ST. PAUL, Minn. – For the second consecutive game, the Bemidji State University women's basketball team went into the halftime break within striking distance of a talented Concordia University-St. Paul team, and for the second time in as many games, the Golden Bears blew past BSU in a second half shootout. Wednesday, CSP scored a BSU opponent season-high, 57-point second half, to end the Beavers' 2004-05 season, 102-80 in the quarterfinal round of the 2005 NSIC Red Baron Classic.
Nancy McConkey (So., Superior, Wis.) and Allison Sanderberg (Sr., Duluth, Minn.) would score 11 and 10 points respectively during the first 20 minutes helping BSU to keep pace with a CSP team that would knock down 53.1 percent (17-32) of its first half shots.
The lead changed hands 12 times while the score would be tied on seven occasions during the first half of play. McConkey scored a lay-up to tie the game (4-4) and would knock down a free-throw when she was fouled, just 1-minute and 26-seconds into the game, to give the Beavers their first lead (5-4).
After CSP regained a one-point advantage on a pair of Jennifer Pozzani free-throws, Sanderberg would hit a three to start a BSU 11-4 run capped by a Maggie Gernbacher (So., Bloomington, Minn.) three-pointer to give BSU its largest lead of the game at six (16-10) with 15:02 to go in the first.
The teams would trade baskets and the lead during the next 5:29, but CSP's Heidi Gill would record back-to-back field goals to begin a 10-0 run and would put BSU down by its largest deficit of the half on another jumper as the Golden Bears took a 34-26 lead with 6:09 remaining before the halftime buzzer. But it was Gernbacher that scored five points in the final six minutes of the half to lead BSU on a charge at the lead. Scoring the final five points of the first, BSU reeled CSP in to within a basket, 45-43, before the horn sounded on the first half.
CSP came out of the intermission and picked up right where it left off, netting the first four points of the second half and stretching that lead to as many as nine (63-54) with 14:04 left to play.
But BSU was not prepared to go down without a fight. Sanderberg would get a lay-up just 12 seconds later to cut the lead to seven (63-56) and Nicole Friend (So., International Falls, Minn.) would hit a three to bring the Beavers to within four (63-59).
Fried would be crucial to the Beavers' Wednesday as she would go on to collect five more points before the 8:08 mark bringing BSU to within four points on each basket.
Leading BSU 78-70 with just over eight minutes to go in the game, CSP senior Carly Christensen got in the paint for a lay-up to give the Golden Bears a six-point lead and kick-start a 14-0 run that would put the Beavers in a hole from which they would not be able to dig out.
Christensen would lead CSP on the run collecting five points as the Golden Bears took and 18-point lead (88-70) with 5:26 to go.
Gernbacher scored five consecutive points to bring BSU to within 15 points of the host team, but CSP would have too much firepower as they scored nine of the final 11 points to power to a 102-80 victory.
Friend led the Beavers' offensive attack netting a career-best 19 points. In BSU's highest scoring output since the team put up 93 points in a win versus Colorado State-Pueblo Nov. 26th, three other Beavers collected double-digit point totals. Gernbacher and McConkey each totaled 17 points while Sanderberg netted 16.
Serena Nalls (Sr., St. Paul, Minn.) and McConkey grabbed six rebounds apiece to tie for the team lead.
The Golden Bears held a 44-28 edge on the glass over BSU with Ashley Smith and Desirae Jones each hauling down eight to lead the effort.
CSP had six players in double-figures as senior guard Jennifer Pozzani paced the team with 19. points.
The loss drops BSU to 5-23 overall while the team posted a 1-13 mark in NSIC play. The Beavers are now 1-5 all-time in the NSIC Tournament and have yet to win a tournament game on the road. CSP moves to 21-7 overall and will advance to the 2005 NSIC Red Baron semifinal round where it will play Wayne State for a right to play in the championship game versus the winner of the MSU-Moorhead / Northern State semifinal game.
2005 NSIC Red Baron Classic Quarterfinals
No. 1 MSU-Moorhead def. No. 8 Winona State 89-64
No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul def. No. 7 Bemidji State 102-80
No. 6 Wayne State def. No. 3 Southwest Minnesota State 68-58
No. 4 Northern State def. No. 5 Minnesota-Crookston 85-76