BSU wraps up home slate against SMSU and MSU
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
BSU wraps up home slate against SMSU and MSU
Southwest Minnesota State Preview
The Mustangs come into the weekend with a 7-16 (6-13 NSIC) mark. SMSU currently finds itself on a five-game losing streak after two hard-fought losses last weekend at home against St. Cloud State University and Concordia University, St. Paul. The Mustangs last win came on Jan. 28 against Upper Iowa University.

SMSU is led by two starters who are averaging in double figures this season. Guard Tori Fink leads the way for the Mustangs averaging 12.5 points per game. Center Abby Kenealy has also been a force for SMSU averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Fink tallied 15 points when the two teams met in Marshall in January. Kenealy had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds and also scored the game-winner with 19 seconds remaining.
Series History
SMSU leads the all-time series against BSU 36-29. The Mustangs have captured the last four games against the Beavers with BSU’s last victory coming Nov. 30, 2007 at BSU Gymnasium. Southwest Minnesota State won the first meeting between the two school’s this season 57-54 in Marshall on a Abby Kenealy jumper just inside the three point line with 19 seconds remaining.

Minnesota State Preview
Minnesota State comes into the weekend with an 11-12 (8-11 NSIC) mark and is currently in 11th place in the conference standings. The Mavericks are currently on a four-game losing streak after two tough losses to St. Cloud State and Concordia, St. Paul. Minnesota State’s last win came on Jan. 29 against Upper Iowa.

Ali Wilkinson paces the Mustangs with 12.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Wilkinson is the only player averaging in double figures for Minnesota State this season. Point guard Andrea Walsh is averaging 9.9 points per game while guard Jennie Noreen is averaging 9.4 points per game. Noreen has a connection to BSU as her brother Zach Noreen is a freshman for the BSU men’s basketball team.

Series History
Minnesota State leads the all-time series 21-10 against the Beavers. The Mavericks captured a win earlier this season over BSU 77-73. Prior to the defeat, Bemidji State had won the last two meetings between the two schools. BSU upended a then No. 11 ranked Minnesota State team 80-72 in Bemidji and followed with a 71-69 victory over the Mavericks in Mankato.

BSU Weekend Preview

The Beavers enter the weekend looking to end a 10 game losing streak against Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State in a busy weekend that features their “WBCA Pink Zone” game on Friday and senior night on Saturday. Bemidji State comes into the weekend with a 5-17 (2-16 NSIC) mark.

BSU will recognize seniors Anna Hebrink and Colleen McKay prior to Saturday’s game. McKay currently leads the Beavers in scoring average with 9.4 points per game. Hebrink is averaging 8.1 points per game and is the only Beaver player to start every game this season. In addition to the seniors, BSU has gotten increased contributions from their freshman class. Morgan Lee is averaging 10.7 points over the last six games for the Beavers while Kate Warmack has averaged 6.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in the last five games.

BSU Ranked In Top 25 Nationally For Free Throws

The BSU women’s basketball fell to No. 24 this week after being ranked in the Top 15 a week prior in free-throw percentage according to the NCAA National Statistics Summary for Division II. BSU has been ranked in the top 25 nationally for free-throw percentage for the entire season.

Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week

BSU has had three players honored as the Beaver Pride Female Athlete of the Week so far this season. Colleen McKay (Sr., C, Barnum, Minn.) earned her second honor of the season after averaging 16 points and nine rebounds as the Beavers split with No. 21 Augustana and No. 9 Wayne State. McKay along with Anna Hebrink (Sr., G, Austin, Minn.) and Ellie Wessling (Fr., G/F, Winsted, Minn.) are the three Beaver players to be honored this season.

From The Soccer Pitch to the Basketball Court

Tiffany Van Haaften, a starter for the BSU women’s soccer team, played a career-high 13 minutes last Saturday against MSU Moorhead and has been credited with being the guiding force in BSU’s comeback from 20 down in the first half against the Dragons. Van Haaften and the Beavers were able to cut MSU Moorhead’s lead down to six in the second half starting with a 9-1 run to end the first half. The run started with a putback by Van Haaften, who exhibited a high work effort in order to come away with two steals and a rebound in her 13 minutes of play. BSU outscored the Dragons 18-9 when Van Haaften was in the game on Saturday.

Hang On!

