Beavers host NSIC weekend
Saturday, January 2, 2010

Beavers host NSIC weekend

This Week: The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team hosts Augustana College and Wayne State College in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play Jan. 2-3. AC and BSU plays at 6 p.m. and WSC and the Beavers battle at 4 p.m.  
About Bemidji State: BSU is 8-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play this season. The Beavers have already surpassed its overall win, conference win and road win totals from last season. In fact, BSU is a perfect 4-0 on the road this season after going winless a year ago. In their last action, Dec. 19, the Beavers defeated the No. 11 and defending national champions, Minnesota State University, Mankato 80-72 in a nonconference contest at the BSU Gymnasium. With the win, BSU handed the Mavericks just their fourth loss in the past two seasons.
About Augustana College:
AC has posted an 9-1 overall and 3-0 NSIC record thus far this season. Augie has all its conference wins at home, using overtime to defeat the University of Mary (85-81), while downing Northern State University (73-51) and Wayne State College (68-61). AC has yet to play a road game this season and is 2-1 on neutral courts. Junior Megan Doyle’s 13.8 points per game leads the squad.  

Series History: The Beavers have only defeated the Vikings one time in a nine-game history that dates back to 1983. The lone win came in the first meeting on Dec. 10, 1983 by the score of 77-72 in overtime. Last season, Augie beat BSU 92-69 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
About Wayne State College: WSC is 9-1 overall and 2-1 in the NSIC this season. The Wildcats defeated Northern State (64-42) and U-Mary (65-55) at home before falling to Augustana (68-61) in Sioux Falls, S.D. WSC is 1-1 on the road and 2-0 on neutral courts this season. Sophomore Ashley Arlen leads the team and is third in the NSIC in scoring at 16.6 points per game. WSC battled at Minnesota Duluth Jan. 2 before playing BSU.
Series History: BSU is 12-22 all-time against the Wildcats. WSU holds a 3-2 advantage in the last five contests, which includes two wins last season. The Wildcats downed the Beavers 89-58 in the last meeting in the BSU Gymnasium.

Last Action: The Beavers went 2-0 in nonconference action Dec. 17 and 19th to close out the year 2009. BSU downed Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. 71-66 before hosting No. 11 and defending national champions Minnesota State Dec. 19 and beating them 80-72 in a thrilling upset.

vs. Viterbo -  The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team defeated Viterbo University 71-66 in a nonconference game at the R.W. Beggs Senior Gymnasium in La Crosse, Wis., Dec. 17. Sophomore Sydney Epema (G, Crookston, Minn.) tallied a team-high 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point land. The victory against the V-Hawks gives BSU a three-game winning streak and keeps the Beavers perfect on the road in 2009-10 at a 4-0 mark.
    Epema knocked down a 3-pointer on the Beavers’ (7-3, 2-2 NSIC) first possession of the game and it was all BSU for the rest of the first half. The Beavers had a lead as large as 12 with eight minutes remaining in the first frame, en route to a nine point lead at the half with a 38-29 advantage. BSU was able to keep a large lead through the first three minutes of the second half, but then the V-Hawks started flying. Viterbo went on a 13-5 run from the 17 minute mark to the half-way point of the frame to erase a 10 point deficit and turn it into a two point advantage - its first lead of the contest. But, the lead didn’t last long for the home team, as BSU tied the game just 14 second later with two free throws and followed that with creating a turnover that translated into a bucket from freshman Shannon Thompson (G, Rosemount, Minn.) that put the Beavers back on top. The lead quickly went from manageable to out-of-control for the V-Hawks as the Beavers took the next 2:11 to go on a 9-0 run get the lead back up to nine, thanks to the BSU bench that scored all but one point.
    Viterbo battled back to get the deficit to three with 4:21 remaining in the game, but Epema ended the game just like she started it with a 3-point dagger with 1:48 ticks on the clock to give BSU a eight point lead. The V-Hawks played the foul and quick 3-point shooting game and got the BSU lead down to three with 20 seconds left, but Viterbo would run out of time as freshman Katie Pettit (G, Howard Lake, Minn.) iced the game with two free throws that gave the Beavers a 71-66 lead that would stand as the final score.
    Epema was 4-of-7 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3-point land and 3-of-4 from the line. Freshman Jessie Althoff (C, Becker, Minn.) and junior Anna Hebrink (G, Austin, Minn.) each tallied 10 points, while Hebrink added a team-high five assists and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Samantha Baldwin (G, St. Thomas, N.D.) led the bench in scoring with eight points. The BSU bench scored 29 points in the win, outscoring the Viterbo bench by 20 points. The Beavers are now 7-2 when its bench scores equal or more points than their opponent. BSU hit 6-of11 3-point attempts and is now 7-2 when hitting at least five 3-pointers.

