BEMIDJI, MINN. - Ellie Wessling’s (Fr., G/F, Winsted, Minn.) career-high tying 21 points led the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team to their first conference victory of the season as they defeated Upper Iowa University 73-59 on Saturday at BSU Gymnasium. The Beavers even out their record at 4-4 (1-3 NSIC). Upper Iowa falls to 0-7 (0-3 NSIC).Wessling’s 21 points came on six-of-nine shooting from the floor. She was eight-of-eight from the free-throw line. Colleen McKay (Sr., C, Barnum, Minn.) added 18 points on six-of-13 shooting from the field. McKay added seven rebounds. She was also six-of-seven from the charity stripe. Jessie Althoff (So., F/C/, Becker, Minn.) finished the game with 11 points. BSU forced 23 UIU turnovers to only nine committed by the Beavers. BSU shot 18-of-20 for 90 percent at the free-throw line. The Beavers were 18-of-18 alone in the second half from the foul line. Both teams shot 38.7 percent from the field.
Upper Iowa was paced by Cassandra Deiters 14 points on six-of-10 shooting. Heidi McKean added 13 points. Jennifer Herrick contributed 11 points off the bench for the Peacocks. UIU outrebounded BSU 45 to 36.
The Bemidji State Beavers went into the half with a 38-30 lead over Upper Iowa. McKay paced the BSU offensive attack with 14 points on five-of-nine shooting from the field. Fellow inside player, Althoff, added nine points on four-of-eight shooting. Wessling tallied seven points for the Beavers. McKay scored nine of the first 17 points for BSU in the first seven minutes of the game. The Beavers forced 13 first-half turnovers. BSU led by as many as 14 in the opening period. Bemidji State shot 14 of 34 from the field for 41.2 percent.
The Peacocks’ Herrick led UIU with nine points off the bench on three-of-four shooting from the floor.\Deiters added eight points in the first half. Upper Iowa outrebounded BSU 19 to 16. The Peacocks connected on four-of-eight from beyond the arc for 50 percent. They were 11-of-23 from the field for 47.8 percent.
Bemidji State improves to 8-3 all-time against Upper Iowa. The Beavers will wrap up NSIC action in the 2010 calendar year on Friday, Dec. 17 at Northern State and Saturday, Dec. 18 at U-Mary.