BSU fall in first ever meeting with UW-La Crosse, 87-73
Friday, November 21, 2008

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Gangelhoff Center) - The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team was defeated 87-73 by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the team’s first game of the Wildwood Tip-Off Classic Friday afternoon in St. Paul, Minn. BSU senior Heidi Matzke (Red Lake Falls, Minn.) garnered her ninth twenty point performance of her career as she netted 21 points on 7-of-16 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line as BSU dropped its second consecutive game to start the 2008-09 season.

Both teams came out flat as the teams combined for six turnovers in the first three minutes of the contest. BSU’s Matzke and Sydney Epema (Fr., G, Crookston, Minn.) eventually gave BSU its largest lead of the game at 5-0 with 17:06 left to play in the half, but on the back of Mackenzie Hunter, Lindsay Wahl, and Dana Churchill the Eagles went on a 11-4 run over a 5:36 stretch taking its first lead of the half 11-9.

The Eagles continued to push forward as UW-La Crosse opened its lead to as large as 15-points three times in the final 11:30 of the half but the Beavers kept battling outscoring the Eagles 12-8 in the final 3:13 to cut the Eagles’ lead to 11 points (48-37) heading into the halftime break.

Although the Beavers held a 23-19 edge on the glass, they converted just 11-of-28 total attempts (39.3 percent) and were outshot at the free-throw line 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) to 21-of-25 (84.0 percent) while committing ten more turnovers than the Eagles (19-9) in the half.

Mackenzie Hunter and Lindsay Wahl opened up the half with a jumper and a three-pointer pushing the Eagles lead back to 15 (52-37) just 1:02 into the second half. UW-La Crosse eventually pushed its lead to 21 points with 13:52 left in the game. BSU crept back within 15 points with just under 11-minutes left to play but the Eagles quickly pushed its lead to the largest of the game at 22 (81-59) with 3:33 remaining in the contest.

BSU battled back and closed the gap to 14 points (87-73) before the horn sounded dropping to 0-2 on the season.

BSU was 23-of-61 from the field (37.7 percent) shooting 6-of-25 from behind the arc (24.0 percent) and 21-of-28 from the free-throw line (75.0 percent). BSU committed 28 turnovers and finished the game with a five rebound advantage (43-38).

Matzke’s 21 points paced the Beavers while she also had a team-high four assists. Freshman Sydney Epema (Crookston, Minn.) posted a career-high with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting and 4-of-16 from the three-point line while grabbing a carrer and team-high seven rebounds. Colleen McKay (So., F, Barnum, Minn.) also found herself in double-figures for the first time this season with 11 points while grabbing five rebounds.

Matzke’s 21 point performance brings her 13 points shy of becoming the fourteenth Bemidji State University women’s basketball player to garner 1,000 points in a career. With four assists she is also just six assists shy of moving into ninth on BSU’s all-time assist list.

The Eagles were led by Hunter who netted a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Wahl chipped in 19 points while Sam Aspenson recorded 10 points in the game.

The loss drops the Beavers to 0-2 overall. Bemidji State will be in action again Saturday (Nov. 22) as it wraps up the Wildwood Tip-Off Classic versus Metro State at 1 p.m. from the Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).