Four-Game Skid Is Broken With 76-67 BSU Win
Saturday, February 1, 2003
Feb. 1, 2003

Bemidji, Minn. - A team does not get a lot of free opportunies to make up some ground on the scoreboard. Bemidji State (7-13, 3-8 NSIC) cashed in on those chances from the foul line by going 22 of 31 (.710) compared to the 10 of 15 (.667) on the part of Wayne State (NE) (12-8, 6-5 NSIC) tonight in the 76-67 Beaver win at the BSU Gymnasium.

The 12-point advantage BSU held from the charity stripe is the second-highest advantage all season. The green and white made 18 free throws against Michigan Tech, Dec. 14, 2002 as MTU only made four. On the flip side, the Beavers have been out-scored 71-30 in the past four games from that area.

“This was a great win for us tonight,” said head coach Mike Power. “It was a good team effort. The team defense was good in the first half and I think that we stuck with what we have been doing all year.”

The score remained tight in the early-going until BSU snapped a 15-15 deadlock by going on a 27-12 run to close the half. Senior guard Katie Dale (Mason City, Iowa) knocked down her only trey to spark the scoring as junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) tallied six points and sophomore forward Melissa Bessler(Lake George, Minn.) chipped in five during that outburst.

Bessler led all scorers with 11 points on four of six shooting at the half. Despite shooting a cold 39 percent from the field, BSU forced Wayne State into 16 first-half turnovers.

The Wildcats made several pushes to trim the BSU lead but never got closer than 10 points in the second frame. An Ashley Arndorfer three-pointer fueled a 20-10 run to bring the guests to within a 66-56 count with 5:03 remaining. However, senior guard Kristy Caviness (Pamona, Calif.) hit three free throws and senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) connected on two as BSU went six-for-nine as a team in the final three minutes to seal the NSIC victory.

BSU finished the game at a 42 percent (24 of 57) clip from the field, including six of 17 (.353) from three-point land. WSC went 23 of 51 (.451) overall and 11-for-26 (.423) from behind the arc. The visitors finished with 23 turnovers and held a slim 38-33 rebound advantage.

Graf came up big for the Beavers as she scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. She was nine of 10 from the foul line and grabbed five rebounds.

In a career-high 35 minutes, junior forward Amber Thomas (Long Beach, Calif.) ripped down a personal-best nine rebounds to tie for game-high honors. She added a career-high four steals and had six points. Bessler tied a career-high with 14 points as she has done it four times in her career. Goodhart hit for 13 points, her third 10+ scoring effort in the last four games.

For the Wildcats, Arndorfer brought in 16 as she was four of 10 from long-range. Tracy Williamson was the other player in double-figures with 11 points.

The Beavers are back to the road for a set against MSU Moorhead and Minnesota-Crookston next Friday and Saturday. Both contests start at 5:30 p.m.

Notes: With the 23 forced turnovers, BSU has made its opponents turn the ball over 20+ times on 15 occasions and six of the last seven games this season...The Beavers push their streak to nine games in having fewer turnovers than their opponent...The last BSU win in the overall series was Feb. 25, 1998 in a 70-69 affair...The 22 BSU free throws is a season-high...19 of Wayne State’s 23 turnovers came from its starters led by the seven from guard Lesle Menken...There were a combined 49 fouls whistled, which is the most this season in a BSU game...Stacia Swanson (knee) and Nikki Wright (hip) sat out tonight’s game - this is Swanson’s second and Nikki’s fourth straight game missed.