BEMIDJI, Minn. –-- Paced by a 23-point performance from sophomore Maggie Gernbacher (Bloomington, Minn.) the Bemidji State University women's basketball team gained is first victory of the 2004-05 season defeating Mayville State University, 67-46, Thursday evening at BSU's Memorial Hall. In the game Gernbacher was 7-for-10 from beyond the arc, equaling an eight-year-old BSU single-game three-point record set by Holly Logghe.
The Beavers struggled to take care of the ball early in the game committing four turnovers in the first four minutes of play while the Comets and Beavers traded points and the lead. But with 15:25 to play in the first half, Gernbacher drained a 23-foot three-pointer to give the Beavers an 11-8 lead.
BSU would never trail again as the team rattled off 21 consecutive points sparked by three Gernbacher treys during the next six minutes to take a 29-8 lead.
"When teams play a zone against us Maggie is our zone-buster," BSU head coach Mike Power said. "She is the best three-point shooter there is in the NSIC an when she gets going it really gets are team going."
Mayville State whittled the BSU advantage to as few as 15 points with 1:53 remaining in the half but freshman point guard Amy Lawson (Sioux City, Iowa) would find Nancy McConkey (Superior, Wis.) for and easy lay-up and McConkey knocked down an additional pair of free-throws before the halftime buzzer sounded sending the Beavers to the locker rooms up 18 points a the break (42-24).
BSU scorched the net for 54.8 percent (17-31) from the floor and 62.5 percent (5-8) from downtown in the half while the Beavers' press and aggressive defensive schemes forced Mayville into 18 turnovers.
As the second half got under way, the Beavers' offense would again sputter missing each of its first four shots while turning the ball over three times during the first 5:28 of the half. The cold spell allowed Mayville to reap within 13 points (43-30).
Senior Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) poured in six of her eight points in the game during the next 10 minutes leading the Beavers on a 19-10 run stretching their lead to 24 points (66-42) with just over three minutes to play.
Mayville scored four of the last five points as the BSU walked off the court with win No. 1 of the season (67-46).
"I thought we played extremely hard," Power commented after the game. "We seem to keep getting better and more aggressive attacking the basketball on defense. The one part we are forgetting is rebounding and we are not doing a good job of that." Mayville claimed a 38-35 edge on the glass in the contest.
Gernbacher led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-11 (.727) shooting and a 7-of-10 (.700) from three-point land. Freshman Stephanie Peterson (Bismarck, N.D.) pulled down a career-best nine rebounds to top the team while Lawson paced BSU with six assists adding fives steals and eight points.
BSU finished the game shooting 42.9 percent from the field (27-63) and 58.9 percent (7-12) from behind the arc. Although the Beavers were out rebounded, they forced the Comets into 33 turnovers while collecting 24 steals.
The Comets were led by Fardowsa Ahmed who collected knocked down 11-of-13 from the line and a pair of jumpers for 15 points. Kelly Latozke grabbed a game-high 12 boards while adding a block and eight points.
The win evens BSU record to 1-1 on the season and extends a current winning streak over NAIA opponents to four games. The team will be back in action again Saturday (Nov. 20) as it travels to Fargo, N.D. to battle NCAA Division I North Dakota State University in a 6:00 p.m. tip-off at the Bison Sports Arena.