GRINNELL, Iowa -- The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team lost its first game of the season to Buena Vista University 75-67 at the Grinnell Tip-Off Tournament Saturday afternoon. BSU struggled in the shooting department in the battle of the Beavers, shooting just 37.7 percent from the field. Bemidji State freshman Shannon Thompson (G, Rosemount, Minn.) came off the bench and led the team in scoring with 15 points.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively,” said head coach Mike Curfman. “The key to the game was that we shot 29 percent and went 0-7 from the 3-point line in the first half. That really set the tone for the rest of the game and we were always digging ourselves out of a hole. It’s frustrating because it was a game we couldn’t won, but Buena Vista made more plays than we did.”
The two teams traded baskets through the first 11 minutes, but Buena Vista went on 12-4 run over the next five minutes and took an eight point lead at 25-17. A jumper by Thompson cut the deficit to four at 25-29 with 1:56 remaining in the half and that score would stand into halftime, as neither team would score again. BVU opened the first five minutes of the second half on a 16-9 run, extending its lead to a game-high 11. The Beavers of Buena Vista continued to shoot lights out and increased the lead to 16 with 9:39 remaining. A sophomore Sydney Epema (G, Crookston, Minn.) trademark 3-pointer sparked a 13-2 run over the next 2:16 to stand five points down at 55-60. The run included four points from Thompson and four from sophomore guard Samantha Baldwin (St. Thomas, N.D.). Unfortunately, the five point deficit was as close as it would get and BVU earned the victory, sinking six free throws in the final two minutes of play.
BVU’s Margo Muhlbauer, a preseason Division III All-America selection, scored 28 points in 35 minutes. BSU didn’t have a scoring threat to match Mulbauer, recording three players in the low teens, all of which were freshmen. Thompson’s 15 was followed by freshman Katie Pettit’s (G, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Minn.) 13 and freshman Jessie Althoff’s (C, Becker, Minn.) 11. Baldwin had nine points, five rebounds and four steals in the loss. Thompson added six steals of her own and Pettit recorded four as BSU out-stole BVU 18-14.
BSU shot just 28.6 percent from the 3-point line after posting 45.5 percent in the first game and 38.5 percent in yesterday’s contest. BSU’s bench had a good showing, posting 40 points.
The Beavers move-on to the Grand Canyon Thanksgiving Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. Nov. 27-28. BSU will play Western State University at 2 p.m. Nov. 27 and Western New Mexico Nov. 28 at 2p.m.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).