vs. Minnesota State - The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team put together a complete team effort Dec. 19 and was rewarded with a 80-72 upset of the No. 11 and defending national champions, Minnesota State University, Mankato. The game at BSU Gymnasium was a nonconference contest that closed the year 2009 for the Beavers. BSU takes its first win from MSU in four tries, while handing the Mavericks just their fourth loss in past two seasons.
    Freshman Jessie Althoff (C, Becker, Minn.) led the tem in scoring with 18 points, including a deep 2-point basket with time on the shot clock running down with 1:37 remaining in the game that put BSU up six at 70-64. Six players scored at least nine points and four Beavers recorded at least seven rebounds. Freshman Shannon Thompson (G, Rosemount, Minn.) provided a spark off the bench for BSU, scoring 13 points, dishing out four assists, getting two steals and providing clutch shooting from the free-throw line going 4-of-4. Sophomore guard Samantha Baldwin (St. Thomas, N.D.) played one of her best games of the season scoring nine points, while adding eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and going 5-of-8 from the line.
    The Mavericks (8-2, 3-0 NSIC) dominated the game’s first 13 minutes, owning a 30-16 lead with 6:56 left on the clock, proving their national ranking. But the Beavers (8-3, 2-2 NSIC) weren’t about to submit to the defending national champions. Junior Colleen McKay (C, Barnum, Minn.) got BSU rolling with 5:44 left in the half via an old school 3-point play with a lay-up and a free throw. The Beavers used to the play to go on a 11-5 run to cut the deficit to eight with three minutes remaining in the half. BSU then went on lock-down on defense and didn’t allow the Mavericks, who have been averaging 77 points per game this season, to score for the remainder of the frame. The Beavers scored 10 unanswered points to close the first half and held a 37-35 lead heading into the locker room.
    The Mavericks came out of halftime with smoke coming out of their noses and used the first five minutes of the second half to regain a seven point lead at 48-41. The Beavers then responded with an 8-0 run that took 2:29 off the clock, to post a 1-point lead. The two teams traded baskets until BSU took a 1-point lead at 53-52 with 11:05 remaining in regulation. The home team then held the lead for the remainder of the game, earning a six point lead with 6:42 left off a Althoff jumper. Every time it looked like MSU was going to go on a run the Beavers responded with a bucket or earned a defensive stop. The Mavericks could find an answer for BSU’s post players as Althoff, McKay and freshman Emily Kaus (C, Eagan, Minn.) scored eight consecutive points from the 9:00 to the 4:40 mark. MSU got within two after free throws from its top scorer this season, Jennie Noreen with 3:24 remaining on the clock. Sophomore guard Sydney Epema (Crookston, Minn.) squashed the MSU comeback with a cold-blooded 3-pointer on the next possession to give BSU a five point advantage. The Mavericks didn’t quit and used a 3-pointer from Liz Trauger to cut the deficit to four with the scoreboard reading 2:15. That set-up Althoff’s jumper with one second on the shot clock from 18 feet out. MSU came down and tried to respond with a quick 3-pointer, but freshman Katie Pettit (G, Howard Lake, Minn.) pulled down the rebound and the Mavericks immediately went into foul mode, putting BSU to the line for one-and-one’s. Pettit drained the first shot and followed it with another make that put BSU up eight with 57 ticks left. The Mavericks weren’t able to make their shots and the Beavers were sinking their free throws, leading MSU to just its second loss of the season and fourth in the last two years.
    BSU shot 40 percent from the field in the game, but more importantly made 19 of its 24 free throw attempts. The Beavers outrebounded MSU 51-39, which included 13 boards on the offensive glass. BSU also had more assists 17-11 and less turnovers 13-15 in the game.
    Junior Anna Hebrink (G, Austin, Minn.) and Pettit were a combined 1-for-16 from the field in the game, but pulled down 17 rebounds and Pettit was 6-of-7 from the line. McKay added nine points, four rebounds and two assists. Senior guard Kim Rosecrans (Crosby, Minn.) only played two minutes and was the only Beaver to not score, but took a bone-crushing charge that kept the momentum on BSU’s side late in the first half.

