Aberdeen, S.D. – Bemidji State University senior Allison Sanderberg (Duluth, Minn.) hit a career-high 26 points on 10-of-21 from the floor and 6-of-14 from behind that arc, but it would not be enough as Northern State University pulled away down the stretch to close out a 67-60 win at the Barnett Center in Aberdeen, S.D. Friday evening.
The Beavers condensed a seven point shortfall at the half to just a basket with 62 seconds to play but failed to get over the hump, sending NSU to the foul line six times in during the final minute where the Wolves were 5-of-6 including three by Liza Sizer to finish the game and hand BSU its 20th loss of 2004-05.
Allowing the Wolves to jump out to a 9-2 lead just 2:45 into the game, the Beavers responded by going on a 7-0 run during the next four minutes and 13 seconds to knot the game at nine on the first of six threes from Sanderberg. The Duluth, Minn. native would give the Beavers their only lead of the game with 11:52 to play in the half on another three-pointer (14-13).
Northern State clawed its way back into the lead on a lay-up by Michelle Hanson and would not look back.
The Beavers didn't give up, matching the Wolves basket-for-basket during the majority of the half but with 3:55 to got, Amber Powell hit a three to put NSU up five as the Wolves would hit a pair of free-throws to end the half up seven, 37-30.
Northern State came out of the break to score the first five points of the half and take a 12 point lead just 55 seconds into the half. But the Beavers closed the gap to two points (44-42) 4:44 later after a 12-2 run sparked by a triple from Nicole Friend (International Falls, Minn.) and finished by Sanderberg on a pair of lay-ups and another three-pointer.
BSU hung with the Wolves for the next seven minutes, never allowing the home team more than a five-point advantage. NSU stretched the lead to seven points (56-49) after a 5-0 run with 6:10 remaining, but BSU would whittle that lead away until trailing by only two with just over a minute to play.
After NSU claimed the rebound off an errant Sanderberg three, BSU resorted to putting the Wolves at they line, where they had shot over 80 percent for the game and hit five of their last six to put the win on ice.
In addition to her 26 points, Sanderberg set career marks for fields goals (10), field goals attempted (21) and three-point fields goals made (6) and attempted (14). She also led the team hauling down a career-best seven rebounds.
Freshman Amy Lawson (Spencer, Iowa) finished second on the team with 11 points while dishing out a game-high six assists.
Nicole Hall powered NSU to a win with 21 points and a career-high 17 rebounds in the game as NSU dominated the glass grabbing 52 boards to BSU's 23.
The loss drops BSU to 4-20 on the season and 0-11 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play, marking the first time in since the 1981-82 season that Beavers have dropped their first 11 league contests to begin a season. The win moves Northern State to 15-9 overall and 7-4 in NSIC play.
The Beavers are back in action again tomorrow when they travel north to Moorhead, Minn. for a 6:00 p.m. start versus Minnesota State University-Moorhead.