MARSHALL, Minn. -- After shooting 53.1 percent in Friday night’s win at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team shot just 36.7 percent from the field in a 73-63 loss to Southwest Minnesota State University in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game at the R/A Facility Saturday.
“We didn’t do the things we needed to win,” said head coach Mike Curfman. “We didn’t shoot the ball well. I give credit to Southwest Minnesota State, they executed better than we did tonight.”
Both teams started running right out of the gates, but neither team could find a rhythm on the offensive end as BSU (11-8, 5-7 NSIC) held a 6-5 lead 5:08 into the contest. The teams then traded baskets until junior Anna Hebrink (G, Austin, Minn.) knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Beavers a 15-11 lead heading into the media timeout with 9:45 left in the first half. The Beavers continued to push the Mustangs (12-7, 6-6 NSIC) on both ends of the floor and increased their lead to nine at 27-18 with 4:54 remaining in the frame. SMSU then used a 10-1 run to take its first lead since early in the game at 29-28 with 1:56 remaining in the half. On the next BSU possession, freshman Katie Pettit’s (G, Howard Lake, Minn.) shot from downtown regained the lead for the road team at 31-29. The Mustangs tied the game 33-33 with two free throws with 21 second left and that would stand as the halftime score as the two teams headed in to the locker room all knotted up. Eleven Beavers saw the court in the first half and nine of them scored, led by Pettit’s six points. BSU shot 41.4 percent from the field, holding SMSU to 29.7 percent. The Beavers were 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and owned the glass 25-23.
The Beavers started the second half cold, going 0-for-7 in the first 3:57, forcing Curfman to take a timeout down 39-33. BSU came out of the timeout and opened the driving lane for Pettit and she converted on a lay-up to stop the drought. BSU scored on its next possession to make the score 37-39 with 15:28 left in the half. SMSU then went on a 10-0 run to push its lead to 11 at 50-39 with 11:14 on the clock. Freshman guard Shannon Thompson (Rosemount, Minn.) stopped the run with a lay-up with 10:19 remaining. With the score 55-43 and 7:47 on the clock, sophomore Sydney Epema (G, Crookston, Minn.) hit a 3-point dagger that sparked a 7-0 run to cut the Mustang lead to five at 55-50. SMSU responded with a 5-0 run to regain the double-digit lead at 60-50 with 4:22 reading on the scoreboard. A Hebrink 3-pointer cut the Mustang lead to four at 62-58 with 1:49 left in regulation. After trading two free throws a side, SMSU knocked down the nail in the coffin, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:29 left, giving the Mustangs a 67-60 lead. BSU was forced to play the foul game and SMSU responded with a perfect 6-of-6 from the line in the final minute, winning the game by 10 points.
BSU shot 41.4 percent from the field in the first half, but only made 10-of-31 shots (32.3%) in the second half. BSU had 19 turnovers in the game, handing over 15 points off giveaways to the Mustangs. Epema led the team with 12 points, 10 in the second half. Freshman Jessie Althoff (C, Becker, Minn.) posted 11 points and four rebounds in the game. Junior center Colleen McKay (Barnum, Minn.) led the team with eight rebounds, while adding six points.
The Beavers return home Feb. 5-6, starting with a Feb. 5 tilt with Concordia University-St. Paul at 6 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).