|January 20, 2012||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MSU||BSUWBB|
|FG Percentage||.422 (27-64)||.481 (26-54)|
|3P FG Percentage||.409 (9-22)||.364 (8-22)|
|FT Percentage||.615 (8-13)||.857 (12-14)|
Weber - 5
Ulfers - 5
Bresnahan - 1
Warmack - 1
BEMIDJI, Minn. – Two late free throws from junior Shannon Thompson (G, Rosemount, Minn.) handed the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team a 72-71 victory against Minnesota State University, Mankato Friday to end an eight-game losing streak. In the process the Beavers snapped MSU’s eight-game win streak to improve to 6-11 overall and 4-8 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
In a back-and-forth contest the game came down to the free throw game. That boded well for the No. 10 free throw shooting team in the nation, as the Beavers went 11-for-12 from the charity stripe in the second half, while the Mavericks were 6-for-9 from the line in the frame. Thompson was 8-for-8 from the free throw line - all in the last five minutes of the game - and scored eight of her 10 points from there. Sophomore Morgan Lee (G, Hayward, Wis.) posted her third 20-point game of the season with 21 on 8-for-13 shooting - 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Kate Warmack (C, East Grand Forks, N.D.) added 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds in 35 minutes of play (tied career-high).
A 3-pointer from sophomore Ellie Wessling (G/F, Winsted Minn.) tied the game 11-11 with 13:58 to play in the first half. The Beavers then went cold and the Mavericks used it to gain a 10 point advantage at 27-17 with 8:27 remaining. Lee put an end to MSU’s momentum in the final five minutes of the game, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc in a matter of 3:06 of game time to guide the Beavers to a knotted contest at 33-33 with 2:08 showing in the half. BSU went into the locker room with momentum, confidence and a one point lead at 36-35.
The Beavers and Mavericks traded baskets to start the second half before BSU opened a seven point lead at 53-46 with 10:14 remaining in regulation. MSU chipped away at the deficit until it found a lead of its own at 61-60 with 5:20 showing on the clock. Four straight free throws from Thompson gave the Beavers a 64-61 advantage with 4:11 left, but the Mavericks charged back with a 6-1 run that handed them a two point lead with 2:25 left.
Baldwin snapped the lull with a cold-blooded dagger from outside the arc with 2:07 left to give BSU a 68-67 lead. MSU responded with a jumper, but two more Thompson buckets from the line had BSU on top 70-69 with 31 ticks left. After playing tight defense and getting a crowd-pleasing block from Warmack, the Mavericks were able to get a tough shot to drop with seven seconds remaining, owning a 71-70 lead. In the end it was Thompson who got the ball and as she drove the lane was fouled, putting the pressure of the game and the losing streak on her shoulders. She stepped up and knocked down both freebies and a desperation shot from half court by MSU didn’t fall and the Beavers’ losing streak burden was lifted.
BSU shot 48.1 percent in the game - the team’s best performance from the field since Dec. 9 at Winona State University. The Beavers held MSU to 42.2 percent from the field. The Beavers outrebounded the Mavericks 34-33, but coughed-up 16 turnovers, while creating just 11. Fortunately, BSU only allowed 13 points off turnovers and converted its takeaways into 13 points of its own. Overall BSU shot 12-for-14 (85.7%) from the line, while MSU was 8-for-13 (61.5%). Senior Samantha Baldwin (G, St. Thomas, N.D.) had nine points, six rebounds and three assists in the game.
The Beavers look to make it two wins in a row as it hosts Southwest Minnesota State University Saturday at 4 p.m.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).