MSU MBB tasked with road contents against Bemidji, Crookston

The Minot State men’s basketball team will face a pair of stiff challenges this weekend as it returns to the road for Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contests at Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston.

Minot State will open the weekend at Bemidji State on Friday (Jan. 19) at 8 p.m. and then face Minnesota Crookston on Saturday (Jan. 20) at 6 p.m.

The Beavers enter the weekend with a 16-2 overall record and a 10-2 mark in the NSIC. Minot State occupies the second position in the NSIC North standings and sports a 2.5 game lead over third-place St. Cloud State. With its 16 victories, Minot State established a single-season record for wins since joining NCAA Division II.

The Beavers are inching closer to a top 25 national ranking with each passing victory. Minot State recorded two significant wins last week with an overtime victory over Minnesota State and a 13-point win against Concordia-St. Paul. As a result, Minot State received a season-high 18 votes in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll and sit just outside the rankings.

Minot State is ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation in a pair of other polls. The Beavers are ranked 14th nationally in the Hero Sports Division II Power Rankings and are 16th in the Division II computer rankings compiled by David Wilson.

Senior Tyler Rudolph continues his brilliant season as he earned his fifth NSIC North Player of the Week honor after helping lead the Beavers to the home wins over Minnesota State and Concordia-St. Paul. Rudolph averaged 23.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the two victories as he had 18 points and 12 rebounds against Minnesota State and then scored 29 points in the win against Concordia-St. Paul.

Senior point guard Luis Ricci Maia has turned up the offense on his game as he has reached double figures in scoring in the last six games. During that span he is 17.0 points per game while shooting 56.1 percent from the floor, 62.5 percent from the three-point line and 90.0 percent from the free throw line. Additionally, Ricci Maia is averaging 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals per contest during the six-game span.

Senior Nathaniel Moore has also been red hot on the offensive end of the floor as of late as he has reached double figures in scoring in four straight contests. During the four-game stretch, Moore is scoring 16.8 points per game and shooting 54.2 percent from the floor. He also is averaging 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game over the last four contests.

Bemidji State enters Friday’s game with a 7-10 overall record and a 4-8 mark in the NSIC. The Beavers earned a road split last weekend with a victory at Sioux Falls and a narrow loss to Southwest Minnesota State. Bemidji State, which is 5-3 at home this season, has lost by an average of 5.3 points in its last three losses.

Minot State has swept the season series from Bemidji State in each of the last two years and has won five in a row overall.

Minnesota Crookston is 8-10 overall and 5-7 in the NSIC and currently in fourth place in the North Division. The Golden Eagles have dropped four straight games overall, but have won five of their last six games at home.

Minot State owns a 22-5 advantage over Minnesota Crookston and has reeled off 11 consecutive victories against the Golden Eagles.

— Minot State athletics

MSU WBB set for weekend road slate

The Minot State women’s basketball team hits the road for a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contests this weekend. The Beavers travel to Bemidji, Minn. to face Bemidji State on Friday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. before taking on Minnesota Crookston in Crookston, Minn. on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.

Minot State is 7-9 on the season and 4-8 in NSIC play after losing to Minnesota State and defeating Concordia-St. Paul last weekend in the Minot State Dome.

Holly Johnson leads the Beavers in scoring with 15.5 points per game while grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game.

Senior Kristal Flowers has posted five double-doubles this season and averages 10.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Madison Wald is scoring 10.7 points per game, followed by Diondra Denton and Mariah Payne with 7.2 and 7.1 points per game, respectively.

Denton tied her career-high with 24 points in 71-54 win over Concordia-St. Paul while tied for first in three-point percentage and third for most three-point field goals in a single game in Minot State history.

Kari Clements leads the team with 41 assists and eight blocks while Denton has notched a team-high 21 steals.

Scouting the Bemidji

State Beavers

Bemidji State enters the weekend with a 4-12 (3-9 NSIC) record on the season. Brooklyn Bachmann is the lone Beaver to average double figures in scoring with 13.6 points per game. Sierra Senske is grabbing a team-high 5.3 rebounds per game while second on the team with 8.9 points per game.

Bemidji State is scoring 56.1 points per game while shooting 34.1 percent from the floor and 72.9 percent from the free throw line. The Beavers are grabbing 37.3 rebounds per game while opponents are scoring 65.9 points per game and shooting 38.3 percent from the floor.

Head coach Chelsea DeVille is in her third season leading the Bemidji State program and has registered a career record of 18-52.

Series History

Minot State leads the all-time series with Bemidji State, 10-6. Bemidji State defeated Minot State 90-84 in Bemidji, Minn. on Feb. 18, 2017 in their last meeting.

Scouting the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles

Minnesota Crookston comes into the weekend with a 4-12 (4-8 NSIC) record on the season and will take on Mary on Friday night before facing the Beavers on Saturday afternoon. Isieoma Odor leads the Golden Eagles with 13.4 points per game while Micaela Noga and Caitlin Michaelis add 13.3 and 10.4 points per game, respectively.

Odor ranks fourth in the NSIC with 35 blocks on the season and leads the team with 7.1 rebounds per game while Emily Gruber is second on the team with 6.6 rebounds per game.

Head coach Mike Roysland is in his 12th season at the helm of Minnesota Crookston and has posted a career record of 109-208.

Series History

Saturday’s game marks the 22nd overall meeting between Minot State and Minnesota Crookston with the Beavers leading the all-time series, 14-7. In their last meeting, Minnesota Crookston defeated Minot State 86-70 in Crookston, Minn. on February 17, 2017.

Up Next

The Beavers return to the Minot State Dome next weekend, as they host Winona State on Friday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. and Upper Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m.

— Minot State athletics

MSU’s Fornshell receives academic award

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Minot State senior student-athlete Caleb Fornshell has been named as a recipient of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award announcedNSIC Commissioner Erin Lind on Thursday.

The honor, named for the late NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand, is bestowed to senior NSIC student-athletes who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher, are exhausting their eligibility and are on track to graduate. Each student-athlete will be recognized by the NSIC with a certificate of achievement and a wristwatch. A record number 147 student-athletes from the NSIC’s 16 institutions will receive the award in its ninth year, five more than last year’s record of 142.

Fornshell, a member of the Minot State baseball team, currently has a 4.00 grade-point average and is a mathematics major. He will earn his degree from the university in May of this year. On the field, the Minot, N.D., native appeared in 12 games last season and helped lead the Beavers to a 29-22 overall record and a 23-17 mark in conference play.

Dr. Myles N. Brand, visionary leader, educator and reformer, served as the President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 2003-2009. He passed away in September 2009 at the age of 67 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Brand presided over passage of the most comprehensive academic reform package for intercollegiate athletics in recent history – a package that refocused the attention of student-athletes, coaches and administrators on the education of student-athletes. Brand also changed the national dialog on college sports to emphasize the educational value of athletics participation and the integration of intercollegiate athletics with the academic mission of higher education. His impact on Division II ran deep by implementing an identity campaign and a strategic-positioning platform tied to specific divisional attributes. He challenged Division II to continue its game environment and community engagement focus, and improve academic success rates.

– Minot State athletics