Bemidji State weekend preview: Basketball, women's hockey teams on the road
This week in Bemidji State athletics: the men's and women's basketball teams head out on a southwest Minnesota road trip while the women's hockey teams continues its three-week road trip at St. Cloud State.
The Beavers (7-10 overall, 4-7 NSIC) will need a near perfect effort to win its third straight game Friday night.
The Beavers open the road weekend at No. 5 Minnesota State University, Mankato (17-1 overall, 10-1 NSIC). Gametime is set for 8 p.m.
Bemidji State is on a roll right now by winning its last two games after losing seven straight.
The Beavers are leaning on the production of senior guard Seth Haake and freshman guard Lance Rongstad.
Haake reached the 1,000 point career mark in last Saturday's 71-69 win over Minnesota Duluth and his 19.4 points per game average ranks third in the NSIC.
Rongstad is averaging 13.2 points per game and has reached double-figure scoring in 10 of his last 11 games.
Also of note is sophomore guard Bryce Tesdahl's free throw shooting percentage. At 88.9 percent, he ranks fourth in the NSIC and 17th nationally.
The Beavers wrap up the weekend Saturday at Southwest Minnesota State (9-8 overall, 4-7 NSIC)
The Beavers (10-8 overall, 4-7 NSIC) will face Minnesota State University, Mankato in a rematch of BSU's 80-72 win at BSU on Dec. 19.
The Mavericks (10-8 overall, 5-6 NSIC) were No. 11 in the national polls at that time but have since fallen out.
The Beavers have played well on the road this season and are 7-3 away from BSU Gymnasium this season.
Bemidji State is being successful this season with balance and have had seven different players lead the team in scoring in the 18 games this season.
Taylor Davis, Colleen McKay and Sydney Epema are playing a big role in the offense right now.
Davis has started the last three games and is averaging 12 points per game.
McKay has started the last two games and is averaging nine points and nine rebounds in those starts.
Sydney Epema's has a conference-leading 48 3-pointers this season and is shooting 42 percent from 3- point range.
On Saturday, the Beavers take on Southwest Minnesota State (11-7 overall, 5-6 NSIC).
Both games are set for 6 p.m.
The Bemidji State women's hockey team (8-12-6 overall, 7-7-6-3 WCHA) will look to keep hold of third place in the WCHA standings this weekend at St. Cloud State (10-11-5 overall, 7-10-3-2 WCHA).
The Beavers are coming off a weekend split at Ohio State maintained a third-place tie with Wisconsin in the standings at 23 points.
It was also critical for BSU in maintaining a cushion between the Buckeyes in fifth place at 20 points.
The top four teams in the standings at the end of the regular season host a first round playoff series. So with a big series coming next weekend at Wisconsin, BSU will be looking to keep pace with the Badgers with a successful weekend at St. Cloud State.
The Huskies are sixth in the standings with 19 points.
The two teams split the earlier series in November with BSU winning 1-0 before losing 5-2.
The Beavers lose starting goalie Zuzana Tomcikova this weekend, who returned to her native Slovakia to begin Olympic training with the Slovakian national team. She will not return until the end of the season for the Beavers.
Alana McElhinney will likely take over goaltending duties until Tomcikova returns.
Erin Cody is leading the BSU offense of late with 10 goals and three assists in her last 10 games. She leads the team with 14 goals.
Seth Haake and Kristi Buerkle were recognized as the Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week for Jan. 18-24.
Haake reached his 1,000th career point in last weekend's win over Minnesota-Duluth. He became the first BSU player to reach the milestone since 2004.
Buerkle posted a pair of event wins at the Wisconsin-Superior Blizzard Open. She won the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.04 seconds to break the UWS Health and Wellness Center record.
Her winning time of 2:19.11 in the 800-meter run established a new meet mark and broke the 26-year old BSU indoor record set by Elizabeth Herberg by just over one second.