|February 19, 2021||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||BSU||UMC|
|FG Percentage||.473 (26-55)||.448 (26-58)|
|3P FG Percentage||.267 (4-15)||.444 (8-18)|
|FT Percentage||.920 (23-25)||.680 (17-25)|
Peplinski - 16
Mertens - 2
Vold - 2
Mertens - 1
Fox - 1
CROOKSTON, Minn. (Lysaker Gymnasium) – After nearly 15 seasons, Bemidji State University clinched its first winning regular season after pulling away for a 79-77 win over the University of Minnesota Crookston Friday night at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston, Minn. Sophomore center Rachael Heittola led the Beavers with 25 points on 76.9 percent shooting from the field as the team improves to 8-5 overall and 7-4 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with the regular season finale set for Saturday.
Heittola and BSU’s post presence was the main feature Friday night as she and senior center Taylor Bray combined for 37 points. Heittola finished the game shooting 10-of-13 from the field with 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season while Bray scored 12 points and pulled down four rebounds of her own. Senior guard Brooklyn Bachmann recorded 15 points on the night on 6-of-9 shooting with four assists and four rebounds.
The Beavers out-battled the Golden Eagles in the paint, 42-24, but allowed UMC to score 15 points off 18 BSU turnovers. Minnesota Crookston also knocked down eight 3-pointers to four for Bemidji State to keep the game close until the end.
Bemidji State got out to a quick start with a 6-1 lead behind a 3-pointer from senior forward Gabby Dubois and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Heittola two minutes into play. UMC came back to take the lead less than two minutes later as leads went back-and-forth for the majority of the opening quarter. The Beavers closed out the final 2:51 of the quarter on a 9-0 run, though, to help build to their largest lead of the game early in the second.
Heittola and Dubois combined to score BSU’s first five points of the second quarter to take a 29-18 lead. Again, the Golden Eagles came back from the deficit with a 13-2 run to tie the game at 31-31 under the five-minute mark. BSU was held to 1-of-6 shooting during the four-minute stretch before going 5-of-5 from the field, including eight points from Bachmann, to finish the half and take a 41-35 lead into halftime.
The game of runs continued into the third quarter as UMC used a 11-2 run to take its first lead since the first quarter, 46-45. The lead traded three times before BSU went into the final 10 minutes with a 64-59 advantage. The Golden Eagles scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to again overcome a deficit and take a 68-64 lead, their largest of the night. Bachmann snapped the streak and scored four points of a 6-0 run over the next 1:55 to give BSU the lead again. The game was tied twice more after the short BSU run before junior guard Coley Rezabek hit a 3-pointer to give the Beavers a 75-72 lead with 3:23 to play. Both teams missed two field goals until nearly one minute to play when BSU hit 4-of-5 free throws to seal the game.
The Beavers and Golden Eagles finish the regular season’s final weekend Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), or like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers).
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).