Beavers Notch Ninth Straight Win Over UM-Morris
Saturday, February 22, 2003
Feb. 22, 2003

Bemidji, Minn. - On Seniors Night, the Bemidji State Beavers (9-16, 5-11 NSIC) kept alive their hopes of post-season play with a 101-43 drubbing of Minnesota-Morris (1-25, 0-17 NSIC) at the BSU Gymnasium. All 10 BSU players scored in the contest as four of the five seniors netted 10 or more points including 17 on the part of senior guard Crystal Jones (Side Lake, Minn.).

“ It was nice to see the five seniors go out on a positive note tonight,” said head coach Mike Power. “We have played inspired ball all February, although our record does not show it. I think the girls came out tonight with all they had and had alot of fun.”

UM-Morris hit on two of its first three long-range bombs to begin the game with a 6-2 lead. However, a jumper by Jones sparked a 22-0 run that spanned 7:48 and put the Beavers up 24-6. BSU was 10 of 14 from the floor during that streak. The Cougars were held without a point for 4:08 near the end of the first half as Bemidji State stormed into the locker room with a 42-23 advantage.

BSU had but one turnover in the first 20 minutes of action while UM-M had 11. UM-Morris shot just 31 percent (eight of 26) while BSU connected on half of its shots (18 of 36).

The Beavers held the guests without a field goal for 3:48 to start the second frame and scored 10 unanswered to go up 54-23. From there, the hosts never saw their lead dwindle under 26 the rest of the way. At one point, the Cougars managed only two trifectas by Malinda Berglund over a span of 8:12. On the flip side, the final seven shots saw the bottom of the net for BSU as it improves to 3-8 at home.

BSU finished at a season-high 56 percent (41 of 73) from the floor and snapped a string of 10 games of getting out-rebounded as it had 40 compared to UM-M’s 37. The Cougars went 15 of 57 (.263) from the field, the lowest for a BSU opponent since Middlebury went 13 of 63 (.206) on Nov. 27, 1999. Also, UM-M did not record a steal on the night.

Following Jones in scoring was senior guard Katie Long (Willmar, Minn.) with 15, senior guard Christi Goodhart (Manteca, Calif.) and junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) with 14 apiece, sophomore forward Melissa Bessler (Lake George, Minn.) with 13 and senior guard Kristy Caviness (Pamona, Calif) with 10. Caviness and Jones, who had four steals each, charged the Beavers to tally 18 on the night.

The Cougars received 17 from Danielle Mercurio as she hit on five three’s while Berglund finished with 10. Carrie Ryan pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

“Scoring 100 points was not a goal we set when we went into the game,” said Power. “But when it got to a point where it was in reach, then the girls wanted to accomplish it. There has been alot of frustration on the home floor throughout the year. So it was nice to reverse that and get the win.”

The Beavers are now tied with Winona State for the eighth and final spot in the league standings. WSU lost a 92-82 decision to UM-Crookston earlier today as the Warriors and Beavers stand at 5-11 in the league. BSU and WSU square off next Saturday in Winona, Minn., in the season finale. That contest proceeds the Beavers playing at Concordia-St. Paul on Friday. Both games begin at 5:30 p.m.

Notes: It was the first time BSU went over the century mark since it scored 103 against Southwest State, Feb. 28, 1997...The last Cougar win in the series was Jan. 20, 1999 in a 69-58 decision...The margin of victory (58) tonight was the largest since BSU beat up on Macalester (MN) during the 1978-79 season and won by 61 points...By forcing 24 Cougar turnovers, BSU has gone eight straight in forcing more than 20 and the 14th consecutive by having fewer...The field goal percentage was the highest mark since BSU went 39 of 69 (.565) against UM-M, Feb. 10, 2001...With 18 steals on the night, the Beavers inch closer to the team record in a season as they have 331 - the 1985-86 club had 356 steals...All five BSU seniors were in the starting line-up and honored during half-time of the men’s game.