MANKATO, Minn. -- Sophomore Samantha Baldwin (G, St. Thomas, N.D.) converted on a lay-up with six seconds remaining in regulation to give the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team a 61-59 victory against Minnesota State University, Mankato at the Taylor Center Friday night. The Beavers shot 53.1 percent from the field in the game and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc in the second half in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game.
“It takes character to pull out a win like that,” said head coach Mike Curfman. “Samantha Baldwin hit a great shot in a high-pressure situation. It’s tough to win on the road in this league. I hope we can take the positives we learned from this game and use it in the future.”
All 10 Beaver (11-8, 5-7 NSIC) players that saw the floor scored in the game, led by freshman Katie Pettit’s (G, Howard Lake, Minn.) 13 points. The 53.1 percent from the field is the second best output from the Beavers this season. BSU scored 32 points in the paint to MSU’s (10-9, 5-7 NSIC) 14.
With just under two minutes in the game and the Beavers up 59-57, MSU forced a BSU shot with time running down on the shot clock. The Beavers missed the shot, got the offensive rebound, but turned the ball over to the Mavericks. MSU came down the floor and missed a shot of its own and BSU had the ball. Another Beaver turnover put the ball in the Mavericks’ court and they converted on a jumper to tie the game with 37 seconds left. MSU played tight defense and kept BSU around the perimeter at the other end of the floor. After a scrum in the lane, Baldwin came-up with the ball and put up a desperation lay-up as the shot clock expired, sinking a dagger into the home team. MSU got the ball past half court and shot a 3-pointer that would have won the game, but it went strong off the high glass and the Beavers breathed a sigh of relief.
The Beavers started slow in the first half, but so did the Mavericks as the home team shot just 27.8 percent from the field in the first 12 minutes of the half. BSU started rolling in the last seven minutes of the frame, starting with a senior guard Kim Rosecrans (Crosby, Minn.) lay-up with 6:49 remaining, putting the score at 13-12 Beavers. BSU then closed the half on a 16-7 run to own a 29-19 lead at the half, getting six points from Pettit. The Beavers and Mavericks had the same amount of rebounds in the half at 18, but MSU had nine offensive boards. Fortunately for BSU, the Mavericks only scored three second chance points. The Beavers scored 20 of its points in the paint and shot 54.2 percent from the field.
The start of the second half saw the Beaver 3-ball come alive, as sophomore Sydney Epema (G, Crookston, Minn.) and junior Anna Hebrink (G, Austin, Minn.) hit shots from beyond the arc in the first three minutes of the half to increase the lead to 39-25. Pressure defense and two more Hebrink 3-pointers gave the Beavers a 47-28 lead with 12:12 left in the half. At the 8:56 mark, Pettit and freshman guard Shannon Thompson (Rosemount, Minn.) had hit 3-pointers and BSU was 6-8 from downtown in the half, owning a 53-34 lead. The Mavericks responded with a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 10. Freshman Jessie Althoff (C, Becker, Minn.) stopped the run with a lay-up with seven minutes left, but MSU didn’t stop coming at BSU and was down seven at 48-55 with 5:38 left in regulation. After trading buckets, an MSU 3-pointer and lay-up made the score 59-57 Beavers with 1:57 reading on the scoreboard.
Pettit added a team-high six rebounds in the game, while assisting on three buckets. She shot 5-of-10 from the field. Hebrink had nine points, four rebounds and three assists, going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
The Beavers complete the NSIC road trip tomorrow with a 6 p.m. tilt at Southwest Minnesota State University.
State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference