Bemidji State drops North Dakota State in exhibition play, 60-51
Saturday, November 4, 2006
FARGO, N.D. (Bison Sports Arena) -- After a less than optimum first half for either team, BSU came out during the final 20 minutes of play to earn a 60-51 victory over NCAA Division I North Dakota State University in exhibition play Saturday in Fargo, N.D. The Beavers used a 13-4 run to open the second half, timely shooting by Colleen Boell (So., G, Burnsville, Minn.) and a stifling man defense claim the win.

The victory stands as the first over an NCAA Division I opponent for BSU since the NCAA began sponsoring a Division I women’s basketball championship in 1982 and marks the Beavers’ first win over NDSU since Dec. 9, 1986.

Junior point guard Amy Lawson (Jr., PG, Spencer, Iowa) controlled the tempo of the game netting a game-high 21 points while adding five assists, three steals and three rebounds. Senior Nancy McConkey (F, Superior, Wis.) contributed 10 points and Stephanie Peterson (Jr., C, Bismarck, N.D.) led all players on the glass with 12 rebounds--a second consecutive double-digit rebounding effort in as many exhibitions versus Division I competition for the Bismarck, N.D. native.

The Bison were led by Brenda Slyt who was 6-of-14 from the floor for 13 points while Jerri Penley grabbed 10 rebounds.

During the first two minutes of play, the teams combined to go 0-4 with a pair of turnovers, but when Lawson found McConkey in transition for an easy hoop, it opened the floodgates. BSU scored on three of the next five possession including a triple and a lay-up by Lawson to jump out to a 7-4 lead.

The Beavers would hold the advantage until Lisa Bue netted a lay-up 6:24 into the half to give the Bison their first lead of the game, 9-7.

In a sloppy first 20 minutes of play that included a total of 28 turnovers, 19 fouls and a combined shooting effort of 24-63 (.380), the Bison took a 33-24 lead into the halftime break.

The bigger NDSU squad overmatched the Beavers on the glass hauling in 26 rebounds to BSU’s 18.

McConkey got BSU on the board as the clock started in the second half, corralling an errant BSU shot and dropping a jump-hook from the middle of the lane. That basket sparked a 13-4 run during the first seven minutes to close the NDSU lead to 38-37.

Karlee Simonson (Jr., F, Rockford, Minn.) found Peterson in the paint for a easy bucket and after BSU forced NDSU into turnovers during the following two Bison possessions, Boell sank the back half of a two-shot foul to knot the score at 40-40 with just over eighth minutes to play.

Following another NDSU missed opportunity, Boell drained a 15-foot jump shot to put BSU in front (42-40) for the first time since the 16:16 mark of the first half, forcing legendary NDSU head coach Amy Ruley to call a time out to attempt to rally her troops.

Boell continued her hot shooting night converting baskets on each of the next two possession to put BSU up 47-42.

The Beavers would never look back extending their lead to as many as 11 points, 55-44, on a pair of McConkey free-throws with 3:19 left on the clock and would cruise to the nine-point win, 60-51.

Bemidji State was 13-of-29 (.448) form the floor in the final stanza while its defense held the Bison to just 18 second-half points on a meager 8-of-34 (.235).

The Beavers also took better care of the ball in the second half committing just eight turnovers while forcing 12 NDSU miscues.

BSU is now 17-23 all time versus the Bison.

Bemidji State opens the 2006-07 regular season Nov. 17 when it travels to Mankato, Minn. for the Pepsi Tipoff. The Beavers face Augustana (S.D.) Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. and will wrap up the event with a 6 p.m. match up versus the hosting Minnesota State University Mavericks.