NSIC Preseason Poll:  The Bemidji State women’s basketball team is ranked 13th in the 2009-10 edition of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released today by the league. The Beavers received 37 points after going 3-24 overall and 1-19 in NSIC play, tying them for 13th last season.

NSIC Preseason Player to Watch:
Sophomore Sydney Epema played in all 27 games for BSU, starting 24 in 2009…She averaged 11.1 points per game in overall contests and a 11.0 clip in conference play…Recorded double-digits in points in 16 games, including nine games in a row in double-figures and two over 20…Established a career-high 22 points in a 112-108 overtime loss to Upper Iowa, Nov. 29, playing in 40 minutes…Was the team’s top scorer in seven games…Led the team in 3-pointers made with 73 and owned a .353 shooting percentage from beyond the arc…Her 207 3-point attempts established a BSU single season record…Also, led the team in minutes with 30.0 and averaged 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

Curfman in Season Openers at BSU: BSU head coach Mike Curfman is 1-4 in season openers in his career at Bemidji State since joining the program for the 2005-06 season.

Season Openers Record
Nov. 16, 2009    Mayville State    Mayville, N.D.     W, 82-60
Nov. 16, 2008    South Dakota    Vermillion, S.D.    L, 47-83
Nov. 16, 2007    Colorado State-Pueblo    Pueblo, Colo.    L, 67-74
Nov. 17, 2006    Augustana College    Manakto, Minn.    L, 76-92
Nov. 15, 2005    Mayville State    Mayville, N.D.    L, 89-94

Sydneeey for Threee:
Sophomore Sydney Epema knocked-down six 3-pointers in the season opener against Mayville State, tying her career-high. She has 28 this season to lead the team and sit tied for second in the NSIC in 3-pointers made. She has attempted 62 3-pointers for a 45.2 percentage. Last season, Epema made 73 3-pointers in a BSU single-season record 207 attempts. She finished second in the NSIC in 3-pointers.

Player of the Week: Freshman Katie Pettit was named NSIC Player of the Week Dec. 14 after guiding BSU to a 2-0 NSIC road trip at Winona State and Upper Iowa. She averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in 29.0 minutes of work. In the win against WSU, Pettit scored a career-high 26 points, adding five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block, while shooting 80.0 percent from the field and 80.0 from beyond the arc. Pettit is the first BSU player to earn the conference award since the 2007-08 season and she is the first BSU freshman to win the award since the 1998-99 campaign.

Doubling-up in the Debut: Pettit recorded a double-double in her collegiate debut against Mayville State, Nov. 16. She had 18 points and 10 assists in the game. Last season, the Beavers only record three double-doubles and the season-high for assists was nine.  

