BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team announced today a 26-game schedule for the 2010-11 season highlighted by games with four Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference teams who appeared in the 2010 NCAA Central Region tournament. The Beavers’ slate also features noncon- ference meetings with NCAA Division II tournament participant California University (Pa.) and NAIA Elite Eight participant Grand View College at the Mankato Tip-Off Tournament.
BSU’s schedule includes 13 home games and 13 away games. The Beavers will host 11 NSIC opponents at home along with nonconference foes Mayville State and the College of St. Scholastica. In 2010-11, the NSIC moves to a 22-game conference schedule, adding two games to last year’s conference slate.
The Beavers will open the 2010-11 season with two exhibitions. On Oct. 28, BSU will face NAIA foe Jamestown at BSU Gymnasium. A contest against back- to-back NCAA Division I participant South Dakota State will follow on Nov. 4 in Brookings, S.D. The back-to-back Summit League champions lost to third-seed Oklahoma last year in the NCAA tournament. In 2009, the Jackrabbits advanced to the second round of the tournament with a win over TCU. SDSU lost a heartbreaker in the second round to second-seed Baylor.
BSU will open the regular season on Nov. 16 against Mayville State. The meeting will mark the first time in six years that the Beavers have opened the season at BSU Gymnasium. This year’s meeting will mark the fourth time that BSU and Mayville State have met to open the season.
Following the home opener, the Beavers will trek to Mankato for the Mankato Tip-Off tournament where they will face California University (Pa.) on Nov. 19 and Grand View College on Nov. 20. The Vulcans of California University went 24-8 last season before ending their season in the second round of the NCAA tourna- ment. Grand View is coming off a 27-9 record for the 2009-10 season and an NAIA Elite Eight appearance.
BSU will then return home for a five-game home stand beginning with the conference opener against Minnesota State University Moorhead on Dec. 3. The Beavers will stay in conference with a game against University of Minnesota, Crookston on Dec. 4 before playing their final nonconference game against the College of St. Scholastica on Dec. 7 at BSU Gymnasium.
Bemidji State will wrap up the homestand with conference games against Winona State University on Dec. 10 and Upper Iowa University on Dec. 11.
BSU will then go on the road for three games beginning with a weekend road trip to Aberdeen, S.D. to face Northern State University on Dec. 17. They will then head to Bismarck, N.D. on Dec. 18 to face the University of Mary.
The Beavers will take a holiday break before returning to action on Jan. 2 against NCAA Central Region participant the University of Minnesota Duluth on the road. BSU has lost its last four meetings with the Bulldogs. They last defeated UMD during the 2007-08 season.
BSU will continue one of its toughest stretches of the season with meetings against two more NCAA Central Region tournament participants as they host Augustana College and Wayne State College over the weekend of Jan. 7-8. The Beavers took one game from the Wildcats last season, defeating WSC, 83-79, at BSU Gymnasium.
BSU will then take to the road again for a four-game road slate that includes games with St. Cloud State University (Jan. 14), Concordia University, St. Paul (Jan. 15), Minnesota State University (Jan. 21) and Southwest Minnesota State University (Jan. 22).
The Beavers took two games from the Mavericks of Minnesota State last year following their Division II National Championship season in 2008-2009.
Concordia-St. Paul is coming off a season in which they finished ranked 19th in the final USA Today/ESPN poll. The Golden Bears finished the season with a 26-6 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Central Region tournament.
Following BSU’s mid-January road excursion, the Beavers will return home for a three-game homestand beginning on Jan. 28 and 29 against the University of Mary and Northern State. On Feb. 5, UMD will travel to BSU Gymnasium for an early afternoon tip.
On the ensuing weekend the Beavers will travel to Minnesota, Crookston (Feb. 11) and MSU Moorhead (Feb. 12). BSU will play its final home games against Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 before wrapping up the regular season on the road against Upper Iowa (Feb. 25) and Winona State (Feb. 26).
Bemidji State returns 12 players from last year’s team that finished in a tie for 11th in the NSIC standings with a 6-14 conference record and a 12-15 overall record. BSU will be led by returning NSIC All-Freshman selection Jessie Althoff, who averaged 10.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in her initial season at BSU.