SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Elmen Center) - The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team battled back from a 21-point second-half deficit to send the game into overtime but could not finish the come back as the Beavers fell 112-108 to the Upper Iowa University Peacocks. The game was BSU’s first contest at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) HoopsFest in Sioux Falls, S.D.
When Andrea Downs made two free-throws to give Upper Iowa a 21-point (67-46) lead, its largest of the night, with 14:32 to go in the game, things looked bleak for the Beavers. But Heidi Matzke (Sr., G, Red Lake Falls, Minn.) would net a layup on the other end of the floor followed by a Sydney Epema (Fr., G, Crookston, Minn.) three-pointer on the next possession which sparked a BSU rally.
During the next 13 minutes the Beavers would consistently chip away at the Upper Iowa lead hitting 14-of-25 from the field (.560) and 15-of-22 (.680) from the free-throw line out scoring the Peacocks 50-29 during the span. Eight different BSU players pitched in at least one point during the run and Epema capped off the run with a three-pointer to tie the game at 96-96 sending the game into overtime. It was the sixth tie of the game and the first since the 13:11 mark of the first half when the score was tied at 16-16.
In the extra period BSU took its first lead since two minutes into the contest (100-99) on a layup by Matzke with 3:04 left in the overtime period. BSU pushed its lead to two (104-102) but Upper Iowa went on a 6-0 run pushing its lead to 108-104 and eventually closed out the game behind solid free-throw shooting by Downs in the final :15 seconds of the game to earn a 112-108 win snapping a five game losing streak to the Beavers.
For the fourth consecutive game Matzke netted at least 20 points as she tied a season-high 26 points grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. Epema poured in a career-high 22 while dishing out a career-best five assists and six three-point field goals. Katherine Jamnick (Jr., F, Soudan, Minn.) also had a career day tying her career-high of 13 points. Colleen McKay (So., F, Barnum, Minn.) also had 13 points while Melissa Roberts (Sr., F, Staples, Minn.) rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11. Kiki Phillips (Fr., F, Spencer, Wis.) grabbed a game and career-high nine rebounds in the contest.
Behind the effort of Phillips on the glass, the Beavers utterly dominated the boards. BSU held a 49-36 rebounding edge and out shot the Peacocks .473 (35-74) to .449 ( 35-78) for the game. The difference in the game came at the free-throw line as Upper Iowa made four more free-throws than the Beavers (32-28).
Downs led the Peacocks with 41 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 20-of-21 from the free-throw line while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out four assists. Lana Otting, Lene Fox and Britney Iredale also were in double-digit scoring for UIU with 17, 16, and 14 points, respectively.
Matzke is currently 33 points shy of moving ahead of Maggie Gernbacher for 11th on BSU all-time scoring list and is six assists shy of moving into eighth on BSU’s all-time assists list as she currently has 240 assists in her career.
With the 108 points BSU ties a team-high for points in a game when BSU scored 108 points against Catherine during the 1984-85 season.
BSU falls to 7-2 all-time versus Upper Iowa.
BSU is now 2-3 on the season while Upper Iowa improves to 3-1. The Beavers will wrap up the NSIC HoopsFest tomorrow afternoon as BSU will play Northern State University at noon from the Sioux Falls Arena.
State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference