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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Despite losses, Bemidji State happy with exhibition results

BEMIDJI — The Bemidji State women’s basketball team finished its two-game exhibition season with a 78-66 loss to Division I opponent North Dakota Tuesday in Grand Forks.

Despite the result, the 12-point loss was a significant improvement from a 100-57 loss to South Dakota State on Oct. 27, according to head coach Mike Curfman.

“I thought the two Division I exhibition games were great for us,” Curfman said. “We were playing against girls that were bigger, faster, and stronger at most positions. It makes execution that much more important. Up to this point, I am pretty pleased from what I have seen.”

Freshman guard Hanna Zerr liked the way the team was able to make adjustments against their D-I opponents.

“After the first game, we saw how hard it was going to be,” freshman guard Hanna Zerr said. “I think the adjustments we made during the week really worked out well.”

Despite taking a loss, the Beavers were impressive against North Dakota, as they built a nine-point lead with under five minutes to play in the first half and led 39-37 at halftime.

“We did a great job of finding open shooters and knocking down open shots in the first half,” Curfman said. “We built a nine point lead and had a lead going into halftime. It was all that we could have hoped for.”

Zerr, despite being a freshman, has started in each of the games and logged a team-high 64 minutes in the two games.

“Hanna has played in a lot of big basketball games,” Curfman said of his freshman guard. “Playing in Shakopee, she saw a lot of Division I and II caliber players in her conference. That helped her become more ready than a typical freshman would be.”

“She is also a very talented young lady,” he continued. “I have been really pleased with what I have seen so far.”

She connected on three three-pointers on Tuesday, while scoring 14 points and dishing out three assists.

“I think I have taken advantage of the minutes I have gotten so far,” Zerr said. “The minutes you get are earned and I just want to do my best when I am out there.”

With many new faces joining the BSU team this season, Curfman is pleased with how far his team has come in less than a month.

“I would say we are ahead of the curve,” Curfman said. “We changed up our defensive schemes this year and the girls are starting to understand the positioning and where they should be at.”

Even with the improvements they have already made, both Curfman and Zerr know that there is room for improvement before the regular season starts next week.

“I think the biggest thing we need to improve on is rebounding and help side defense, because it is a new defense,” Curfman said. “If we can do that, it will really help us moving forward into next week.”

“We need to keep working on defense,” Zerr added. “We spent all of today’s practice figuring out the adjustments we need to make and where we need to rotate to without having to think about it.”

Bemidji State will host Mayville State next Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. at the BSU Gym.