Moorhead, Minn. – Minnesota State University-Moorhead showed exactly why it has been one of the top teams in the NSIC and North Central Region this season defeating Bemidji State University 101-74 Saturday at MSUM's Nemzek Field House.
The Dragons' Jessica Fesenmaier scored a lay-up just 15 seconds into the game, setting the tone for the night as MSUM would never trail or share the lead form that point on and Fesenmaier would go on to lead all players with 23 points and become a major force for the Dragons in the paint.
Three times during the first 10-minutes and 34-seasond Bemidji State would reel MSU-Moorhead to within a point on key three-point fields goals by Nicole Friend (International Falls, Minn.), Allison Sanderberg (Duluth, Minn.) and Maggie Gernbacher (Bloomington, Minn.) but could never get the momentum to get over the hump to gain the lead.
Just seconds after Gernbacher brought the Beavers to within one (22-21) midway through the first half, Jackie Doerr hit a three for the Dragons sparking a 18-3 run, taking a 40-22 lead, during the next seven minutes to take the wind out of BSU's sails.
MSU-Moorhead would close the half with a 44-30 advantage.
The second half was a horse race. Although BSU scored 44 points during the final 20 minutes, they lost ground to the Dragons as the home team went on to net 57 second half points to power past the century mark.
The win moved MSUM head coach Karla Nelson to the No. 1 position on the Dragons' all-time winningest coaches list.
MSUM dominated play in the paint out-scoring BSU 32 to 10 while double the Beavers rebounding total (38-19).
Sophomore Nancy McConkey (Superior, Wis.) paced BSU scoring 18 points as three other Beavers collected double-figure scoring totals. Sanderberg totaled 15 points while leading the team with a pair of blocks. Friend scored a season-high 13 points while pulling down a career-best five boards as the Beavers' top rebounder. And freshman Amy Lawson (Spencer, Iowa) rounded out the top four Beaver scorers with 10 points while posting a game-high six assists.
In addition to scoring a game-high 23 points, Fesenmaier led her team with eight rebounds and four blocks. Doerr was second among the five Dragon players in double-figures scoring 21.
The loss drops BSU to 4-21 on the season and 0-12 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play, marking the first time in since the 1981-82 season that Beavers have dropped their first 12 league contests to begin a season. The win moves MSU-Moorhead to 20-5 overall and 10-2 in NSIC play.
The Beavers are back in action again next weekend when they hit the road for the final two regular season games of the season at Winona State University and Concordia University-St. Paul. Both games are set to begin at 6:00 p.m.