Bemidji State has run into troubles this season when it can’t hold onto the ball. In the Beavers’ nine games this season in which they had 20 turnovers or more they have only come away with one victory and have been dealt eight losses. BSU has struggled even more to maintain control of the basketball in the new year as they are averaing 19.5 turnovers per game in 2011 and are 1-11 so far in the new year with their only victory coming in an upset victory over No. 21 Augustana College. BSU is 4-8 when they have fewer than 20 turnovers in a game.

Scoring Options

BSU has a lot of players on the roster this season with the capability to score double-figures. That can be a good or bad thing as the Beavers have found inconsistency to be a problem this season. BSU has had eight different players lead the team in scoring and eight different players lead the team on the glass this season. Ellie Wessling (Fr., G/F, Winsted, Minn.) has led the way in scoring six different times this season, which marks the most for any BSU player.

BSU Against Ranked Foes

Bemidji State has played some of their best games this season against teams ranked in the top 25. On Nov. 19 at the Maverick Classic in Mankato, Minn., the Beavers came within two points in the waning seconds against No. 19 California University (Pa.) but ultimately came short. Then last Saturday the Beavers followed up their early season performance with an upset of No. 21 Augustana College. The win is the first victory for BSU over a ranked opponent since upended defending National Champion Minnesota State University, ranked No. 11 at the time, on Dec. 19, 2009. BSU struggled in their last ranked game on Sunday as they fell to conference-leading Wayne State College, ranked No. 9 in the country.

New Year Brings Big Numbers For Lee

The new year has seen an improved Morgan Lee (Fr., G, Hayward, Wis.). Lee is averaging 8.4 points per game since the turn of the calendar year. She has tallied five double-figure scoring performances. Prior to 2011, Lee had been averaging 4.9 points per game and was held to no double-figure scoring outings. Lee is averaging 10.7 points per game in her last six games.

Road Woes

Bemidji State has lost their last 14 games on the road dating back to Jan. 29, 2010 when they defeated Minnesota State at the Taylor Center, 71-69. The Beavers are 0-9 in road games this year losing their last two to MSU Moorhead and UM, Crookston. The Beavers will have two more chances to end the streak this season as they have road trips against Upper Iowa and Winona State to end the season.

Epema Watch

Sydney Epema (Jr., G, Crookston, Minn.) has shown her prowess from beyond the arc through two-and-a-half seasons in Bemidji as she currently ranks fifth all-time for career threes with 145. Epema needs 24 threes to surpass Kris DeMaris in fourth place. Epema had 56 made three-pointers as a sophomore after tallying 73 as a freshman. Her 73 made three-pointers still ranks third all-time for most made threes in a season.

Top Career Three Pointers Made
No.    Made.    Player    Season
1.    244    Erin Walker    1997-00
2.    213    Maggie Gernbacher    2003-06
3.    212    Holly Logghe    1992-96
4.    168    Kris DeMaris    1987-91
5.    145    Sydney Epema    2008-Pr

Projected Starters
Bemidji State

PG 22 Melissa Borstner, Fr., 5-6, East Bethel, Minn.
SG 10 Morgan Lee, Fr., 5-7, Hayward, Wis.
3G 20 Anna Hebrink, Sr., 5-8, Austin, Minn.
PF 45 Colleen McKay, Sr., 6-0, Barnum, Minn.
C 51 Kate Warmack, Fr., 6-2, East Grand Forks, Minn.

G/F 2 Ellie Wessling, Fr., 5-10, Winsted, Minn.
G 24 Sydney Epema, Jr., 5-8, Crookston, Minn.
G 5 Samantha Baldwin, Jr., 5-7, St. Thomas, N.D.
F 23 Taylor Davis, Jr., 5-11, Crookston, Minn.
G 25 Tiffany Van Haaften, Fr., 5-8, Chaska, Minn.

Projected Starters (Opponents)

SW Minnesota State
PG 3 Amber Peterson, 5-9, Jr., Elkhorn, Neb.
SG 11 Tori Fink, 5-7, Sr., North Fond du Lac, Wis.
3G 34 Lucia Puchelova, 5-11, Sr., Ruzomberok, Slovakia
PF 5 Abby Kenealy, 6-2, Jr., Farmington, Minn.
C 45 Laura Kramer, 6-2, Sr., Fulda, Minn.

Minnesota State

PG 22 Andrea Walsh, 5-8, Sr., Yankton, S.D.
SG 25 Jennie Noreen, 5-9, Jr., Avon, Minn.
3G 11 Alli Hoefer, 5-7, Fr., Plymouth, Minn.
SF 42 Ali Wilkinson, 6-0, So., Blue Mounds, Wis.
C 32 Laura Weber, 6-2, Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.