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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Huskies live up to top billing, top Bemidji State 73-48

BEMIDJI - The Bemidji State University women’s basketball team closed the regular season Saturday hosting the division leading Huskies from St. Cloud. The visitors lived up to the billing with a workmanlike 73-48 win over the Beavers.

On a night when the home team steadied the ball handling ship, it was cold shooting that proved to be the nemesis. St Cloud’s man to man defense pestered BSU for most of the night, and when the Beavers did get a good look at the basket, the jumpers failed to fall.

The game opened with both teams playing close to the vest. BSU found early success on the inside while SCSU combined a variety of weapons into its attack. Then leading 20-15, the Huskies fashioned the only significant run of the game. A 16-4 spurt during the last eight minutes of the half pushed the Beavers into a 36-22 deficit at the break.

Halftime saw BSU shooting only 25 percent from the floor while St Cloud was a very respectable 47 percent, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Emily Mauser led BSU at this point while the Huskies’ best was 10 from Jessica Benson.

The second half was largely an uneventful affair as the visitors continued the efficiency they showed earlier. They never allowed BSU to rally. The Beavers never scored more than two consecutive baskets in the half. The lead continued to inch up for St.Cloud, reaching 27 points with just under two minutes remaining.

BSU ended the night shooting just 32 percent, sealing its fate.

“We just didn’t shoot well enough,” said BSU coach Mike Curfman. “And we made too many mistakes to hope to overcome the shooting.”

Jessica Benson led the visitors with 24 points while Sam Price added 13. Morgan Lee’s 14 was tops for BSU.

The win upped SCSU’s record to 18-8 overall, 14-8 in the conference. BSU dropped to 11-15 and 7-1.

The NSIC playoffs begin Wednesday and Bemidji St. is the seventh seed in the North Division. The Beavers will open at No. 2 Minnesota State.

St. Cloud (73): Benson 9, 5-7, 24; Price 4, 2-2, 13; Anderson 3, 0-0, 7; Wagner 2-8, 0-0, 4; Jeffery 1, 0-0, 3; Petermann 2, 0-0, 5; Moen 2, 2-2, 7; Konopasek 1, 1-4, 3; LeCaptain 1, 2-2, 4. Totals: 25-56, 15-21, 73

BSU (48): Althoff 1, 2-2, 4; Kaus 4, 2-2, 10; Lee 5, 2-2, 14; Thompson 0, 0-0, 0; McKee 0, 2-2, 2; Wessling 1, 0-0, 3; Rash 2, 0-0, 4; Youngblut 3, 0-0, 7; Reichert 1, 0-0, 2; Warmack 1, 0-0, 2; Valley 0, 0-0, 0. Totals: 18-56, 8-8, 48

3-point FG: St. Cloud 8-15, BSU 4-19 (Lee 2, Wessling 1, Youngblut 1)

Fouls: St. Cloud 11, BSU 15

Halftme: St. Cloud 36, BSU 22