After Weekend Home Split, BSU Sits Tied For Eighth
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Feb. 25, 2003

Friday, Feb. 28    @ Concordia-St. Paul& 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 1    @ Winona State& 5:30 p.m.
& NSIC contest

Bemidji State (9-16, 5-11 NSIC) still remains in the hunt for a bid in the conference post-season tourney after a split last weekend. Going into the twin-bill this Friday and Saturday, it is tied for the eighth spot with Winona State (10-15, 5-11 NSIC) as both teams face each other in the season finale on Saturday. Many scenarios occur in which the Beavers would make the playoffs but they can assure a spot if they win on Saturday - assuming BSU and WSU have the same result on Friday. BSU travels to Concordia-St. Paul (20-5, 13-3 NSIC) on Friday while WSU hosts UM-Duluth the same night. C-SP and UM-D are tied with MSU Moorhead for the top spot.

**Northern State 81, Bemidji State 77 - Friday, Feb. 21 - Bemidji, Minn.
Despite forcing 17 first-half turnovers and enjoying a 43-36 halftime edge, Bemidji State dropped its 12th-straight to Northern State (10-15, 7-9 NSIC), 81-77 at the BSU Gymnasium. NSU used a 37-21 run in the final 16:14 of action as the Beavers held leads of 12 and 10 in the first-half. For the contest, BSU shot 42 percent (31 of 74) from the field and only 21 percent (six of 28) from three-point range. NSU finished at 57 percent (32 of 56) and 50 percent (eight of 16) from long-distance. Free throws were equal with both squads hitting on nine. Senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) tied a season-high with 20 points, 13 of which came in the second frame. She was eight of 12 from the floor with three steals and two assists. Junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) finished with 17 points and 11 boards, senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.) added 13 while junior forward Amber Thomas (Long Beach, Calif.) chipped in a career-best 12.
**Bemidji State 101, Minnesota-Morris 43 - Saturday, Feb. 22 - Bemidji, Minn.
On Seniors Night, BSU kept alive their hopes of post-season play with a 101-43 drubbing of Minnesota-Morris (1-25, 0-17 NSIC) at the BSU Gymnasium. All 10 BSU players scored in the contest as four of the five seniors netted 10 or more points including 17 on the part of Jones. BSU finished at a season-high 56 percent (41 of 73) from the floor and snapped a string of 10 games of getting out-rebounded as it had 40 compared to UM-M’s 37. The Cougars went 15 of 57 (.263) from the field, the lowest for a BSU opponent since Middlebury went 13 of 63 (.206) on Nov. 27, 1999. Also, UM-M did not record a steal on the night. Following Jones in scoring was senior guard Katie Long (Willmar, Minn.) with 15 and Goodhart and Graf with 14 apiece.

PROBABLE STARTERS (based on previous game’s lineup)
Bemidji State (9-16, 5-11 NSIC) Conc.-St. Paul (20-5, 13-3 NSIC)
#20 Christi Goodhart G 5-8 Sr. #23 Kayla Christensen G 6-0 So.
#32 Crystal Jones    G    5-7    Sr    #12 Desirae Jones    G    5-5    So.
#23 Kristy Caviness    G    5-6    Sr.    #24 Jennifer Pozzani    G    5-7    So.
#10 Amber Thomas    F    5-9    Jr.    #3 Jessica Combs    F    6-1    Jr.
#42 Melissa Bessler F 5-11 So.    #53 Lisa Harfield    F    6-0    Sr.
Winona State (10-15, 5-11 NSIC)
#11 Jenny Johnson    G    5-7    Jr.
#21 Kim Dreyer    G    5-9    So.
#40 Anne Straate    C    6-1    Fr.
#30 Teri Silvi    F    5-11    So.
#23 Heather Peterson    F    5-11    Fr.

The four-point BSU loss is the smallest during the current 12-game losing streak to the Wolves as they have won by an average of 22.7 points before Friday...The 28 three-point attempts is second only to the school record 30 against UM-Crookston (1/3/03)...BSU drops to 7-3 when leading at the half...Amber Graf’s double-double was her first since she went for 12 points and 13 rebounds against UM-Morris (1/11/02)...On Saturday, it was the first time BSU went over the century mark since it scored 103 against Southwest State, Feb. 28, 1997...The margin of victory (58) was the largest since BSU beat up on Macalester (MN) during the 1978-79 season and won by 61 points...The 40 to 37 rebounding advantage BSU held over UM-M snapped a streak of nine games in which the Beavers have been out-rebounded...By forcing 24 Cougar turnovers, BSU has gone eight straight in forcing more than 20 and the 14th consecutive by having fewer...The field goal percentage (.562) was the highest mark since BSU went 39 of 69 (.565) against UM-M, Feb. 10, 2001...BSU improves to 6-0 when having a higher percentage than its opponent...With 18 steals in the game, the Beavers inch closer to the team record in a season as they have 331 - the 1985-86 club had 356 steals...Christi Goodhart has hit for 10+ points in six straight and eight out of nine games - she has averaged 15.8 in the last six games.

(1st Year at BSU, 9-16 (.360); 14th Year Overall, 222-186 (.544))
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 52-104 (.333) overall mark with a 29-45 (.392) record away from Bemidji. At their home gym, the Beavers are 23-59 (.280) 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 17 of the 25 contests. Recently, the Beavers attempted 23 three-pointers against UM-Morris (2/22/03), which was the ninth occasion of 20+ attempts this season.

BSU broke the school record for three-pointers in a season in the Northern State (2/21/03) game with 423 overall. The school record was 403, which was set last season.

One season record that has a chance of being broken is free throw percentage. Right now, BSU maintains a 73.6 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) in the NSIC. 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 23 of the 25 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 15.4 points per game, free throws made (89), rebounding (4.7) and total blocks (16). Also, she is third in free throw percentage (.774 - 89/115), fourth in three-pointers (17) and total assists (26). Graf has either tied or topped the club in points 13 games, which is the most on the team. The Beavers are 7-4 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 (55), free throw percentage (.808 (21/26) and three-pointers (24), second in total assists (51), third in scoring (8.8) and third in field goal percentage (.423 - 88/208). 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. Most recently, Jones hit for a career-high of 27 points against Minnesota-Duluth (2/15/03) as she had 26 at the half, almost defeating the Bulldogs herself as they had 34. Jones set a personal-best with nine field goals on 14 attempts and tied a career-high with three long-range bombs and six free throws. Jones has led or tied for the team lead seven 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). In BSU’s nine wins this season, Jones has a 2.2/1 assist to turnover ratio while she holds a 0.9/1 mark in the losses.

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 23 of the 24 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). Against MSU Moorhead (1/4/03), 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 (3.9), total blocks (15), fourth with a 7.1 scoring average and sixth in three-pointers (14). Bessler has gone seven times this season with 10 or more points. In the BSU wins, Bessler averages 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and shoots 51 percent from the floor as compared to 5.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and a 33 percent mark in the losses.

With her recent scoring outbursts, 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. That performance ignited a scoring streak in which she has tallied 10 or more points in eight of the last nine ball games. 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 12 games averaging 11.1 points during that stretch. She netted a season-best 20 against MSU Moorhead (1/7/03). She is first on the team in total assists (59), second in steals (43), scoring (9.4) and third in three-pointers (19). In the last 11 games, Goodhart has dished out at least two assists. When Goodhart takes care of the ball, BSU is successful as well. In the Beaver wins, the 5-7 guard has a 2.7/1 assist to turnover ratio while in the losses, she has a 0.7/1 mark. In NSIC action, Goodhart steps up her scoring as seen in her 11.4 average. Goodhart has hit for 10+ points in six straight and eight out of nine games - she has averaged 15.8 in the last six games.

Three BSU players have accrued double-doubles in points and rebounds in their careers. Stacia Swanson has three while Amber Graf and Melissa Bessler have tallied two 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
Amber Graf (17 points-11 rebounds)    vs. Northern State, 2-21-03
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. 22nd, the Beavers stand in the top-five in the NSIC in one category: third in free throw percentage with a .736 clip (290/394). Also, BSU has six players that are in the top-30 in either steals or blocks including Crystal Jones (3rd) as she averages 2.20 thefts a game.

Six players are recognized thus far among the league leaders in stats through all games played (through Feb. 22nd): Amber Graf is third in points per game (15.4), 11th in free throw percentage (.74 - 89/115), 13th in blocks per game (0.64), 22nd in field goal percentage (.404 - 139/344) and rebounds per game (4.7); Melissa Bessler is 15th in blocks per game (0.60) and 24th in steals per game (1.24); Christi Goodhart is 11th in steals per game (1.72), 18th in field goal percentage (.426 - 89/209) and 20th in assists per game (2.36); Crystal Jones is third in steals per game (2.20), 19th in field goal percentage (.423 - 88/208) and 26th in assists per game (2.04); Kristy Caviness is tied for 19th in steals per game (1.36); and Amber Thomas is 12th in steals per game (1.70).

vs. Concordia-St. Paul (20-5, 13-3 NSIC)
In his fourth season at Concordia-St. Paul is head coach Geoff Carlston as he owns a 54-27 (.667) overall mark. Currently, the Golden Beavers are in a three-way tie for the top spot in the league. They took a 73-58 affair at UM-Crookston on Friday while they lost a 68-59 game at MSU Moorhead the following night.

C-SP has two eight-game winning streaks to its credit this season as six players average nine points or better. Kayla Christensen leads the way with 12.6 while Lisa Harfield nets 12.0 and Carly Christensen records 11.5. Harfield leads the club with 6.8 rebounds a game, field goal percentage (.502) and 26 total blocks. In the league, Harfield is sixth in rebounding and fourth with 1.04 blocks per contest. The top three-point shooter is Nicole Jaycox (.429) and Jennifer Pozzani leads in assists (79) and steals (49). Pozzani’s 3.16 assists per game mark is fifth in the NSIC.

C-SP’s offense is a potent one as shown in it’s 80.6 points scored per game, which is tops in the league. Other top-five rankings in the league include: first in scoring margin (+15.3), second in field goal percentage defense (.387) and rebounding margin (+6.8). One weakness may be at the charity stripe as Concordia-St. Paul hits 69 percent, which is eighth in the conference.

vs. Winona State (10-15, 5-11 NSIC)
Head coach Terri Sheridan owns a school mark of 102-165 (.382) in his 10th year and 171-206 (.454) in 13-plus seasons. The Warriors have dropped four of the last five including a sweep at the hands of MSU Moorhead (73-62) and UM-Crookston (92-82) over the weekend. WSU is tied for the eighth spot in the league with the Beavers.

Jenny Johnson paves the way for scoring with a 12.8 average as she also is first on the team in assists (99) and free throw percentage (.818). The free throw mark is second in the league while her 3.96 assists a game is good for third. Anne Stratte is the other double-figure scorer (11.3) and is second-best in the conference in field goal percentage (.587) and blocks/game (1.05). Heather Peterson is the steals leader (41) while Kim Dreyer leads her teammates with 5.7 rebounds a game.

The Warriors rank near the bottom in several NSIC categories including eighth in scoring defense (72.7 ppg). However, they know how to get to the free throw line as they almost have made more (370) on the season than Bemidji State has attempted (394).

vs. Concordia-St. Paul 10-8 // Winona State 35-17
Concordia-St. Paul has taken the last five outings including a 75-68 win on Jan. 25, 2003 in Bemidji, Minn. The Beavers forced 23 turnovers but was only eight of 12 (.667) from the charity stripe compared to the 25 of 29 (.862) for the Golden Bears. Amber Graf led all scorers with 17 points.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    54 (92-38, 2/23/87)
C-SP Largest Margin of Victory:    24 (79-55, 2/16/01)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    92 2x (W, 92-62, 2/28/86 & W, 92-38, 2/23/87)
C-SP Highest Scoring Output:    81 (W, 81-71, 2/22/02)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    55 (L, 79-55, 2/16/01)
C-SP Lowest Scoring Output:    38 (L, 92-38, 2/23/87)
The 35 wins against Winona State is second most in school history against any opponent. The Beavers have captured 44 victories against Minnesota-Morris. At one stretch in the series, BSU took 25 out of 27, including two streaks of nine straight wins. WSU has taken five out of six most recently after it stole a 86-78 affair in late January. Five Beavers hit for double-digits in points with Katie Long hitting for a game-high 19 points with five three-pointers.
In All-Time Series...
BSU Largest Margin of Victory:    49 (95-46, 2/14/92)
WSU Largest Margin of Victory:    31 (86-55, 2/17/01)
BSU Highest Scoring Output:    101 (W, 101-69, 2/14/87)
WSU Highest Scoring Output:    91 2x (W, 91-87 ot, 1/15/93 & W, 91-79, 1/18/02)
BSU Lowest Scoring Output:    37 (L, 41-37, 1974)
WSU Lowest Scoring Output:    37 (L, 41-37 1973)

In the nine BSU wins this season, the Beavers have given themselves a legitimate shot of winning in the second half based on the halftime scores. Eight 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 second half has seen the Beavers outscore their opponents by at least five points in eight of those nine - 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), 19 to UM-Crookston (1/3/03) and 39 to UM-Morris (2/22/03). 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 +6.0 overall on the season in that category. BSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in its wins for an average of 25.6 per contest. Overall, BSU has 331 (13.2 per game) steals on the season while the opposing teams have 211 (8.4 per game) as BSU holds a +4.8 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.

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