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Women’s basketball: Beavers can’t counter Northern’s size

BEMIDJI — Northern State earned a ninth consecutive win as it defeated BSU’s women’s basketball team 69-55 Saturday at the BSU gym.

BSU held Northern State to 45.5 percent shooting but surrendered 12 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds and were out-rebounded 45-24.

“Northern is such a good rebounding team,” BSU head coach Mike Curfman said. “That was the difference in the game. They are big, physical and strong. I thought our effort was good, they just executed a little bit better than we did.”

Three baskets from Megan Mutchler fueled an 8-2 run for the Wolves that helped build an 18-11 lead midway through the first half.

“We need to come out stronger in the first half,” junior Melissa Youngblut said. “We let them set the tempo.”

Baskets from seniors Morgan Lee and Kate Warmack helped the Beavers cut the deficit to just two points at 24-22 with 5:49 left in the half.

“We got close and I thought we were about to make a run a couple of times,” Curfman said. “They always answered back. A lot of what we did to Moorhead (in Friday’s 64-53 BSU victory), Northern did to us tonight.”

Northern State pused a 9-0 run to grab its first double-digit lead of the game at 36-25 but Lee ended BSU’s drought with a jumper in the final minute of the half to make the score 36-27 at the break.

The Wolves out-rebounded the Beavers 24-12 in the first half and 10 of their rebounds came off the offensive boards.

“They are a big and tall team,” Youngblut said. “They were a lot more physical than we were. Obviously we need to box out better.”

Northern State extended its lead to 49-33, its largest of the game, with 13:30 remaining to play.

Three-pointers from Jessie Althoff and Youngblut cut the deficit back down to 10 points midway through the half but the Wolves maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest by making 10 of 11 free throws in the second half.

Northern’s Rachel Krogman led all scorers with 18 points. She also pulled down a dozen rebounds to complete the double-double.

Warmack led the Beavers offense with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Youngblut made three three-pointers and scored 11 points in her second start of the season.

“I knew that a lot of teams probably would not know too much about me since I was out during the first half of the season,” Youngblut said. “I had a lot of people sagging off of me and focusing on the other great players on our team, so I was basically wide open a few times.”

“They were really focusing on Kate, Morgan and Jessie,” Curfman said. “We needed someone else to step up and hit some shots and she did. That is something that will be key for us moving forward.”

BSU (8-8, 4-8 NSIC) will be on the road next weekend as it travels to U-Mary and Minot State.

Northern State (69): Krogman 8-15 2-2 18; Mutchler 6-11 3-3 15; Kusler 5-9 4-5 14; Hofschild 2-2 4-4 8; Waytashek 2-8 1-2 6; Magner 1-2 1-2 4; Stotesbery 2-7 0-0 4. Totals 26-55 15-18 69.

BSU (55): Warmack 5-7 6-6 16; Youngblut 4-9 0-2 11; Althoff 4-11 0-0 9; Lee 3-11 2-2; Zerr 2-7 1-1 5; Sheley 1-8 1-2 3; Cordes 1-1 0-0 2; Miller 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 20-55 11-15 55.

Halftime: Northern State 36, BSU 27