Double the Fun: Freshman center Emily Kaus recorded her first-career double-double in the 79-65 victory against Western New Mexico Nov. 28. She had 10 points and 13 rebounds. In BSU’s next contest against MSU Moorhead Dec. 4, Kaus recorded her second double-double with 10 points and 11 kills. She is the first freshman since the 2004-05 season to record two double-doubles in a season and is the first player since the 2005-06 season to post consecutive double-doubles.

Emily says, “NO!”: Through 11 games, freshman Emily Kaus has recorded five or more blocks in two different games, including establishing the new school record for blocks in a game with seven against Western State Nov. 27. Last season, there wasn’t a player all year to record more than four blocks in a game. She has 26 (2.36 bpg) blocked shots this season, sitting second in the NSIC.

Freshmen PROduction: The 2009-10 freshmen class has had an immediate impact on the Beavers this season, playing like pros in all areas of the game. The freshmen are averaging 36.3 points per game, the most by any class on the team. They are also averaging 17.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists per contest. They have the only three double-doubles this season (Pettit and Kaus x2), which is the first time in BSU program history two freshmen have recorded a double-double in the same season.

Scoring by class (# in the class)
Freshmen (5)    36.3
Sophomores (5)    25.0
Juniors (3)    14.7
Senior (1)    2.1        

2-0 Start: The last time BSU started the season 2-0 was in 1999-00 with wins over Morningside and Middlebury. The Beavers have started 2-0 only eight times in the 43 years of the program.

4-1 after 5: BSU went 4-1 to start the season, earning its best record since the 1986-87 season. That squad also started 4-1 and finished with a 25-3 mark, making a run in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championships.

Triple-digits: BSU poured in 108 points in a 108-63 victory against Martin Luther College Nov. 20. The 108 points tied a all-time high for points in a game by a Beaver squad. It also marked the 12 game a BSU team has scored in triple-digits. The last time the Beavers scored 100 points and won was against the University of Minnesota-Morris, Feb. 22, 2003.

Date    Opponent    Score
11-20-09    vs. Martin Luther College    W, 108-63
11-29-08    Upper Iowa    L, 108-112
2-22-03    UM-Morris    W,101-43
2-28-97    @ Southwest State*    W,103-93
2-1-97    Wayne State    W, 107-67
1-6-96    UM-Crookston    W, 101-56
12-17-94    @ St. Francis    W, 100-49
1-28-92    St. Scholastica    W, 107-59
12-17-90    @ Echerd College    W, 105-82
2-14-87    Winona State *    W, 101-69
11-16-84    @ St. Catherine    W, 108-35
    Hamline    W, 103-28
    Mayville St.    W, 104-42

Extra Frames: The Beavers pushed the Dec. 4 game against MSU Moorhead to two overtimes before falling 75-66. BSU had only played four extra sessions in head coach Mike Curfman’s first four years at BSU. Two were against MSU Moorhead and the two were against Minnesota Duluth. The last time BSU played in a double overtime contest was during the 1984-85 season. The Beavers lost the game 74-73 at Minnesota Duluth.

No ‘I’ in Team: Ten different Beavers have played at least 10 minutes in conference games this season and 13 have seen the court.  Nine players have recorded at least 10 points and 10 have scored in NSIC play.

Road Warriors: The Beavers are a perfect 4-0 on the road this season, 2-0 in the NSIC.  Last season, BSU didn’t win a single road game and in the past 10 seasons, the most road wins the Beavers have accumulated in a season is five (2007-08 and 2002-03). BSU has recorded four NSIC road wins twice in the past 10 seasons (2006-07 and 2003-04).

NCAA National Stats: The first edition of the NCAA Division II national ranking summary was released Dec. 13, placing the Beavers 23 in scoring offense, averaging 78.7 points per game. BSU also appeared in the top 50 in 3-point field goals per game (42nd, 7.2 3-pointers per game) and blocks (42nd, 4.0 bpg). Freshman Emily Kaus is 10th in the nation in blocks per game with 2.6 per contest. Freshman Katie Pettit is 51st in steals per game at a 2.8 clip.