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Bemidji State basketball: Beavers take the southern trip to Winona, Iowa

The Bemidji State basketball teams head south this weekend for a rare Saturday-Sunday NSIC set.

The Beavers will take on Winona State Saturday and Upper Iowa on Sunday in the last games before the Christmas Break.

Gametimes each day for the women are 2 p.m. and the men play at 6 p.m.

The men's basketball team will open up the weekend with a strong test against the No. 17 ranked Warriors.

Winona State has had the Beavers number under Bowen's tenure. BSU is 0-5 against Winona under Bowen and lost to the Warriors 90-60 and 98-79 last season.

"I really like how we match up with them this time around," Bowen said. "I have a feeling that we have a better chance this year than the previous meetings when I was here. That's how I feel. But we could go out and lose by 20. But I like our chances."

Bemidji State will continue to go with a revamped lineup with juniors Brady Fairbanks, Sergej Baskow and Jimmy Johnson suspended indefinitely by Bowen for violating the BSU student athlete code of conduct. Bowen reiterated on Thursday that the three are suspended indefinitely and there are no immediate plans to bring any of those players back to the team.

The Beavers are 4-3 overall and 1-1 in NSIC play after splitting the first weekend of conference play last weekend at BSU Gymnasium.

Bemidji State lost to Minnesota State University, Moorhead 73-71 last Friday and defeated Minnesota-Crookston 89-72.

"I thought we played good against Moorhead considering it was really our first game," said Bowen, noting the loss of the suspended players from the lineup. "Moorhead just shot the 3-ball really well and from a basketball standpoint, we lost a lot of size and we were killed on the boards. I was also pleased with our effort on Saturday against Crookston.

The Beavers will likely go with Seth Haake, Jake Lindstrom and Bryce Tesdahl at guard with Patrick Cassidy playing forward/center and freshman David Berthene playing at forward/guard.

Cassidy was BSU's star against Moorhead and finished with a team-high 20 points. Tesdahl led the Beavers against Crookston with 20 points and was one of five players in double-figures scoring.

One thing is for sure this season: the BSU women's basketball team are no longer pushovers.

That's one major positive that can be taken out of the first weekend of conference play for the BSU women's basketball team.

The Beavers lost a 75-66 double overtime heartbreaker to Moorhead before falling 92-88 to Minnesota-Crookston 92-88.

Those scores, combined with a 4-3 overall start (0-2 NSIC), show that the Beavers are back on track this season after winning just three games in 2008-09.

The Beavers this season are benefitting this season from the strong play of some new players. Junior transfer Anna Hebrink had nine points and 11 rebounds against Moorhead. Freshman Emily Kaus has shown a nice presence inside for BSU and had 10 points and 11 rebounds against the Dragons.

Freshman Katie Pettit was the star against Crookston for BSU and scored 17 points against the Golden Eagles. She was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

The Beavers will likely go with a lineup tonight of Pettit, Hebrink and Sydney Epema at guard with Jessie Althoff and Kaus at forward.