WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Effort, teamwork help BSU's Lee reach 1,000 career points
BEMIDJI — Last Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo., Bemidji State senior guard Morgan Lee knocked down a free throw in the second half of an 85-61 win over Western State University that made her just the 16th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
“It feels really good,” Lee said of the accomplishment. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to the game to have something like that happen. It is great to get individual accomplishments, but as long as we are winning, that is the important thing.”
“It was awesome,” Bemidji State head coach Mike Curfman said of seeing Lee reach 1,000 points. “Morgan has put so much time and effort during her time here. So far this season, she is off to a great start while providing incredible leadership. She is playing her best basketball of her career right now. Scoring around 100 points in the first four games of the season really shows that, but she is providing so much more to the team than her scoring.”The memorable free-throw was just a part of a 29-point effort that included seven three-pointers and eight rebounds. With her performance, she earned most valuable player on the All-UCCS Classic Team.“It was a tough tournament,” Lee said. “We played a really good team on Friday night and it was a really good win for us that carried over into Saturday.”When asked where the achievement of 1,000 points ranks in her four years at BSU, Lee admitted it was towards the top, but was quick to acknowledge that the team success means more to her than any individual accomplishment.“It ranks pretty high up there,” Lee said. “But we have had some really big conference wins over the years and I would say those rank right up there too.”Lee would have liked to reach the milestone at home in front of the Bemidji fans, but she was just happy to contribute in Saturday’s win.“It would have been nice to do it here,” Lee said. “But we were on a roll and we had a lot of fun.”Through the first four games, Lee has scored 90 points and has made 18 of her 35 three-point attempts in just 119 minutes. Her 22.5 points and 2.5 steals per game lead the Beavers.“She is our go-to player that other teams know about,” Curfman said. “She is still able to knock down the shots while making some very nice assists in the process. Morgan very rarely takes a bad shot and her ability to make the right play makes the entire team better.”For the Beavers to maintain their early success and carry it into the conference schedule, they will depend on their senior leader to continue her impressive play.“I would be happy if she keeps playing like she has been,” Curfman said. “She works so hard and she is off to a great start to her senior season. I hope that she can maintain it.”For Lee, the 4-0 start to her senior campaign means just as much, if not more, than her individual milestone.“Our team is really confident right now,” Lee said. “I hope we can keep that going. If we keep pushing ourselves to get better each day, we can have some success.”Bemidji State will have time to rest before trying to carry its success into NSIC play, as they will travel to Minnesota Crookston on Nov. 30.