Bemidji State basketball teams look to bounce back at tournaments
The Bemidji State men's and women's basketball team are on the road for Thanksgiving weekend in tournament play.
The BSU men are at the Wisconsin-Parkside Tournament while the BSU women escape northern Minnesota for the sunny skies of Phoenix, Arizona in the Grand Canyon Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Beavers will be looking back to bounce back from their first loss of the season, a 62-59 loss in the home opener to Jamestown Tuesday night.
The coaches and players were disappointed with the inconsistent effort and will be seeking an improvement on offense at Parkside.
Bemidji State (2-1) opens tournament play Friday at 5 p.m. against Purdue North Central and wraps up the weekend Saturday against UW-Parkside at 5 p.m.
Purdue enters the weekend 3-3 overall and Parkside is 1-3.
The games will mark the last non-conference action for the Beavers until February.
Off to strong starts are senior guard Seth Haake and junior forward Brady Fairbanks.
Haake leads the team in average points per game (13) and is tied for second in team rebounds (12).
Fairbanks is averaging 12 points per game and leads the team with 13 rebounds.
Bryce Tesdahl is averaging 9 points per game and Patrick Cassidy is averaging 8 points per game.
BSU is struggling with 3-point shooting early and is shooting just 27 percent from beyond the arc. Opponents are shooting 34 percent.
Bemidji State begins the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season next weekend with a pair of home games. The Beavers host Moorhead next Friday and Minnesota-Crookston next Saturday. Both games are set for an 8 p.m. start.
The Bemidji State women's basketball team will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season in Arizona.
The Beavers (2-1) play Western State (Colo.) Friday and Western New Mexico Saturday. Both games are set for 3 p.m. from the Antelope Gym in Phoenix.
Western State is 1-2 to start the season and Western New Mexico is 0-3.
The games mark BSU's first Division II games this season.
The Beavers started the season 2-0 by defeating Mayville State in the season opener and Martin Luther in the first game of the Grinell (Iowa) Tip-Off Tournament.
BSU lost in the second game of that tournament 75-67 to Buena Vista University.
The Beavers offense ran strong through the first two games.
Sophomore guard Sydney Epema leads the team in average minutes and points per game (17). She's also shooting near 50 percent from 3-point range.
Freshmen Katie Pettit and Jessie Althoff are off to solid starts for BSU.
Pettit, a guard from Howard Lake, is averaging 12 points per game.
Althoff, a freshman from Becker, is averaging 10 points per game.
The Beavers open the NSIC season next weekend against MSU, Moorhead on Friday and Crookston Saturday at BSU Gymnasium. Both games are set for 6 p.m.
Epema and BSU men's hockey player Brad Hunt have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after outstanding athletic performances during the week of Nov. 16-22.
Epema was named to the Grinnell Tip-Off All-Tournament team after guiding the BSU women's basketball team to a 1-1 record in the event.
She posted back-to-back 20 point performances for the first time in her career versus Mayville (22) and Martin Luther (21).
Hunt posted his first collegiate hat trick last Saturday in leading the Beavers to a 6-3 victory and a series sweep over Alabama-Huntsville.
He also had an assist, making it a career-best game with 4 points.
His three-goal night stands as the first hat trick of the season for BSU and the first by a Beaver defenseman since John Haider's on Mar. 13, 2004.
Hunt leads all NCAA defensemen with 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists).