Dragons hold high-powered BSU attack to a season low in 69-48 loss
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Minnesota State University Moorhead women' basketball team needed just 15 seconds to grabs its first lead of the night as Allison Swenson made good on a jumper and was fouled by Bemidji State University's Nancy McConkey (Sr., F, Superior, Wis.) on the play. Swenson converted the free-throw to put MSUM up three. The sequence of events was just a sneak peak at what was to come in a tough Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference battle at Alex Nemzek Hall in Moorhead, Minn. Friday evening in which the hosting Dragons would come away with a 69-48 victory.

On a night that neither team was better than 36-percent from the floor, the Dragons dominated the glass on the shoulders of a career-high 15-rebound effort from Swenson, grabbing two boards for every one that the Beavers were able to control (60-30). That rebounding edge led MSUM to a 17-9 advantage in second-chance points and helped the hosts generate 28 points in the paint.

BSU sent the Dragons to the line 17 times, 11 of which MSU Moorhead took advantage of. Meanwhile BSU failed to convert a single free-throw attempt making a 2006-07-low two trips to the stripe.

The Dragons were led by Jessica Fesenmaier who posted 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks and was complimented by a 15-and-15 double-double by Swenson.

Stephanie Peterson (Jr., C, Bismarck, N.D.) carried the bulk of the scoring responsibility for BSU netting 14 points while grabbing a team-high eight boards. Amy Lawson (Jr., PG, Spencer, Iowa) and Heidi Matzke (So., G, Red Lake Falls, Minn.) each added 10 points. Jenny Wenlund (Jr., C, Elk River, Minn.) equaled Fesenmaier's game-high two blocks in just 14 minutes of play. She also added four rebounds and a steal.

The Beavers were in for an uphill battle form the opening tip. Down three just 15 seconds in, BSU would trail by 12, 14-2, before four minutes had come off the clock.

A Kate Bremmer (Sr., G, Granite Falls, Minn.) three-pointer with 15:49 to go would spark a 9-1 run by Bemidji State, cutting the Dragons' advantage to four, 15-11. But MSUM would keep the Beavers at bay, netting the next six points and would go on to stretch its lead to as many as 15 before taking a 37-24 leads into the intermission.

Being down at the half is not something new to the Beavers. In 12 of their 20 games this season they have gone into the locker rooms at halftime trailing by at least a point--in five of those contests, the Beavers have found a way to come back and generate a win. But that was not to be on this night as BSU's high-powered offense sputtered.

As the second half got underway, the Beavers would trim the MSUM lead to nine points, 43-34, with 15:15 to go but the Dragons quickly added five points and would never look back cruising to the victory and a 9-2 mark in conference play.

Bemidji State finished the night just 22-of-67 (.328) from the field and were 4-of-20 (.200) from beyond the three-point arc--a mere shadow of a team that ranks in the top-25 in the NCAA averaging over 75 points per game. Although MSUM was not much better at 27-of-75 (.360) and 4-of-12 (.333), the Dragons added 11-of-17 free-throw attempts (.647).

With the win, MSU Moorhead increases its lead over BSU in the all-time series to 47-37 and has dropped the Beavers in each of the least three meetings dating back to a March 1, 2006 NSIC Tournament quarterfinal heart-breaker.

Bemidji State (11-9; 7-5 NSIC) is back on the road tomorrow as it travels to St. Paul, Minn. to battle Concordia University-St. Paul (12-8; 9-2 NSIC). The game is set for a 6 p.m. tip off at CSP's Gangelhoff Center.