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BSU women's basketball off to best start in 10 years

GRINNELL, Iowa -- A balanced offensive attack and stingy defense lifted the Bemidji State University women's basketball team to a 108-63 win over Martin Luther College at the Grinnell Tip-Off Tournament on Friday.

The win gives BSU a 2-0 start that the program hasn't seen since the 1999-00 season. The Beavers have started 2-0 only eight times in the 43 years of the program.

Thirteen players scored for the Beavers and Sydney Epema led the way with 21 points. BSU held MLC to 36.2 percent shooting, while BSU connected on 50 percent of its shots.

The last time the Beavers scored 100 points and won was Feb. 22, 2003 against University of Minnesota Morris by the score of 101-43.

"After the eight minute mark we really pick-up the intensity," BSU head coach Mike Curfman said. "The keys to the game for us is that we did a great job of getting the lose balls, offensive rebounds, second chance points and limiting them to one shot each possession. We have worked hard on defense this season and we did a good job today, but have a long way to go. I was happy we were able to get everyone some playing time and they all did well. We had a lot of different combos in there and that should really help us down the road."

The Beavers and Knights went back-and-forth early in the first half, sitting deadlocked at 17-17 at the 10:23 mark. BSU then kicked it into gear and rattled-off a 19-4 run to grab a 36-21 lead with 5:16 remaining in the opening half. BSU went on to close the half on a 19-8 run and owned a 55-29 halftime lead. The second frame was more dominance by the Beavers as they continually increased the lead, peaking at a 46 point advantage with one minute remaining.

All 14 available players saw minutes in the game. Eight players scored at lead seven points and three reached double-figures in Epema, freshman Jessie Althoff with 14 and senior Kim Rosecrans with 10. Epema was 7-11 from the field and 5-9 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore Taylor Davis was the best all-around player on the court with seven points, six rebounds and five assists in 21 minutes. Freshman Emily Kaus had nine rebounds, four on the offensive glass.

As a team, BSU committed only 12 turnovers and forced 24 from the Knights. The Beavers had more rebounds, 48-27, and assists 23-12 in the win.

The Beavers finish the tournament Saturday against Buena Vista University at 1 p.m.