Women's Basketball picked 13th in NSIC Coaches' Poll
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Women's Basketball picked 13th in NSIC Coaches' Poll

BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team finished last season with a 12-15 mark bouncing back from a 3-24 season a year prior. The Beavers, whose starting lineup last season included one sophomore, three freshmen and a junior college transfer, won six games in league play on their way to an 11th place finish in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Included in their conference win column were two victories over defending NCAA Division II champion Minnesota State University, Mankato. BSU returns almost all of its lineup from the 2009-10 squad after losing only one senior from the squad. Despite returning most of their roster, the Beavers were selected 13th in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Thursday morning by the NSIC office earning 40 points. BSU sophomore forward Jessie Althoff (F/C, 6-1, So., Becker, Minn. / Becker HS), the team’s leading scorer as a freshman, was picked as a player to watch in the NSIC.

Wayne State (Neb.), the reigning NSIC Tournament champions and NCAA Central Region tournament participant, was selected as the top squad in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Wildcats, led by Preseason NSIC Player of the Year Ashley Arlen, a transfer from Iowa State University who averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 rebounds as a sophomore, received 166 points in the poll with 11 first place votes. Augustana College (S.D.) was slotted second in the league with 152 points and received two first place votes. Concordia University, St. Paul came in third place in the poll with 150 points and one first place vote. The Golden Bears were the regular season champion of the NSIC last season. Augustana, Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota Duluth, along with Wayne State, were all NCAA Central Region tournament participants last season.

Althoff returns after an outstanding freshman season where she led the Beavers in scoring with 10.1 points per game and earned NSIC All-Freshman team honors. Althoff will be asked to be more consistent for BSU as she looks to improve as a sophomore in 2010-11. She started 22 of 27 games as a freshman, averaging 24.4 minutes per game. Althoff shot 43.4 percent from the field. She finished her initial season with the green and white with a 25 point performance against eventual NSIC Tournament Champion Wayne State (Neb.).

She will be joined by seniors Colleen McKay (C, 6-0, Barnum, Minn.) and Anna Hebrink (G, 5-8, Austin, Minn.), along with junior Sydney Epema (G, 5-8, Crookston, Minn.) to help anchor a young line-up for coach Mike Curfman’s squad this season. The Beavers will open up with two exhibitions against Jamestown College (Oct. 28) in Bemidji and South Dakota State (Nov. 4) in Brookings, S.D. BSU will open the regular season on Nov. 16 against Mayville State at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers will open conference play at home on Dec. 3 against Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

 1  Wayne State (Neb.)
 2  Augustana  152
 3  Concordia-St. Paul
 4  Minnesota Duluth
 4  Winona State
 6  MSU Moorhead
 7  Northern State
 8  Minnesota State
 9  Minnesota, Crookston
 St. Cloud State
 11  U-Mary  51
 12  Southwest Minnesota State
 13  Bemidji State
 14  Upper Iowa