BEMIDJI — BSU tightened its defense when it mattered most and earned a 52-49 win over Concordia-St. Paul Saturday at the BSU gym.
“We have been so close, so to win tonight is awesome,” BSU head coach Mike Curfman said. “I thought we did a really good job defensively. We got the the rebounds when we needed them and we just executed very well.”
Senior Kate Warmack scored the first six points for the Beavers but Anika Whiting countered with six points of her own to help the Golden Bears (19-8, 14-6 NSIC) grab a 16-6 lead after six minutes.
“When you get involved early, it makes things easier as the game goes on,” Warmack said. “I looked for my shot early tonight and it paid off.”
Allison Cordes scored the next six on a pair of three-pointers to bring BSU within four at 16-12.
The Beavers (9-15, 5-15 NSIC) trailed 23-17 with 6:08 left in the first half but closed the half on a 12-2 run on baskets from Cordes, Warmack, Morgan Lee, Hanna Zerr and Jessie Althoff to take a 29-25 lead with just 10 seconds left in the half.
Ameshia Kearney added a three-pointer to beat the buzzer and send the teams to the locker room with BSU leading 29-28.
Althoff connected on two jumpers early in the second half to help BSU maintain a 37-32 advantage four minutes into the second half.
Concordia erased a five-point deficit with a 6-0 run to take its first lead of the second half at 48-47 with 4:57 to play..
“The key was when they went on their run, we were ahead 47-42,” Curfman said. “It was not like a five-point deficit turned into 11.”
Althoff broke a 49-49 tie with a jumper at the 3:23 mark that turned out to be the game-winner.
Warmack bounced back from a one-point performance Friday with 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Beavers.
“I give Kate a ton of credit,” Curfman said. “She got hurt last weekend and did not practice much this week, but it was senior weekend and she wanted to play through it.”
Whiting led all scorers with 25 points.
The game for the Beavers was the last home contest for seniors Althoff, Warmack and Lee.
“It is an awesome feeling,” Warmack said of ending her career at home with a win. “All the blood, sweat and tears over the years were worth it for this.”
BSU will conclude its regular season next weekend at Duluth and St. Cloud.
Concordia-St. Paul (49): Whiting 9-20 7-9 25; Kearney 3-7 0-0 8; Hansen 1-4 3-4 5; Wolyniec 2-10 0-1 5; Nicks 2-9 0-0 4; Batzel 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 18-54 10-14 49.
BSU (52): Warmack 4-9 6-6 14; Althoff 6-14 0-0 12; Cordes 4-5 0-0 10; Lee 2-9 1-2 7; Zerr 2-9 1-2 5; Miller 1-4 0-0 2; Youngblut 1-3 0-2 2. Totals 21-59 7-10 52.
Halftime: BSU 29, Concordia-SP 29