Beaver Fever Friday – Ella Giorgi – Womens Basketball

Women’s Basketball begins 2023-24 season at home against St. Scholastica and Mayville State this Saturday and Monday

Beavers begin season with six-game homestand

The Bemidji State University Women’s Basketball team will open a six-game homestand to begin the 2023-24 season this Saturday hosting St. Scholastica beginning at 2 p.m. The Beavers will then face Mayville State in an exhibition contest on Monday starting at 6 p.m.

BSU won’t leave Bemidji for the month of November, with their first road game not until Dec. 8. Following the two home games this Saturday and Monday, the Beavers will face Oak Hills Christian (Nov. 16), Minnesota Morris (Nov. 18), Minot State (Dec. 1) and Minnesota Crookston (Dec. 2) at home.

Bemidji State went 8-18 a season ago and added five Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victories. The Beavers were tough at home going 6-7, including an impressive overtime win over St. Cloud State down the stretch. In fact, over the final eight games of the regular season, BSU won three games and had three decided by eight points or less.

Alyssa Hill returns after an impressive freshman campaign in which the forward averaged 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, second on the team in both categories. She shot over 54 percent from the field and had four double-doubles (points-rebounds). Junior guard Sam Pogatchnik is back after averaging 9.4 points and 6.6 rebounds, which led the team. Pogatchnik played all 26 games and added a pair of double-doubles. Isabel Majewski will be back for a fifth-year, as the sharp-shooting guard was second on the team with 31 three-pointers. She connected on five triples in two games last season. Junior guard Erin Barrett returns after compiling 88 points, 34 rebounds, 22 assists and 19 steals. She had a season-high 13 points against Minot State. Rachel Koenig is back after a freshman campaign that saw the forward play in all 26 games that included 12 starts. She tallied 60 points, 64 rebounds and added a team-high 21 blocks.

Also back for BSU this season is redshirt sophomore Sydney White who played in two games last year before missing the rest of the season due to injury. Senior Jana Swanson played in 21 games a season ago, tallying 48 points and 65 rebounds. Junior Amme Sheforgen played in 19 games in 2022-23 coming away with 39 points, and 42 rebounds. Sophomore Brooke Theis played in all 26 games a season ago, coming away with 50 points and 44 rebounds. Junior Ella Giorgi played in 13 games, posting 13 points and 14 rebounds. Alayna Suprenand returns for her redshirt freshman season after missing last year due to injury. Joining the rest of the returners will be six freshmen in Sage Ganyo, Kendra Syverson, Tieryn Plasch, Sammie Bus, Beth Bolte and Ashlynne Guenther.

Bemidji State will face St. Scholastica first on Saturday afternoon. The Saints opened the new season on Wednesday against Crown College coming away with the 71-54 victory. Lexi Imdieke paced the Saints with 20 points.

Last year, St. Scholastica went 1-23 a season ago. Top scorer Imdieke returns after averaging 12.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Jackie Johnson was third on the team in scoring last year and returns after averaging 7.4 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Bemidji State has gone 25-2 against St. Scholastica since 1979 and have won the last 12 meetings. This will be the first meeting since 2010 when the Beavers claimed the 83-31 win in Bemidji. BSU is 19-0 at home in the series during that time.

Then on Monday, Mayville State will play the Beavers for an exhibition contest. The Comets are 3-0 so far this season with two wins against Providence University College and Jamestown. They will play Northwestern College and Dordt University out of Iowa before facing the Beavers.

Mackenzie Hughes has led Mayville State through the first three games averaging 20.7 points per game. She also adds 3.3 rebounds per contest. Jordan Zrust is at 15.7 points per game and 8.3 rebounds, while Jes Mertens gives the Comets three in double-digits in scoring at 10.3 per game.

Bemidji State is 17-2 against Mayville State since 1991 and have won the last 16 meetings. The teams played last year with the Beavers winning in overtime (99-95) in Bemidji. BSU is 15-0 at home in the series during that time.

The games will be broadcasted on the NSIC Network and on Beaver Radio Network. BSU has moved to cashless tickets for the season, so please make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time.