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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Bemidji State begins season 3-0 with win over Mayville State

Bemidji State’s Melissa Youngblut takes a shot in front Mayville State head coach Dennis Hutter in the first half of the Beavers’ win Friday night. BSU Photo Services

By Alex Berg

BEMIDJI – For the first time in the Mike Curfman era, the Bemidji State women’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start after defeating Mayville State 85-77 Friday at the BSU gym.

“At times we have played some really good basketball,” Curfman said. “We’re still trying to figure out some combinations in our lineup that will work together.”

Both teams started the game hot from the field and the Comets led 10-9 after just two minutes.

But BSU’s Lanae Rash scored six points in the following four minutes that was a part of an 11-0 run which enabled the Beavers to build a 20-10 lead.

Rash scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half. She also added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Mayville (5-2) was able to cut its deficit to single digits after a 10-1 run made the score 32-26 with 6:49 remaining in the first half.

Boosted by three baskets from Jessie Althoff, BSU closed the half by outscoring the Comets 19-6 and it led 51-32 at halftime.

Those six points were the first of 14 for Althoff. She also pulled down six boards.

“I feel like my shot has been off for awhile, so just getting a few open shots really helped my confidence,” Althoff said.

After a 3-pointer from Morgan Lee, who finished with 14 points and five rebounds, Mayville scored the next seven points to trim its deficit to 56-42 with 17:46 left to play.

The Beavers answered with a run of their own that was capped by 3-pointers in consecutive possessions courtesy of Melissa Youngblut, Allison McKee, and Lee. Those points vaulted BSU to its largest lead of the game, 75-53, with 10:35 to play.

“They were playing a 2-3 zone, which really opens up some looks from three,” Althoff said. “So we tried to feed it inside and kick it out.”

Collectively the Beavers hit eight 3-pointers.

The Comets answered with three treys as part of an 11-0 run that cut the lead in half.

Sabrina Rude’s three long-range buckets cut the Mayville deficit to 83-75 with just 1:57 left to play.

Rude led all scorers with 25 points while making six shots from beyond the arc.

“It’s a win-lose,” Althoff said of Mayville’s 3-point shooting. “They missed a lot too, which helped us get a lead in the first place. But when they start making them, it is hard.”

Mayville State attempted 21 3-pointers in each half. The Comets hit only two in the opening 20 minutes but drained 11 in the second half.

“They kept shooting 3-pointers, I do not know if I have ever seen a team shoot 42 of them in one game,” Curfman said. “When they got hot, our lead disappeared quickly, but we were able to hold on for the win.”

Bemidji State (3-0) will look to continue its early-season success after an 11-day break when it travels to Mount Mercy on Nov. 20.

Mayville State 77

Rude 25 9-16 0-0, McMillan 12 4-9 3-5, Longtin 12 5-15 1-1, Tauer 7 1-8 4-5, Hoglo 6 3-3 0-2, Amann 6 2-3 0-0, Kassube 4 1-3 2-2, Heier 3 1-3 0-0, Francis 2 1-2 0-0, Meyer 0 0-2 0-0, Henrikson 0 0-3 0-0. Totals 77 27-67 13-42.

Bemidji State 85

Rash 18 9-16 0-2, Lee 14 4-13 2-2, Althoff 14 6-13 2-3, Thompson 7 2-8 3-3, Warmack 6 3-3 0-2, McKee 6 2-3 0-0, Youngblut 6 2-5 0-0, Wessling 6 3-12 0-0, Trabing 4 2-4 0-0, Reichert 2 1-2 0-0, Kaus 2 1-4 0-4, Carlson 0 0-0 0-0, Valley 0 0-0 0-0. Totals 85 35-83 7-14.

Halftime: Bemidji State 51 Mayville State 32