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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: BSU women anxious to return to action; play NDSU in exhibition Thursday

BEMIDJI -- After more than eight months of waiting, the Bemidji State women's basketball team is finally set to hit the hardwood once again. The Beavers will take on North Dakota State at 7 p.m. Thursday in Fargo, kicking off their season with th...

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Bemidji State Beavers

BEMIDJI -- After more than eight months of waiting, the Bemidji State women’s basketball team is finally set to hit the hardwood once again.

The Beavers will take on North Dakota State at 7 p.m. Thursday in Fargo, kicking off their season with the lone exhibition on the schedule.

“We’re so excited,” senior guard Tatum Sheley said. “It’s a long preseason… so that first game is always the most exciting I would say because we are just really ready to play other people.”

The Bison are coming off a 7-22 season from a year ago, including a 2-14 finish in the Summit League.

“This is a Division I team, so we have to give them a lot of credit,” said head coach Chelsea DeVille. “But there are a lot teams at the top of our (conference) that would compete every day with teams in the Summit. So it’ll show where we’re at right now as far as toughness and physicality.”

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Bemidji State last squared off with NDSU in a 2014 exhibition, falling 100-47. The last BSU win came nearly 10 years ago to the day, when the Beavers knocked off the Bison 60-51 on Nov. 4, 2006.

“I’m excited to just go and compete. I’m excited to play against a bigger, stronger team,” said DeVille.

Both she and Sheley knows the experience will help down the road.

“They’re a lot stronger and bigger, and I think just going out there and seeing if we can compete will be huge,” Sheley said. “Going out there, seeing that we can run our offense and play defense against a DI program would be big for us.”

DeVille has never faced a Division I team, but Sheley and five other Beavers all have at least one game under their belt. But even still, Sheley knows the focus can’t be on the opponent.

“We need to be locked in our game plan, not really worrying about them but just figuring out what we’re good at,” she said. “Work on us instead of trying to stop them.”

The Bison will only be BSU’s first test of the year, but DeVille is ready for her players to dive back in.

“They deserve it,” she said. “They deserve the hype of a game to go and compete against somebody else, so we’re excited.”

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.