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Women's basketball: BSU bounces back with victory over Upper Iowa

BSU’s Jessie Althoff goes up for two of her 10 first-half points against Upper Iowa Saturday afternoon at BSU gymnasium. BSU Photo Services

BEMIDJI — After a forgettable loss to Winona State on Friday, the BSU women’s basketball team bounced back with a 64-59 win over Upper Iowa Saturday at the BSU gym.

“It was a nice way to respond,” BSU head coach Mike Curfman said of the win. “Looking at the film, we did a lot of good things defensively on Friday, we just missed way too many easy shots. It showed great character to bounce back like this against an Upper Iowa team that has some really good wing players.”

BSU used a balanced a scoring attack that saw all five starters score at least eight points.

Jessie Althoff and Katie Miller, who made her first start of her career Saturday, scored the first 14 points for the Beavers to build a 14-7 lead in the first five minutes of the game.

“It was important to get off to a good start,” Curfman said. “We have not started well lately and it put everyone at ease.”

“For us the start of the game is really important,” Miller added. “The first few shots can really set the tone of the game.”

A jumper from Lauren Buck gave Upper Iowa its first lead at 27-25 with 5:55 remaining in the first half.

Hanna Zerr went coast to coast for a layup to end the half and make the score even at 36 at the break.

The 36 points in the first half topped BSU’s total of 31 in Friday’s loss to Winona State.

Baskets from Morgan Lee and Melissa Youngblut put BSU in front 45-44 with 14:15 to play.

The Peacocks answered with a 7-0 run to take a 51-45 lead but BSU’s Kate Warmack scored six points over the next three minutes to aid a 9-2 run to regain the lead at 54-53.

“That was a time where we could have folded and said game over,” Curfman said. “We responded well. Tatum Sheley hit a big three-pointer for us. Those are the kind of shots you need when other players are in foul trouble.”

Warmack put the Beavers ahead for good with a putback layup with 90 seconds left in the game. Althoff added a floater in the lane and Lee sealed the win with a pair of free throws.

Althoff and Lee each scored 14 points for BSU. Miller added 12 points while Warmack tallied 11 points with her game-high eight rebounds.

Whitney Kieffer, of Upper Iowa, led all scorers with 16 points.

“It feels good to get back in the win column,” Miller said. “I think it could really set the tone for how we start the games next weekend. We just needed this win to get us back on track.”

BSU (7-5, 3-5 NSIC) returns to action next weekend with road contests against Augustana and Wayne State.

Upper Iowa (59): Kieffer 6-10 4-4 16; Buck 6-14 2-3 14; Carroll 3-8 2-2 11; Pagel 4-10 1-1 9; Meier 3-9 0-0 6; Thrapp 1-7 0-0 3. Totals 23-62 9-12 59.

BSU (64): Althoff 7-13 0-0 14; Lee 5-16 2-2 14; Miler 5-8 2-5 12; Warmack 3-8 0-0 8; Sheley 1-5 0-0 3; Youngblut 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-66 5-9 64.

Halftime: BSU 36, Upper Iowa 36