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Bemidji St. falters after promising start

Bemidji State’s Morgan Lee drives the lane against Minnesota State Moorhead’s Morgan Zabel during Friday’s game. BSU Photo Services

BEMIDJI - The MSU Moorhead women’s basketball team visited Bemidji Friday and came away with a hard-fought victory, downing the Beavers 75-66.

Things looked promising for the home team heading into the second half as a Morgan Lee 3-pointer and back-to-back-to-back baskets by Jess Althoff brought the Beavers to within 44-40. Just one minute later Lee converted a steal and the play combined with two Melissa Youngblut free throws to give BSU the lead.

Unfortunately, during the push Kate Warmack was whistled for her fourth foul and was forced to the bench. And all the good momentum went with her.

After taking the brief lead, BSU would not score a field goal for a remarkable 10 minutes and 38 seconds. While the Beavers were able to convert seven of eight free throws during the drought, by the time Lanae Rash broke the spell Moorhead had built a 63-55 lead with just four minutes to play.

The best the home team could do was trade punches the rest of the way and the Dragons had their win.

The Beavers opened the night in promising fashion, playing a first half that featured defensive energy and pressure. Late in the half back-to-back 3-pointers from Lee pulled BSU to within two points. However, in what would prove to be just a taste of what lay ahead, BSU didn’t score in the last 3:45 and Moorhead owned a 37-31 advantage at the break.

Lee finished with a game-high 25 points, including five triples. Althoff added 13, Warmack 11, and Rash 10 for BSU. Warmack also plucked 10 boards for another double-double despite the foul troubles.

Megan Stresse took advantage of Warmack’s foul troubles and led the Dragons with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Kaycee Charette added 17 points and Morgan Sabell 11.

The win lifted MSU to 10-7 overall and 7-6 in NSIC play. BSU fell to 7-10 and 3-10.

The Beavers return to action 4 p.m. today when they host Northern State.

MSU Moorhead (75): Strese 2, 14-16, 18; Handevidt 0, 1-2, 1; Thomforde 4, 0-0, 9; Charette 5, 3-4, 17; Yernatich 4, 0-2, 9; Roehrich 1, 2-2, 5; Noreen 1, 0-2, 3; Miller 1, 0-2, 2; Zabel 2, 7-9, 11. Totals: 20-56, 27-39, 75

BSU (66): Althoff 4, 5-5, 13; Warmack 4, 3-4, 11; Rash 3, 4-4, 10; Lee 9, 2-2, 25; Thompson 0, 0-0, 0; Wessling 1, 1-2, 3; Youngblut 0, 2-2, 2; Reichert 0, 0-0, 0; McKee 0, 0-0, 0; Kaus 1, 0-1, 2. Totals: 22-56, 17-20, 66

3-point FG: MSU Moorhead 8-19; BSU 5-18 (Lee 5-13, Thompson 0-3, Wessling 0-1, Youngblut 0-1)

Fouls: MSU Moorhead 16, BSU 26

Halftime: MSU Moorhead 37, BSU 31