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BASKETBALL: Double-digit win for BSU women

BEMIDJI – A night after opening its regular season with a victory, the Bemidji State women’s basketball team once again defeated Lakehead (Ontario) 79-67 Saturday night at the BSU gym.

Saturday’s double-digit victory came just a night after Friday’s four point win over Lakehead. Morgan Lee led the way Saturday for BSU with 18 points.

“It was unique. Usually we do not play a team back-to-back like this. In fact, I do not think I have ever done it,” Bemidji State head coach Mike Curfman said. “It helps you make some adjustments. I think we definitely improved on the things that hurt us last night.”

Bemidji State (2-0) will host Mayville State at 7 p.m. Friday.

After a slow start from both teams Saturday, the Beavers scored nine unanswered points on a pair of baskets from Kate Warmack and one each by Lanae Rash and Emily Reichert to grab an early 13-4 lead with 14:10 left to play in the first half.

“This is the third day in a row we have played, so getting an early lead was huge,” Curfman said.

Baskets from Kelsey Bardsley and Carolyn Fragale helped the Thunderwolves erase a double-digit deficit and trim the BSU lead to 29-23 with 5:57 left in the half.

Bemidji State answered with an 11-0 run over the next 4:54 to re-build its lead to 17 points.

“The beginning and ends of each half are the most critical time in every game,” Curfman said.

“We were able to set the tone and establish momentum tonight at the end of the first half.”

The Beavers led 42-25 at halftime.

BSU started the second half playing just like it did to end the first half. An 8-3 run in the first four minutes of the half to make the score 50-28.

“We knew we would have to come out strong,” BSU junior guard Morgan Lee said. “To come out like that after the way we finished the first half was huge.”

Following a 9-0 run from Lakehead, Lee answered with a pair of three-pointers to give the Beavers a 60-41 lead with 11:24 remaining in the game.

“Those shots were key at that time,” Lee said. “It helped stop the streak they had going, and that is what we needed.”

Lee led all scorers with 18 points and three 3-pointers made.

BSU closed out the game by converting at the free throw line — something it did not do on Friday — and held on for the win.

“Typically, we are a pretty good free-throw shooting team,” Curfman said. “So hopefully last night was more of an anomaly and tonight was reality.”

Warmack posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Beavers showed its depth, at all positions, by playing ten players for at least 16 minutes.

“Our depth is going to be huge for us,” Lee said. “It is really nice having a deep bench and knowing that it does not matter who is on the floor because everyone is strong. I think we could be really good.”

Bemidji State (79) – Lee 18 7-13 1-2, Warmack 13 6-10 1-1, Althoff 12 3-7 5-6, Rash 10 4-10 2-2, Kaus 7 3-10 1-2, Youngblut 6 2-5 1-2, Reichert 5 2-4 0-0, Thompson 4 1-3 0-2, McKee 4 2-8 0-0, Trabing 0 0-4 0-0, Carlson 0 0-1 0-0, Koss 0 0-0 0-0, Heibel 0 0-0 0-0, Schmidt 0 0-0 0-0, Valley 0 0-0 0-0. Total 79 30-75 13-17.

Lakehead (67) – Fragale 14 6-10 2-2, Desta 14 2-4 10-12, Inkila 12 4-8 2-4, Ulakovic 8 3-7 0-0, Kalkan 6 2-6 2-3, Bardsley 6 2-12 0-0, Bland 6 3-5 0-0, Randall 1 0-1 1-2, Dehaan 0 0-7 0-2, Lerrete 0 0-1 0-0, Zen 0 0-0 0-0, Steeves 0 0-0 0-0. Total 67 22-61 17-25.

Halftime: Bemidji State 42 Lakehead 25