and #8 at #1 with the game-times to be determined by the host school. The semifinals are held on the campus of Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, March 8th. The winner of the #3/#6 game will play against the winner of the #2/#7 game at 12:00 p.m. while the winner of the #4/#5 game will face the winner of the #1/#8 game at 4:00 p.m. The tournament champion will be crowned the following afternoon at 2:00 p.m. More information can be obtained by visiting the conference website at

Fans will have an opportunity to watch live television broadcasts of select Beaver women’s basketball games for the 2002-03 season. Three games are slated to be broadcast: Jan. 3, 4 & Feb. 15 with all games beginning at 5:30 p.m. Join Scott Williams as he handles the play-by-play duties and color commentary provided by Kevin Drexel for exciting Beaver basketball.

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