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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Bemidji State edges Lakehead 79-75

Bemidji State’s Lanae Rash (3) outruns Lakehead’s Ayse Kalkan in the first half of the Beavers’ 79-75 win over the Thunderwolves Friday night at BSU. Rash finished the game with a team-high 24 points. BSU photo services

BEMIDJI – The Bemidji State women’s basketball team defeated Lakehead University of Ontario 79-75 Friday night in the Beavers’ regular season and home opener.

Transfer Lanae Rash scored a game-high 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists for BSU (1-0).

BSU had a comfortable lead throughout the first half, but poor shooting from the charity stripe and a barrage of 3-pointers from the Thunderwolves allowed Lakehead to narrow the game within single digits.

BSU and Lakehead return to the floor at 7 p.m. today.

Junior Morgan Lee posted 16 points on 55 percent from 3-point range and pulled in six rebounds for BSU, while Iowa State transfer Melissa Youngblut tallied 10 points with five boards in 21 minutes.

Kelsey Bardsley led Lakehead with 17 points.

BSU shot 43 percent in the game while the Thunderwolves managed 37 percent from the field.

The Beavers jumped to a large 16-4 lead in the first five minutes to open the contest, before the Thunderwolves managed to find a rhythm in the game and make a more competitive match. With five minutes left in the half, Lakehead chipped into BSU’s lead with two long 3-pointers by guard Bardsley. BSU entered the locker room with a 49-40 lead.

The Wolves opened up the second half with more energy and out-played BSU in a 14-7 run within the first seven minutes to cut the lead to three.

The next nine minutes the teams would trade points with neither team gaining a large advantage, but a long three pointer by Bardsley at the four minute mark gave the Wolves their first lead of the game over BSU 73-72.

The Thunderwolves’ lead would only reach three after a three pointer by Lee with 3:38 left in the game. BSU never looked back, going on a seven-point run and shutting out Lakehead to end the game.