BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Gymnasium) - The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team dropped its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) home opener Friday, 76-56, to the Winona State University Warriors. The Warriors took a 30-point lead into the break thanks to a 7-of-9 performance from beyond the three-point arc in the first half (.778). Despite outscoring the visitors during the final 20 minutes BSU would not be able to recover.
Sydney Epema (Fr., G, Crookston, Minn.) poured in 16 points on a 4-for-11 performance fro the field and a 4-of-9 from behind the three-point arc to lead the Beavers in scoring. Heidi Matzke (Sr., G, Red Lake Falls, Minn.) and Katherine Jamnick (Jr., C, Soudan, Minn.) each added 10 points while Matzke grabbed a team-high six rebounds and dished out a game-high six assists.
Winona State was led by the hot shooting of Ana Wrutz who netted a game-high 29 points on an efficient 11-of-16 from the field and 6-of-9 from beyond the three point arc. She also posted a game-high eight rebounds. Natalie Gigler chipped in 13 points for WSU while Kelsey Homewood and Molly Anderson dished out five assists apiece. Anderson led all players with five steals.
The Warriors edged the Beavers on the backboards 42-36 in the game.
WSU played the first half from outside the arc.
Ana Wrutz got the Warriors on the board just 44 seconds into the game hitting from three-point land showing an early sign of what was to come. Jamie Majerowicz pushed WSU’s lead to 5-0 on a layup and BSU finally got on the board closing the Warriors lead to 5-2 off a free-throw by Samantha Baldwin (Fr., G, St. Thomas, N.D.) and Colleen McKay (So., F, Barnum, Minn.).
The Warriors would go on to score the next seven points to stretch their lead to 12-2 at the 15:57 mark.
The Beavers cut the lead to five points before the 15-minute mark (12-7), but would go cold scoring just 14 points during the remainder of the half as the Warriors continued to pile on three after three to build a 51-21 lead by the time the halftime horn sounded.
The Warriors started the second half stretching its lead to the largest of the game of 32-points (55-23) with 16:15 left to play but would go cold allowing BSU to go on a 31-9 run over the next 13:30 to cut WSU lead to 10-points (64-54) with 3:45 remaining.
During the run the Beavers shot 6-of-11 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe with six different Beavers picking up at least one point. BSU would run out of gas during the final 3:45 as the Warriors used a 12-2 run to close out the game pushing its lead back to 20 by the time the final horn sounded to earn a 76-56 win.
The Beavers finished the game shooting 31.7 percent from the field (19-60) and 25.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Warriors were 27-of-58 (.466) from the field and 9-of-18 (.500) from outside the three-point line.
BSU went 13-of-20 (.650) from the charity stripe while the Warriors went 13-of-16 (.813).
The Beavers fall to 38-25 all-time in the series versus the Warriors and are currently on a two game losing skid to WSU.
Bemidji State (2-7; 0-3 NSIC) will be back in action tomorrow night as the Beavers host the Upper Iowa University Peacocks (3-5; 0-3 NSIC) at 6 p.m. from the BSU Gymnasium.
This is the first time the Beavers have started 0-3 in conference play under head coach Mike Curfman and the first time since the 2004-05 season. BSU is also on a season-long five game losing skid, which is also the longest under the tutelage of Curfman and the longest since 2004-05.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).