BSU Lets 2004 Coors Classic Opener Slip Away 69-63 to Metro State
Friday, December 3, 2004

DENVER, Colo. – The Bemidji State University women's basketball team dropped its first game of the 2004 Coors Classic Friday night 69-63 to Metro State College of Denver. The Beavers clutched the lead for all but 57 seconds during the first 32:54 of the game, but the Roadrunners would hit 11-of-13 from the line in during the final 5:50 to hand BSU its third consecutive loss.

The first half was all BSU. Sophomore Maggie Gernbacher (Bloomington, Minn.) opened the game with a three-pointer just 31 seconds into the game. The teams traded the lead during the next four minutes, but when BSU freshman Karlee Simonson (Rockford, Minn.) hit her first shot of the night from beyond the arc, the Beavers went on top 8-6 and were in control for the remainder of the half.

BSU would go up by as many as 12 (27-15) just past the midpoint of the first half and would hold of a 15-7 Metro State charge in the final eight minutes of the half as Simonson poured in 11 points in the stanza to give the Beavers a 35-33 at the break.

Bemidji State would match Metro State bucket-for-bucket during the first ten minutes of the half hovering around a five point lead. But the Roadrunners' Michelle Calender hit a jumper with 8:59 remaining in the game to spark a 12-0 Metro State run and vault it into the lead (58-54) for good.

BSU made a good run at the win coming back to trail the Roadrunners by two points with just over a minute to play, but it was Metro State that would hit key free-throws to put the win out of reach for BSU 69-63.

Turnovers and free-throw attempts were the downfall for the Beavers tonight. BSU committed a season-high 29 turnovers in the game resulting in 22 points for Metro State. BSU also gave the Roadrunners nearly twice as many opportunities at the free-throw line (24-13) where Metro converted 18 (7.0 percent) into points while BSU hit just 53.8 percent (7-13) from the line. BSU did however, end the game with a commanding lead on the boards (45-37) and hitting 47.3 percent (26-55) of its field goal attempts compared to MSCD's 33.8 percent (24-71).

Simonson's career-best (16) paced the team as she was 7-of-8 from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from downtown. Sophomore Nancy McConkey (Superior, Wis.) added 12 points and led the team equaling a career-beast with two blocks while freshman Stephanie Peterson (Bismarck, N.D.) pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds while adding eight points.

The loss drops the Beavers to 2-5 overall. Bemidji State will be in action again Saturday (Dec. 4) as it wraps up the Coors Classic and its Colorado road swing with an 7:00 p.m. (MST) tip-ff at Regis University.