BSU opens 2011 with conference tilt against Minnesota Duluth
Monday, January 3, 2011
BSU opens 2011 with conference tilt against Minnesota Duluth

Setting The Scene

Opponent: University of Minnesota Duluth

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Romano Gymnasium

Radio: Talk Radio 1360

Video: NMTV

Minnesota Duluth Preview

The University of Minnesota Duluth women's basketball team begins the new year with a 6-4 overall mark (4-2 NSIC). The Bulldogs currently find themselves in a tie for fourth place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings. 

UMD is led by Lindsay Miller, a 5'11 junior guard who has averaged 16.3 points per game. Miller leads the conference with nearly three made three pointers a game. Miller is aided by Kelsey Hewitt, a 6-2 senior forward currently averaging 14.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. 5-11 wing player Katrina Newman has added 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. Minnesota Duluth ended 2010 with a split falling to the University of Mary, 72-56 and defeating Northern State, 73-65. Miller tallied 27 her last time out to lead the Bulldogs past the Wolves.

Series History

Minnesota Duluth leads the all-time series between the two Northern Minnesota rivals 53-29. The Bulldogs won the only two meetings against the Beavers last season. BSU's last victory over UMD came on Dec. 16, 2007 with the Beavers upending the Bulldogs 83-64 at BSU Gymnasium.

BSU Preview

Bemidji State enters play on Monday with a 4-6 overall mark (1-5 NSIC). The Beavers will look to get back on track against the Bulldogs after losing their last two contests of 2010 against U-Mary and Northern State University. After opening the game against the Marauders with strong shooting BSU went cold not finding the hoop at the end of the first half and only scored one basket in the first five minutes of the second half. 

This season BSU hasn't found a consistent leader with several players leading the Beavers in scoring through 10 games. Ellie Wessling (Fr., G/F, Winsted, Minn.) is Bemidji State's leading scorer on the year averaging 9.9 points per game in her first season with the Beavers. NSIC Preseason Player to Watch Jessie Althoff (So., F/C, Barnum, Minn.) comes into Monday's game averaging 8.8 points, as does Samantha Baldwin (Jr., G, St. Thomas, N.D.) who missed the last two games due to injury. BSU has been unable to find their stroke from beyond the arc this season shooting only 28.9 percent through 10 games. BSU shot 34.5 percent as a team last season from three point land. 

BSU Showing Its Prowess at the Charity Stripe

The one place BSU has been able to make shots this season is at the charity stripe. The Beavers currently lead the conference with a 79.1 percent team free throw shooting percentage. BSU is ranked sixth nationally at the charity stripe. Six BSU players enter the Minnesota Duluth contest shooting over 80 percent and that have more than 10 attempts this season. Wessling leads the way for BSU shooting 84.2 percent on 38 attempts this season. Baldwin is the second-best BSU player at the free throw line this season shooting 83.3 percent on 30 attempts.

Projected Starters

Bemidji State

PG 20 Anna Hebrink, Sr., 5-8, Austin, Minn.

SG 24 Sydney Epema, Jr., 5-8, Crookston, Minn.

3G 2 Ellie Wessling, Fr., 5-10, Winsted, Minn.

PF 54 Jessie Althoff, So., 6-1, Becker, Minn.

C 45 Colleen McKay, Sr., 6-0, Barnum, Minn.

Minnesota Duluth

PG 21 Kaiya Sygulla, So., 5-6, Lakeville, Minn.

SG 24 Lindsay Miller, Jr., 5-11, Wausau, Wis.

3G 22 Shelly Stemper, Jr., 6-0, Becker, Minn.

SF 32 Katrina Newman, Fr., 5-11, Barnum, Minn.

PF 42 Kelsey Hewitt, Sr., 6-2, Chippewa Falls, Wis.