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BEMIDJI STATE BASKETBALL: Teams return from break eager to extend win streaks

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The Bemidji State men’s and women’s basketball teams enter 2013 looking to continue the momentum they found before the holiday break.

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The Beavers travel to Aberdeen, S.D., to take on Northern State today. The women will start the doubleheader at 6 p.m. and the men will tip off at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the teams will return to Minnesota where they’ll play Minnesota State Moorhead at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.

Women want win streak

The BSU women snapped a three-game losing skid Dec. 15 with a 63-51 win over Minot State.

This weekend they’ll look to keep trending upward against Northern State and MSU Moorhead.

The Beavers (6-3, 2-3 NSIC) entered the break averaging 70.1 points per game, but has also allowed 69.7 ppg – 14th out of 16 in the NSIC.

Junior transfer guard Lanae Rash still leads the Beavers in her first season in green and white.

She is averaging 14.6 ppg, has 25 steals, tied for fifth in the NSIC, and is second in the team in rebounding at 5.8 rpg.

Two other Beavers are in double figures: junior guard Morgan Lee at 13.0 ppg and junior center Katie Warmack with 10.1 ppg. Warmack is also BSU’s top rebounder at 7.3 rpg.

Northern State (7-2, 3-2 NSIC) has won three games in a row.

That includes a 72-42 win over Minnesota-Duluth Dec. 15.

Three Wolves are averaging double figures scoring, including Alison Kulser.

She averages 14.8 ppg, and Rachel Krogmen, who averages 11.2 ppg and is the team’s top rebounder at 9.1 rpg.

NSU is stingy on defense, allowing only 57.2 ppg and allowing teams to shoot just 32.3 percent.

MSU Moorhead (5-4, 2-3 NSIC) went into the break in something of a tailspin. The Dragons lost to Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State at home to close out 2012.

The Dragons are led by 6-foot junior center Megan Streese, who is their top scorer (14.3 ppg) and rebounder (10.9 rpg); she’s also the top rebounder in the NSIC.

As a team, MSUM ranks near the bottom of the league in both scoring offense (14th, 65.1 ppg) and scoring defense (12th, 63.8 ppg) but have had decent success at the foul line (fourth, 74.9 percent).

Men keep winning

The BSU men enter the New Year looking to keep their three-game win streak intact.

The Beavers (6-3, 4-1 NSIC) lost at No. 14 St. Cloud State Dec. 8 but since then have defeated Minnesota-Duluth, Mary and Minot State.

Against Minot State BSU allowed only 40 points, improving its scoring defense to 60.8 ppg – good enough for second in the league and 33rd nationally.

BSU’s sharpshooting from outside is also helping the Beavers win games. They’re 75-for-190 (39.5 percent) from 3-point-land and rank fourth in the conference.

Dermaine Crockrell led the Beavers in scoring at the break, with 15.7 ppg. Mason Walters was in double digits with 12.3 ppg and is also BSU’s leading rebounder at 6.3 ppg. Zach Noreen gives the Beavers three players double figures scoring with 11.4 ppg.

Northern State (9-3, 4-1 NSIC) has won nine of its last 10 games after starting the season 0-2; their lone NSIC loss is against the same St. Cloud State team that beat the Beavers.

The Wolves score 72.9 ppg and are led offensively by Collin Pryor, the team’s leading scorer (14.8 ppg) and rebounder (7.1 rpg).

MSU Moorhead (10-1, 4-1 NSIC) is also in the midst of a five-game winning streak and has received votes in the most recent NABC national Division-II play because of strong play.

The Dragons’ lone loss came against Northern State Dec. 1; the Wolves won a 69-66 nailbiter. MSU Moorhead also defeated ranked St. Cloud State 78-74 Dec. 15.

Moorhead’s Anthony Tucker is the conference’s leading scorer at 21.0 ppg and as a team the Dragons’ offense is third in the conference, averaging 77.5 ppg.

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
(218) 333-9772
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