BSU Gets Downed For Second Time This Year To SCSU
Friday, December 20, 2002
Dec. 20, 2002

Bemidji, Minn. - Despite going on a 24-17 run in the final 16:44 of the game, Bemidji State (4-4, 0-0 NSIC) lost a thriller to St. Cloud State (4-6, 0-0 NCC), 71-67 at the BSU Gymnasium tonight. The Beavers were up 67-64 with 1:07 left on the clock, but SCSU’s Katie Huschle hit consecutive three-pointers to send her team to the win. BSU could only muster a three-point attempt in the final minute and was held scoreless.

“ We made some big strides overall,” said head coach Mike Power. “Defensively, we did not play real well in the first half. But in the second, we buckled down and set a goal to hold them (St. Cloud State) under 30 points and we did that (26). We just made some mental mistakes down the stretch, but we are going to learn from them.”

In the early-going, the Beavers held a 7-4 advantage capped by a jumper by senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.). Then, the visitors scored the next ten points to go up 14-7 at 16:39. After tying the count at 17, the Beavers gave up six straight while turning the ball over three times in the span of 1:25. Up 23-17, St. Cloud State out-scored BSU 20-13 to take its largest lead of the game 43-30 at 1:27 of the first. Junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) notched three out of BSU’s final five points in the half to help bring the margin at 10, 45-35, heading into intermission.

Graf tied for the point lead in the first with nine points but had one of the Beavers 11 misses behind the arc. St. Cloud State shot 59.3 percent (16 of 27) from the floor in the first with 13 of those buckets coming within the paint area. All five starters had at least six points.

After Huschle made three free-throws after being fouled behind the arc and staking her team to a 54-43 lead with 16:44 in the second, senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.), who had a season-high 11 points, nine of which came in the second frame, started a 15-4 spurt to tie the score at 58. From that point on, there would be four lead changes in the final 7:23. The Beavers had a three-point cushion twice with the last one being after a Graf basket with 1:07 remaining. After Huschle hit the game-winner with seven seconds left, Molly Jensen hit one free throw for the final margin.

“Right now, we do not know what it takes to get it done down the stretch,” said Power. “This is the first time that we have had to come from behind in the second. But this is a team effort and we can definitely take some things from this one.”

Bemidji State held St. Cloud State to 30.4 percent (7 of 23) shooting in the second half. However, the Beaver downfall was that they got outscored 21-9 at the free throw line.

Graf paced the Beavers with 16 points for the second straight contest and fourth in the last five games. Jones tallied her second double-digit scoring effort of the season with 11 points to tie Goodhart’s point total. Sophomore forward Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) tied for the game-high in rebounds with nine.

St. Cloud State got a balanced scoring effort as four players had at least 10 points. Katie Huschle led all scorers with 18 points with Kristine DeGroot chipped in with 14. Not too far behind was Sascha Hansen and Molly Jensen with 11 apiece.

Bemidji State travels to #6 North Dakota tomorrow for a 7:00 p.m. game. That will put a wrap to the non-conference schedule for 2002-03.

Notes: Stacia Swanson snapped her seven-game scoring streak of 10+ points as she tallied nine points...In six of the eight contests, Swanson has led the club in rebounds after grabbing nine tonight...Amber Graf has been in double-figures for all eight games this season after netting 16 tonight to pace the Beavers...With four assists, Crystal Jones set a season-high on the night...The last Beaver win in the series was Dec. 3, 1996, 91-78...Before tonight, the last six losses to the Huskies were by an average margin of 20 points...BSU is searching for that fifth win, which was last season’s total - it did not notch that fifth win till Feb. 23, 2002, 26 games into the season...Head coach Mike Power was assessed a technical foul with the score tied at 60 with 5:07 remaining.