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Bemidji State men's and women's basketball teams snap losing streaks against U-Mary

Bemidji State's Lance Rongstad elevates for a basket during the first half of Saturday's game at BSU Gymnasium. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji State University men's basketball snapped a seven-game losing streak with a decisive 81-59 victory over the University of Mary in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest at the BSU Gymnasium.

"Our concentration level was much higher tonight," said head coach Matt Bowen. "We moved the ball well and executed on both offense and defense and the results were obvious with our win tonight. With such a young group, we have to realize we need to concentrate, prepare and adapt for every game. Tonight we did that an hopefully we can take some positives away for the rest of the season."

Senior Seth Haake led the team in scoring with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, while adding a team-high seven assists. Freshman Lance Rongstad scored 17 points and added seven rebounds and three steals in his most complete game since BSU downed then-No. 17 Winona State 88-87 in overtime, Dec. 12.

That win was the last before Saturday evening for BSU as they broke the month-long drought. Sophomore Bryce Tesdahl had a game and career-high 10 rebounds, while adding eight points and five assists.

The Beavers (6-10, 3-7 NSIC) an Marauders (9-7, 5-4 NSIC) were tied 10-10 after the first five minutes of play, then BSU took over. A 11-2 run that took seven minutes put the Beavers in a commanding nine point lead. In the run, BSU got offensive production from five different players. U-Mary came back with a 11-6 run to make the score 27-23 with 3:30 remaining in the half. The Beavers then responded with a 9-4 stretch to close the half and own a 36-27 lead heading into halftime.

BSU had its second best shooting night of the season at a 59.2 clip.

The best free throw shooing team in the conference went 17-of-21 (81%) in the game.

The Beavers complete their conference 3-game homestand with the University of Minnesota Duluth Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. in the BSU Gymnasium.

The Bemidji State University women's basketball team used a complete team effort to defeat University of Mary 71-61 in an Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game played at BSU Gymnasium.

Junior Colleen McKay had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win, recording the third double-double of her career.

"What a great team effort," said head coach Mike Curfman. "We had key contributions from every player tonight. We got some real good post play from Colleen McKay, Heather Sampson, Taylor Davis and Jessie Althoff. I thought we were patient on offense and made some key stops on defense."

Four players scored in double-figures and all 10 BSU players scored, with freshman Jessie Althoff leading the way with 11.

She was 4-of-4 from the field, 1-for-1 from the 3-point line and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Samantha Baldwin had a solid game in her first start of the season with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals, shooting 3-of-5 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. Sophomore Taylor Davis, who is averaging 20.3 points per game in her last three games, had 10 with four rebounds. McKay's double-double is the fourth by a Beaver player this season.

The Beavers (10-7, 4-6 NSIC) took a 30-25 lead into the locker room.

The closest U-Mary got was at the 6:07 mark when it was down 55-48, but a sophomore Sydney Epema 3-pointer squashed any opening for a run an the Beavers rolled to the 10-point victory.

BSU shot 43.9 percent in the game to the Marauders' 40 percent. The Beavers outrebounded (38-32) U-Mary and committed less turnovers (14-18). Epema had nine points and five rebounds. Sophomore Heather Sampson played a career-high 12 minutes, scoring four points.

The Beavers complete their conference three-game homestand with the UMD Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. at BSU Gymnasium.