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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: BSU uses 24-0 run, cruises to big victory over Finlandia

Bemidji State guard Hannah Zerr pulls up for two against Finlandia defender Paige Yoho during the first half of Tuesday night's basketball action. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State women's basketball team used a 24-0 run in the first half Tuesday against Finlandia, helping secure a 93-47 win at the BSU Gymnasium.

The Beavers, now 4-0, had an early 16-12 lead through nine minutes of play but pulled away with their 24 consecutive points over the next six minutes.

A pair of Kate Warmack foul shots with 10:37 to go kicked off the run. BSU forced seven Finlandia turnovers and went 9-for-13 from the floor in that span.

"It was awesome," Bemidji State head coach Mike Curfman said of the big run. "Finlandia came out really scrappy, so to play that well on both sides of the floor was great to see."

The Lions (0-2) finally broke the scoreless spell following Paige Yoho's free throws at the 4:37 mark. But by that point the Beavers had a commanding 40-12 lead.

"We were good for the first 13-14 minutes," Finlandia head coach Terry Klemett said. "I don't know if it was lack of depth or lack of effort that prevented us from hanging around for at least a half. It is something I will have to look at in the film."

Although the run was started with Bemidji State's starters on the floor, Katie Miller, Emily Reichert and Rachel Valley all contributed while giving starters Warmack, Morgan Lee and Jessie Althoff a rest.

"We played together really well," freshman Tatum Sheley said. "We found the open player and we were able to hit the open shots. We were all on the same page tonight and you could see it during that run.

"It is so important to have depth because we will need bodies during conference play.

The Lions bounced back by taking better care of the basketball and scoring ten points in the remaining five minutes of the half, but a pair of last-minute three-pointers from Lee increased BSU's lead to 30 points at 52-22 as the teams headed to the locker room.

Althoff got the scoring started for BSU in the second half with a pair of baskets that sparked a 10-0 run to start the half and increase the lead to 40 points.

Bemidji State's starters all exited the game with double figures in scoring with 13 minutes left in the game.

Lee led the way with 17 points, Warmack and Sheley followed with 14 points each, while Althoff and Hanna Zerr contributed ten points each. Warmack added ten rebounds to notch her third double-double of the season.

The Beavers' bench took over for the remainder of the game and their effort was highlighted by a pair of three-pointers from Cori Schmidt — who had not attempted a shot yet this season prior to the game — that drew an ovation from her teammates on the sidelines.

BSU's largest lead was 51 but ended up winning by 46.

"There are not many games where we can get the kind of lead that we did," Curfman said. "It was great to girls that don't play a lot step up. We need that kind of depth because it really helps us in practices and in games when girls get into foul trouble."

The Lions were led by Haley Gervais and Marissa Burke. They each finished with 15 points and three three-three pointers.

"I cannot ask for anything more out of Haley and Marissa," Klemett said. "I have to try to find them breaks, they give everything they have on both sides of the ball."

Bemidji State will begin its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season Nov. 30 when it travels to Minnesota-Crookston.

"I feel really confident going into the conference season," Curfman said. "The Colorado trip was very good for us and these four games have showed us where we stand now and what we have to get better at."

"I think we are pretty ready," Sheley added. "It has been a good non-conference schedule and we have played really well. I hope we can carry that over into conference play."

Finlandia (0-2) will continue its non-conference play, as they too will take on the Golden Eagles. Action will begin at 5 p.m. tonight.

"I just want to see longevity," Klemett said. "It just seems like we compete for 15 minutes and then we hit that wall."

Finlandia (47)

Gervais 15 5-13 2-2, Burke 15 4-13 4-6, Yoho 7 1-9 4-4, Hakala 4 0-6 4-4, Ruska 2 0-8 2-2, Fallon 2 1-2 0-0, Osuna 2 1-6 0-0. Totals 12-59 16-18.

Bemidji State (93)

Lee 17 7-14 0-0, Warmack 14 6-9 2-2, Sheley 14 5-9 0-0, Althoff 10 5-6 0-0, Zerr 10 4-9 2-4, Miller 8 3-5 2-4, Schmidt 6 2-7 0-1, Valley 2-6 0-0, Winans 3 1-3 1-2, Reichert 3 1-3 1-2, Trabing 2 0-5 2-2, Baalke 2 1-4 0-0. Totals 37-84 10-17.

Halftime Score: Bemidji State 52, Finlandia 22