In Conference Home Opener, BSU Wins Big Over UM-C
Friday, January 3, 2003
Jan. 3, 2003

Bemidji, Minn. - Behind the strength of five players in double figures led by the career-high 22 points by senior guard Katie Long (Mason City, Iowa), Bemidji State (5-7, 1-2) notched its first NSIC victory for head coach Mike Power as it over-powered Minnesota-Crookston (4-7, 0-2), 93-70 at the BSU Gymnasium

“ After halftime, I wanted the girls to defensively bring the pressure further up the court and force their (UMC) ball handlers to do more with the ball,” said coach Power. “I think we forced them to cough the ball over and confidence-wise, we started rolling from there.”

In the early-going, BSU got down by as many as eight at 19-11 and nine at 28-19 but went on a 20-7 run to close out the half to go up 39-35 heading into the locker room. At one point during that stretch, the Beavers made four straight field goals, including a three-pointer by Long and junior forward Amber Thomas(Long Beach, Calif.), and connected on eight of nine from the free throw line.

The statistics seemed skewed at the half as UM-C shot 48.1 percent from the floor and BSU went just 12-for-35 (34.3 percent) but the telltale sign was the 12 turnovers on the part of the visitors. Long already had her personal-best wrapped up with 15 points to lead all scorers.

The Beavers held the Golden Eagles scoreless for nearly three minutes to begin the second half and scored 15 unanswered points to finish a 35-7 run over a span of 8:32. UM-Crookston turned the ball over six times when it was held without a point to begin the half.

For the game, BSU was eight-for-30 from behind the arc with Long going four of nine from that area. The hosts improved its shooting percentage by hitting for a 61.8 percent mark in the second half and finished at 47.1 percent. Also, BSU went 19-for-22 from the free throw line compared to just eight of 14 for the Golden Eagles.

All 11 Beavers scored as sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and contributed 15 points and four steals. Senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) netted a season-high 14 points while junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) had 13, seven rebounds and three steals and sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 in 16 minutes of action.

“(Christi) Goodhart and (Crystal) Jones played well to pressure their (UMC) point guard,” said Power. “Also, (Katie) Long was very helpful with her scoring effort and Stacia (Swanson) and Amber (Graf) were just themselves as they are going to get their points somehow, and they did. We played hard all the way through the end.”

Next up for the Beavers is MSU Moorhead (4-7, 1-1) tomorrow evening at the BSU Gymnasium. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. The Dragons defeated Minnesota-Duluth (9-2, 2-1) by a count of 58-56 in Duluth tonight to earn its first NSIC victory of the year.

Notes: This is the largest margin of victory for the Beavers since they wiped out Minnesota-Morris, 86-52, Feb. 16, 2002...The 93 points scored by BSU is the most since it got 95 in the 95-66 win over Morningside, Nov. 20, 1999...The 47.1 percent from the floor was second-best on the season for Bemidji State...BSU moves to 4-0 when leading at the half...BSU needed just 12 games to match its win total from last season at five - it took 26 games for the Beavers to get that fifth victory...Amber Graf extended her double-digit scoring effort to 12 games but ended her team-high scoring streak at five games...The 20 assists for Bemidji State is a season-high.