ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Sophomore forward Nancy McConkey (Superior, Wis.) poured in a career-best 30 points Monday, but it would not be enough as St. Cloud State University claimed its 10 consecutive victory of 2004-05 with a 81-72 win over the Bemidji State University women's basketball team.
The Huskies went up 2-0 on a jumper by Shannon Francis giving them a lead they would never relinquish. The Beavers would equal SCSU on two occasions during the first seven minutes but could never get over the hump to take the lead.
BSU clung to a single-digit deficit for the majority off the first half but a basket-and-a-foul three-point play by Krista Kettner with 6:11 remaining in the stanza would put the Huskies up seven and begin a 11-0 run giving SCSU a 15-point advantage (45-30) with just under three minutes to play in the half.
The Beavers scored four of the last six points of the half to shrink the lead to 46-34 before the teams headed to the locker rooms for the break.
St. Cloud State outshot BSU by a 48.6 to 45.2 margin in the half and completely controlled the glass as sophomore standout Erika Quigley hauled in 14 first half rebounds as SCSU totaled 24 boards to BSU's 15.
The Huskies increased their lead to as many as 23 points (69-46) in the first 10 minutes of the second half but BSU's McConkey would hit 15 of her second half 20 points in the final 10 minutes of play to close the gap to nine point at 81-72 before the final horn sounded.
The Beavers shot 45.6 (31-68) on the night compared to the Huskies' 45.5 (30-66). The difference in the game came as SCSU earned 24 free-throws draining 17 while BSU only garnered 5-of-6 from the line. Bemidji State also virtually eliminated the Huskies' commanding lead on the boards finishing the game trailing SCSU by a 40-38 margin.
McConkey's 30 points on the night bettered her previous top scoring effort by 13 points making her just the third player at BSU to reach the 30-point plateau since Mike Power took the reigns of the program for the 2002-03 season. She follows teammate Maggie Gernbacher who has twice achieved the feat (30 pts 3/3/04 and 31 pts 11/26/04). He 30 points falls just six point shy of BSU's all-time single-game best of 36 set by Holly Logghe during the 1994-95 season.
In addition to McConkey's 30 points, senior forward Serena Nalls (St. Paul. Minn.) recorded the first double-double of her career and just the third of the Beavers' 2004-05 season with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Stephanie Peterson (Bismarck, N.D.) pulled down 10-plus boards for the third time this season with ten while fellow frosh Amy Lawson (Spencer, Iowa) led the Beavers in assists for the seventh time this season with a game-best five.
SCSU boasted a balance scoring attack with five Huskies registering at least nine points with Quigley's double-double of 17 points and a dominant 16 rebounds leading the way. Katie Huschle added 16 points while chipping in a team-high five assists.
The Huskies have now defeated the Beavers in 11 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 6th, 1997.
The loss drops BSU to 3-9. The Beavers will be back in action this weekend when they host Concordia-St. Paul and Winona State in the 2004-05 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opening weekend. Friday, BSU tips off versus the Golden Bears at 6:00 p.m. with Saturday's match-up versus the Warriors slated for 6:00 p.m. in the BSU Gymnasium. The games are scheduled as double-headers with the men following each night at approximately 8:00 p.m.