Beavers Can’t Keep Pace With Long-Range Bombs
Friday, December 6, 2002
Dec. 6, 2002

Bemidji, Minn. - South Dakota State (5-0, 0-0 NCC), the number one team in Division II, showed how deadly they can be as it knocked down 13 three-pointers with eight of them coming by Brenda Davis. The long-range shooting was too much as Bemidji State (3-2, 0-0 NSIC) was downed by a count of 85-67 in front of its home crowd.

“ They are the number team in the country for a reason,” said head coach Mike Power. “They shot the ball well from three-point range. But sometimes you have to play the percentages. We had to take one thing (their inside game) away and they killed us with those 13 three-pointers.”

Bemidji State led by as many as five out of the gates, 8-3. That spurt was capped by two buckets by sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa). The full-court trapping defense caused several errant passes and six SDSU turnovers before the clock hit 15:00. At one point, the Jackrabbits turned the rock over five times before they could even get a shot up to the basket. Coach Power attributes his team’s fast start to some adrenalin.

“It was pure emotion with how we played there in the beginning. We were flying around and getting after it. But then we got tired, didn’t continue our good ball pressure and they got hot from the outside.”

With the Beavers up 11-8 after one of junior forward Amber Graf’s (Hammond, Wis.) four three-pointers, South Dakota State fired back with a 30-15 run going into the locker room. During one span, BSU went dry from the floor for 3:21 as it saw a tie go to a deficit of seven points. SDSU led 38-26 at the half as it scored the last seven points and 13 of the final 18. The “Jacks” held a 24-15 rebound advantage at the half.

The SDSU lead would expand to 27 on two occasions in the second half with the last being 62-35 at 13:59. However, the Beavers gave a last chance push as they evaporated that margin to 16 thanks to a conventional three-point basket on the part of sophomore forward Nicole Wright (Mandan, N.D.) at 3:50 to play. Then the game got a bit sloppy as both teams combined to shoot 10 foul shoots to wrap up the game.

BSU converted 78.3% of its free throw attempts (18-23) and totaled 16 steals, both statistics being better than South Dakota State.

Graf led the green and white with 22 points with Swanson chipping in 13 and a game-high nine rebounds and four steals. Despite being plagued with four fouls, sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) added eight points and six boards.

“Defensively, I think we did some really nice things, especially early in the first half and then late again in the second half,” said Power. “The kids played hard and I give them credit for not rolling over.”

Brenda Davis, who was 10-16 from the field and 8-14 from behind the arc, totaled a game-high 30 points. She was complimented by the 14 points from Melissa Pater. SDSU finished 28-59 (47.5%) from the floor and out-rebounded BSU 42-34 and had eight more assists (19-11) than the hosts.

Bemidji State travels to Finlandia (MI) and Michigan Tech next weekend. Friday has the contest beginning at 6:00 p.m. vs. Finlandia while 3:00 p.m. marks the start against Michigan Tech on Saturday.

Notes: SDSU entered tonight’s contest with a 33 point average margin of victory in its first four wins...The Jackrabbits are 13-0 all-time against the Beavers...Amber Graf has now gone back-to-back contests with at least 20 points as she had a personal-best 24 at Mankato on Wednesday...Stacia Swanson has tallied 10+ points in all five of her games as a Beaver this year...BSU has been outrebounded in all five contests in 2002-03...Bemidji State has dropped its last three home-openers with tonight’s loss...In having two fewer turnovers than SDSU tonight, this is the first time BSU has lost this season when achieving that statistic.