BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Bemidji State women’s basketball team was pegged to finish 13th in the 2011-12 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released by the league office Tuesday. The Beavers closed last season winning two of the last four games en route to a 4-18 conference and 7-19 overall record to sit 13th in the final league standings. Junior forward Jessie Althoff (Becker, Minn) was named BSU’s player to watch.
Wayne State College (Neb.) was tabbed as the preseason favorite with 162 points and seven of the first place votes after finishing 21-1 in NSIC games a year ago. The top five is rounded out by Winona State University with 152 points (two first place votes), Augustana College (S.D) with 148 points (four first place votes), Minnesota State University Moorhead with 122 points (one first place vote) and University of Minnesota Duluth with 114 points.
Wayne State’s Ashley Arlen (Sr., F, 6-2) was named the NSIC Preseason Player of the Year after earning conference player of the year honors last season.
The NSIC coaches rank each team from one to 13 with a first place vote getting 13 points. Coaches do not rank their own team or vote for their own players.
BSU’s Player to Watch
#54 Jessie Althoff (F, Jr., 6-1, Becker, Minn. / Becker HS)
Appeared in 20 games as a sophomore, which included 19 starts… Ranked second on the team in scoring (9.1 pts/gm) and third in rebounding (3.9 reb/gm)… Was one of six BSU players to shoot higher than 80 percent from the charity stripe (80.6 percent) on a team that finished ranked in the top 25 nationally for free throw percentage… Led the Beavers in scoring five times… Tallied double-figures in scoring in 11 games… Paced BSU to victory with team-leading 13 points and a career-high nine boards against Grand View Nov. 20… Led the Beavers in scoring with 12 points in an 83-31 dominating victory against St. Scholastica… Tallied season-high 16 points versus Northern State Jan. 29… Missed final six games of the season due to an injury suffered against Minnesota Duluth Feb. 5.
The squad returns 10 student-athletes off last season’s roster, including seniors Samantha Baldwin (G, 5-7, St. Thomas, N.D.) and Taylor Davis (F, 5-10, Crookston, Minn.). Twelve of the 16 student-athletes on the roster are listed as freshmen or sophomores, as the team added six newcomers (five freshmen, one sophomore transfer) to the roster during the off-season.
The Beavers travel to Jamestown College Oct. 27 for a 7 p.m. exhibition game.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).
|2011-12 NSIC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
||Team (First Place Votes)
||Wayne State (7)
||Winona State (2)
||MSU Moorhead (1)
||University of Mary
||St. Cloud State
||Southwest Minnesota State