GRINNELL, Iowa -- A balanced offensive attack and stingy defense lifted the Bemidji State University women’s basketball team to a 108-63 win against Martin Luther College at the Grinnell Tip-Off Tournament, Friday. The win gives BSU a 2-0 start that the program hasn’t seen since the 1999-00 season. Thirteen players scored for the Beavers, led by sophomore Sydney Epema’s (G, Crookston, Minn.) 21 points. BSU held MLC to 36.2 percent shooting, while BSU connected on 36 of 71 (50.7%) of its shots. The last time the Beavers scored 100 points and won was Feb. 22, 2003 against University of Minnesota Morris by the score of 101-43.
The last time BSU started the season 2-0 was in 1999-00 with wins over Morningside and Middlebury. The Beavers have started 2-0 only eight times in the 43 years of the program.
“After the eight minute mark we really pick-up the intensity,” said head coach Mike Curfman. “The keys to the game for us is that we did a great job of getting the lose balls, offensive rebounds, second chance points and limiting them to one shot each possession. We have worked hard on defense this season and we did a good job today, but have a long way to go. I was happy we were able to get everyone some playing time and they all did well. We had a lot of different combos in there and that should really help us down the road.”
The Beavers and Knights went back-and-forth early in the first half, sitting deadlocked at 17-17 at the 10:23 mark. BSU then kicked it into gear and rattled-off a 19-4 run to grab a 36-21 lead with 5:16 remaining in the opening half. BSU went on to close the half on a 19-8 run and owned a 55-29 halftime lead. The second frame was more dominance by the Beavers as they continually increased the lead, peaking at a 46 point advantage with one minute remaining.
All 14 available players saw minutes in the game. Eight players scored at lead seven points and three reached double-figures in Epema, freshman Jessie Althoff (C, Becker, Minn.) with 14 and senior Kim Rosecrans (G, Crosby, Minn.) with 10. Epema was 7-11 from the field and 5-9 from beyond the arc. Althoff was 6-10 shooting and Rosecrans earned her career-high in points shooting 8-8 from the free throw line and going 1-3 from the field. Sophomore Taylor Davis (F, Crookston, Minn.) was the best all-around player on the court with seven points, six rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes. Freshman Emily Kaus (C, Eagan, Minn.) battled the boards and brought down nine total, four on the offensive glass. Freshman Shannon Thompson (G, Rosemount, Minn.) posted nine points and three steals and sophomore guard Samantha Baldwin (St. Thomas, N.D.) had seven rebounds, five points and three steals.
As a team, BSU committed only 12 turnovers and forced 24 from the Knights. The Beavers had more rebounds, 48-27, and assists 23-12 in the win.
The Beavers finish the tournament with Buena Vista University at 1 p.m. Nov. 21.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).