|February 26, 2021||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||BSU||CSP|
|FG Percentage||.381 (24-63)||.452 (28-62)|
|3P FG Percentage||.278 (5-18)||.375 (3-8)|
|FT Percentage||.857 (18-21)||.688 (11-16)|
Becher - 2
Lemke - 2
Vold - 2
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Sanford Pentagon) -- An opportunity to advance to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Semifinals was realized Friday after strong performances during the first and second halves by junior guard Trinity Myer and sophomore center Rachael Heittola in Bemidji State University women’s basketball’s 71-70 win over Concordia University-St. Paul at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
BSU earned its first win in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament since 2004 as Heittola and Myer each finished with at least 20 points against CSP. Heittola led the charge early with 12 of her 20 points coming within the first 12 minutes of action while Myer scored 14 of her 22 points, leading all players, during the second half. Both student-athletes recorded 10 points quarters, Heittola in the first and Myer in the third. Heittola also pulled down 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
Junior forward Taylor Vold recorded her third double-digit scoring game of the season with 11 points, including seven coming within the first 11 minutes of play. She added seven rebounds, two blocks and one assist while senior guard Brooklyn Bachmann chipped in seven points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The Beavers got a boost offensively with 15 second-chance points on 13 offensive rebounds, compared to just four second-chance points for the Golden Bears. BSU also outrebounded CSP, 42-35, and sank two more 3-pointers than the Golden Bears.
Heittola ignited its offensive attack on the boards to start the game as she helped BSU to a 6-3 lead with two offensive rebounds for two second-chance baskets. Heittola scored 10 points in the first six minutes of play, the last of which gave the Beavers a 10-point, 17-7 lead. CSP followed with an 8-0 run and held BSU to 0-of-6 shooting over a 3:11 span. Vold put in a second-chance layup to snap the streak and give Bemidji State a 19-15 lead after one quarter.
Both teams traded points over the first six scores of the second quarter until CSP went on a 6-0 run over a two and a half minute run. Senior guard Sydney Zerr and Myer answered with two 3-pointers to push BSU’s lead back to four, 31-27, just under the five minute mark. The Golden Bears again went on a run, this time of 8-0, to take its first lead since early in the first quarter. After trailing 35-31, BSU held CSP scoreless over the final 2:37 of the half to exit the quarter with a 35-35 tie.
The third quarter opened with baskets by CSP and BSU before eight straight free throws combined by both teams. The back-and-forth game continued three-minute mark in the quarter. The Golden Bears then went on a 6-0 run with three free throws and a 3-pointer to take its largest lead of the game up to this point, 55-50. Heittola, Myer and Vold scored two points each over the final 1:40 of the quarter to cut BSU’s deficit to one, 57-56, heading into the fourth quarter.
Bachmann scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for BSU to keep the team within one possession of CSP. Bachmann’s final basket of the game tied scoring at 61-61 with 6:10 to play. The Golden Bears again went up by three points before free throws from senior forward Gabby Dubois and Rachael Heittola gave the Beavers the lead again, 65-64. Myer continued her strong second half with a jumper and an assist on a layup by Heittola to extend the lead to five, 69-64, with 3:07 remaining. While Myer added BSU’s final two points on free throws, the team’s defense came up clutch while holding CSP to just four points over the final three minutes, including forcing two turnovers and a miss on a final-second layup attempt by CSP.
Bemidji State will play in the NSIC semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday against the NSIC North Division No. 1 seed University of Minnesota Duluth. BSU was swept earlier this season by UMD, 68-58 on Feb. 12 and 73-62 on Feb. 13, in Duluth, Minn. Bemidji State last played in the semifinal round when it fell to Minnesota Duluth, 70-51, during the 2004 tournament. The Beavers are looking to advance to the NSIC Tournament Championship game for the first time ever.
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).