BEMIDJI, Minn. – Tied at 44 apiece with nine minutes and 56 seconds to go in the game, the Wayne State Wildcats clamped down their defensive pressure holding the Bemidji State University women's basketball team to just four points as time in the game ran out, outscoring BSU 16-4 as they gained a 60-48 victory Friday at the BSU Gymnasium.
WSC jumped out to a 13-point lead (19-6) just eight minutes into the game hitting their first five three-point field goals of the night, but once the team's collective outside shooting touch went south, the door was wide open for the Beavers to climb back into the game--and BSU took advantage of that opportunity.
During the next six minutes, the Beavers would rattle off 12 off the next 16 points to climb to within seven points (25-18). After another trey from the Wildcats' Allison Steffen at the 5:22 mark, BSU went on a 7-0 run to close the WSC lead to 30-27 win two minutes to go in the first half.
Wayne State would get a jumper from Kristen Humphries to take a 32-27 lead into the break.
The Beavers began the second half hitting on their first three shots to take their first lead of the game (33-32) 2:31 in to the half. The lead lasted just 17 seconds as WSC got back in the driver's seat with their seventh three-pointer of the night (35-33) and the third for Steffen.
BSU kept the Wildcats within reach during the next seven minutes and when freshman Stephanie Peterson (Bismarck, N.D.) drilled a pair of free-throws, it sparked a five-point run for BSU capped by a Maggie Gernbacher (Bloomington, Minn.) three that knotted the game at 44-44 with just under 10 minutes to play. That's when the Wildcats stepped their defensive pressure up to hold BSU to just 2-of-9 from the floor and forced five beaver turnovers to close out the win, 60-48.
Senior Allison Sanderberg (Duluth, Minn.) and newcomer Peterson each netted 10 points in the game to pace BSU offensively. Peterson also topped her teammates on the boards hauling in seven. Senior Serena Nalls (St. Paul, Minn.) recorded a game-high three blocks in the game as BSU equaled a season-high five blocked shots on the night.
Erin McCormick and Kristen Humphries each scored 15 points
to lead the charge for the Wildcats while Nicole Gruntorad
pitched in 14. Humphries grabbed a game-high eight boards
for WSC as the Wildcats held a 30-24 edge on the glass.
BSU moves to 4-18 on the season and are 0-9 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play, marking the first time in since the 1981-82 season that Beavers have dropped the first nine league contests of the season. The team is back in action tomorrow night when it hosts Southwest Minnesota State University in BSU's final regular season home contest of the 2004-05 season. The game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. start and will be followed by a short program honoring Bemidji State's three seniors, Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa), Nalls and Sanderberg.