BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) - For the second consecutive night, the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team was poised to gain its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win late in the second half, and for the second consecutive night, the win has alluded them due to inconsistent play down the stretch.
Colleen McKay (So., F, Barnum, Minn.) led the Beavers with her team-leading second double-double of the season. McKay shot 6-of-12 en route to a season-high 17 points and led all rebounders with 11 for the second straight game. Aiding McKay in the scoring column for the Beavers were Taylor Davis (Fr., F, Crookston, Minn.) with a career-high 16 points and Sydney Epema (Fr., G, Crookston, Minn.) with 10.
The Beavers found themselves in a big hole early in the first half, as St. Cloud State came out of the games with a 17-4 lead just five minutes into the game. BSU bounced back, slowly whittling away at the lead as they eventually closed the gap to two points on a pair of free-throws by Davis (30-32) as the first half buzzer sounded.
Bemidji State carried the momentum out onto the court in the second half scoring 11 of the first 13 points of the half led by two Epema three’s during the run, giving them their largest lead of the game 43-34.
St. Cloud State responded with a 13-4 run over the next 3:39 to tie the game for the second time of the evening at 47-47 off a Becca Friestleben three pointer. BSU would hold the lead for a couple more minutes but with 11:02 left a layup by Rachel Booth gave St. Cloud State its first lead of the half (52-50).
BSU tied the score one last time on a three-pointer with 3:08 left to play in regulation, 66-66, on Epema’s third triple of the game. SCSU’s Booth, who scored nine points in the second half, answered with a old fashioned three-point play to push the lead back to three on the next Husky possession.
A jumper by Davis closed the gap to one (68-69) with 1:12 remaining but that was as close as BSU would come as the Huskies sank 7-of-8 free-throws down the stretch to seel the 76-70 win. St. Cloud State finished the night 14-of-20 (.700) at the line while BSU was 19-of-25 (.760) from the charity stripe.
The Huskies were led in scoring by Katie Tacheny’s 23, 22 points from Booth, and 14 from Talisha Barlow. Barlow also led the team with eight rebounds while Tacheny and Barlow each had a game-high four assists. Barlow also led the Huskies with a game-high five of the Huskies 12 steals which forced BSU into 21 turnovers to the Huskies 11.
BSU held a 47-38 rebounding edge in the contest. 14 of Bemidji State’s 47 boards came on the offensive end of the floor leading to 21 second chance points as compared to 17 second effort scores from SCSU.
BSU falls to 13-27 in the all-time series versus the Huskies.
The loss drops BSU to 2-12 on the season and 0-8 in conference play while St. Cloud State improves to 13-1 overall and 6-1 in the NSIC. The Beavers will be back in action next weekend as they are back on the road for a double-dip in the Dakota’s. BSU will be in Aberdeen, S.D. on Friday, Jan. 16 to battle the Northern State Wolves and will wrap up the weekend in Bismarck, N.D. on Saturday, Jan. 17 versus the University of Mary. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.
Notes: It is the first time since the 1981-82 that a BSU squad has started the conference season 0-8...McKay nets second consecutive double-double with season-high 17 points and 11 rebounds...Davis records career-high 16 points and ties career-best with seven rebounds.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).