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Beavers host UM-Crookston in NSIC double header

With five conference games remaining and two games out of a top-four finish the Bemidji State women's basketball team needs a win tonight to get back in the race for a home game to start the NSIC tournament.

With five conference games remaining and two games out of a top-four finish the Bemidji State women's basketball team needs a win tonight to get back in the race for a home game to start the NSIC tournament.

After Friday night's games, MSUM is 11-2 and CSP 10-2 to top the conference with Northern State and Winona State both 9-4. BSU stands 7-6 barely ahead of Wayne State and Mary who are 7-7. Upper Iowa is 3-10 with Southwest Minnesota State close behind at 3-11. BSU's opponent tonight, Minnesota-Crookston, is winless at 0-13.

Opening tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the BSU Gymnasium. The men follow at approximately 8 p.m.

The women are coming off a disappointing road trip last weekend falling to league leader Minnesota State University-Moorhead 69-48 and Concordia-St. Paul 90-68.

They led all of 10 seconds the entire weekend and struggled to get anything going. BSU's 48 points at Moorhead was their lowest output all season.

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Stephanie Peterson led the Beavers in that game with 14 points and 8 rebounds. However, at CSP the Beavers scoring leader ended with just three points and two rebounds after sitting out much of the game in foul trouble. She fouled out of the game midway through the second half.

The team still managed 68 points behind 19 from Heidi Matzke, 16 from Amy Lawson and 12 from Nancy McConkey.

Crookston averages just 50 points per game as a team and has been beaten by an average of 23 points in their 22-straight losses this season.

Competitive games have come few and far between for first-year coach Mike Roysland. The closest league game was a 9-point loss to Upper Iowa.

Not one player averages more than 9 ppg for the Golden Eagles. Freshman Kelsey VanAckeren leads the team putting up 9 ppg. Katie Cheline pulls down 4.8 rebounds per game.

To Roysland's credit though, the former Fosston High School boys basketball coach retained only two players from last season's roster. Last season's top five scorers either graduated or left the program.

Men's action

While they also went 0-2 last weekend BSU's rebuilding men's team keeps making improvements each week.

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The 3-18 Beavers gave both teams a run but eventually fell 70-56 to MSUM and 75-68 to CSP.

The Dragons are 7-6 and in sixth place in league play following Friday night's action and CSP is in third place at 10-3.

The nation's No. 1 team Winona State is a perfect 13-0 and SMSU trails in second with an 11-3 mark. NSU and Wayne State are four and five with 9-5 and 8-6 records respectively. Above BSU in seventh is Mary at 4-10 and below them in ninth is Upper Iowa at 2-11. The Golden Eagles enter tonight's game in Bemidji at 0-13 in the NSIC and 1-21 overall.

The Beavers won 64-62 in the first meeting of the two teams this season. That game was BSU's first of the season, snapping a 13-game losing skid to start the season.

Bryce Cummings has taken over the team lately. The freshman from Mukwanago, Wis., has led the team in each of the last seven games during which he has averaged 20 ppg. Mike Thompson leads the team on the boards averaging 4.1 rpg.

BSU's outside duo of junior Arron Evans and freshman Seth Haake have led the team since the New Year. Evans has led or shared the lead in scoring in six of the Beavers last nine games and Haake has led or shared scoring honors three times. Alex Smith has also been a steady presence averaging 10 ppg and 6 rpg.

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