Beavers close five-game home stand versus Cougars, Mustangs

Beavers close five-game home stand versus Cougars, Mustangs
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Beavers close five-game home stand versus Cougars, Mustangs

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University women’s basketball closes a five-game home stand against University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University Jan. 13-14 at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers (4-10, 1-9 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) tip-off Friday at 6 p.m. against the Cougars and Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Mustangs.

The Series vs. Sioux Falls

  • The Beavers and Cougars continue a six-game series that began Jan. 5, 1986 with an 81-79 BSU win. USF has taken the last four games of the series since joining the NSIC full-time in 2012. Bemidji State fell in the most recent meeting against Sioux Falls, 87-60, in Sioux Falls Feb. 6, 2016.

The Series vs. Southwest Minnesota State

  • Bemidji State and Southwest Minnesota State have played 73 times in the series that dates back to 1978. The Mustangs lead the all-time series record, 40-33, while both teams have traded wins over the past six seasons. SMSU won the most recent matchup, 73-52, Feb. 5, 2016 in Marshall, Minn.

Fast Break Bemidji State

  • Bemidji State nabbed its first win of conference play during the Sanford Center Series Jan. 6-10. BSU opened the series with a 65-59 loss to St. Cloud State University before upsetting University of Minnesota Duluth, 60-57. BSU’s hopes of first consecutive wins in conference play since 2012-13 were dashed in an 83-75 loss to University of Minnesota Crookston Jan. 10.
  • Bemidji State fell to a 14-4 deficit against St. Cloud State after the first quarter to create an uphill battle the rest of the game. Over the final three quarters, though, the Beavers outscored the Huskies, 55-51.
  • Junior center Sierra Senske neared a double-double again this season with 10 points and nine rebounds while senior guard Aimee Pelzer led all Beavers scorers with 15 points. Pelzer came one assist shy of tying her career high with seven.
  • The Beavers shot 35.0 percent from the field and held the Huskies to 36.9 percent, including 25.0 percent from 3-point range. The 65 points allowed to SCSU was tied for the lowest given up by BSU in a NSIC contest.
  • Senske followed against the Bulldogs with her second double-double of the season, totaling 12 points and 10 rebounds. Pelzer led the Beavers in scoring for the fifth consecutive game, a streak that began Dec. 15 at Minnesota Crookston. Pelzer and senior guard Tatum Sheley each finished with 16 points.
  • The Beavers earned their first win in NSIC play against the Bulldogs behind Senske’s second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Bemidji State took the go-ahead score in the first quarter as freshman guard Erica Gartner sank two 3-pointers. BSU held on to the lead the remainder of the night. UMD cut the game to a one-possession score in the fourth quarter but Pelzer sank 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
  • Senior guard Tatum Sheley and Pelzer also came close to double-doubles as Pelzer totaled 16 points and seven assists while Sheley totaled 16 points and nine rebounds.
  • BSU finished the game shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Beavers won the rebound margin handily, 39-24, while neither team grabbed more than three offensive boards.
  • Bemidji State rode the scoring performances of senior guard Allison Cordes and Pelzer, including three first-quarter 3-pointers by Pelzer and four second-quarter 3-pointers by Cordes, to a three-point lead at halftime. Despite holding a 61-60 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Beavers allowed the Golden Eagles to outrebound them, 15-4, in the final period. UMC finished the game on a 10-2 run to sweep the season series.
  • Pelzer led all scorers with 21 points and finished with a career-high eight assists. She led BSU in scoring over the three-game stretch at the Sanford Center with 17.3 points per game and has led the team in scoring over the past six games. The Upsala, Minn., native leads BSU and ranks eighth in the NSIC with 15.1 points per game. Pelzer has reached at least 20 points in four of the last six games and at least seven assists in the last three. She leads the NSIC in assists per game during the conference schedule with 5.0 per game.
  • Sheley leads all current BSU scorers with 960 career points, followed by Pelzer with 912. Senske ranks third with 901 points and senior guard Hanna Zerr follows with 819.

Scouting Sioux Falls

  • Sioux Falls completed a weekend sweep with wins over Upper Iowa University and No. 14 Winona State University Jan 6-7, pushing its winning streak to three games. The Cougars held the Peacocks to 27.3 percent shooting and 20 turnovers as USF pulled away in the second half for the 74-41 win. Sioux Falls grinded out a win over No. 14 Winona State, using 14 WSU turnovers for 14 points to pull off the upset, 52-51. For the weekend, USF forced 34 turnovers, held their opponents to 32.7 percent shooting and connected on 14 3-pointers.
  • Madi Robson led the team with 10.5 points per game while handing out 12 assists to three turnovers and grabbing eight rebounds. Mariah Szymanski hit four 3-pointers off the bench and averaged 9.5 points in two games. Jacey Huinker grabbed nine offensive rebounds and finished with a team-high 17 for the weekend. Sam Knecht maintained her double-double average for the season, averaging 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Scouting Southwest Minnesota State

  • The Mustangs enter the weekend eighth in the NSIC South Division standings and 16th in the overall standings with a 1-13 record overall and 1-9 mark in conference play. SMSU was swept in its last action by No. 14 Winona State, 74-65, and Upper Iowa, 66-59. SMSU recorded season highs with 19 offensive rebounds and 46 total rebounds versus WSU. Southwest Minnesota State also recorded a season high seven blocks in the loss to Winona State. The Mustangs are shooting 38.0 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from beyond the arc on the season.
  • Lauren Hedlund pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds and scored 13 points against Winona State, finishing with her third double-double of the season. She finished the weekend averaging a double-double with 18.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Caleigh Rodning led the Mustangs in scoring in both games including a career-high 21 points versus the Peacocks.

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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).