BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team lost 82-65 to the streaking Augustana College Vikings, who picked-up its eighth consecutive win of the season Saturday at the BSU Gymnasium. Sophomore guard Sydney Epema (Crookston, Minn.) knocked-down five 3-pointers in the game, scoring 19 points.
“We played flat and you can’t do that against a good team like Augustana,” said head coach Mike Curfman. “Augustana shot the ball well, but we had too many unforced turnovers. We dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t get out of. In wins against Winona State and Minnesota State we were able to rally and come back from early deficits, but our luck ran out and we just didn’t have the energy tonight.”
Things went wrong for the Beavers (8-3, 2-3 NSIC) from the opening tip-off, as BSU was down 8-2 in the game’s first three minutes, forcing Curfman to pull all five starters. The energy the bench provided turned the game around and the Beavers were down 13-9 with 14 minutes to go in the opening frame. BSU hung around for a while, keeping the deficit at four on a 3-pointer from Epema with 10:28 on the clock. The Vikings then responded and went on a 7-0 run to increase their lead to 11 with just under eight minutes remaining, en route to a 13 point advantage at the half. The Beavers came out in the second and scored seven unanswered points in 1:41 to cut Augie’s lead to six at 42-36, but on the ensuing possession, AC’s Alex Freeny, who had a game-high 21 points, hit a 3-pointer to go up nine. After Epema tried to respond with a shot from downtown, the Vikings knocked down another tre to increase their lead to 12 with 17:28 ticks remaining. Despite having a lot of time remaining, BSU couldn’t string more than a couple good possessions together and make a push, helping AC hold a double-digit lead for the rest of the contest. BSU only lost the second half 40-36, but its first half hole was too large to crawl out of.
The Beavers had its worst shooting game of the season, going 20-61 (32.8 percent). AC shot 45.2 percent from the floor and converted 21 BSU turnovers into 29 points. The Vikings also had good post presence, outscoring BSU in the paint 28-18. Freshman Shannon Thompson (G, Rosemount, Minn.) came off the bench and scored 10 points, while adding four steals, three rebounds, two blocks and two assists. She was the only other BSU player to reach double-figures in scoring. Junior Colleen McKay (C, Barnum, Minn.) had eight points and six rebounds to go with two assists.
The Beavers complete the NSIC home weekend with a 2 p.m. tilt against Wayne State College Sunday.
State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II
institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference