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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: BSU battles U-Mary to the final horn, falls just short

BEMIDJI — Although the final outcome was not what it wanted, the BSU women’s basketball team played one of its best basketball games of the season in a 71-67 loss to University of Mary Saturday at the BSU Gym.

“As far as execution goes, I thought it was one of our better games,” BSU head coach Mike Curfman said. “I told them that I was proud of their effort tonight. We did a lot of good things and it just came down to a few plays. Unfortunately that is becoming a broken record for us this season.”

Senior Morgan Lee knocked down a contested step-back three-pointer to tie the game at 65-65 with 50 seconds remaining, but the Beavers were outscored 6-2 in the remaining seconds and the Marauders (13-8, 11-7 WCHA) pulled out the victory.

“If you were here watching the game, you could see there was not much more we could have done,” said BSU freshman Katie Miller, who scored nine points off the bench for BSU along with 11 rebounds. “Some little things just went their way and sometimes you cannot help that.”

With the loss, BSU (8-14, 4-14 NSIC) is now winless in its last seven contests.

McKenzie Foster hit on her first two three-point attempts to help the Marauders build a quick 10-3 lead in the first two minutes of the game.

The Beavers countered the hot shooting with baskets of their own from Lee, Jessie Althoff, Allison Cordes and Melissa Youngblut to tie the game at 19-19 with 11:05 remaining in the first half.

“It is very important to start off like we did,” Curfman said. “So many of these games come down to one or two possessions, so you want to make sure you are not giving those possessions away early in the game.”

U-Mary used a 15-5 run over the next seven minutes to build a double-digit lead of 34-24.

The Marauders held a 39-29 lead at the half.

A three-point play from Miller and a layup from Lee helped the Beavers cut the deficit in half at 41-36 in the first three minutes of the second half.

U-Mary bounced back to push the lead back over double digits to 11 points, but Tatum Sheley and Cordes led an undersized lineup that trimmed the deficit down to three points at 52-49 with 10:34 remaining.

“They definitely brought a different style of play,” Miller said of the undersized lineup. “It was great to know that no matter who was out there, we weren’t going to lose ground.”

Lee and Althoff each hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 56-56 with 5:19 left to play.

Senior Kate Warmack gave BSU its first lead of the game, and first in over 125 minutes of play dating back to last weekend, with a pair of free throws to make it 60-58 with 3:40 left on the clock.

Warmack finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, while Lee added 14 points to lead BSU.

Miller added nine points and 11 rebounds in 19 minutes off of the bench for the Beavers.

“Katie played a great game for us,” Curfman said. “She really gives us another rebounder that helps Kate and Jessie inside.”

U-Mary’s Linda Murray led all scorers with 24 points.

BSU will wrap up its home schedule with games against Minnesota State and Concordia-St. Paul next weekend.

U-Mary 71, BSU 67

U-Mary (71) — Murray 10-24 5-7 25; Dietz 5-10 5-5 17; Foster 4-9 2-2 14; Larson 0-1 4-4 4; Sand 0-7 4-4 4; Clarke 1-3 2-2 4; Saunders 0-2 2-2 2; Turner 0-3 1-2. Totals 20-60 25-28

BSU (67) — Warmack 4-10 6-8 14; Lee 4-14 4-4 14; Althoff 2-9 6-6 10; Cordes 3-5 2-2 9; Sheley 1-4 4-4 6; Youngblut 1-1 1-2 3; Zerr 1-7 0-0 2. Totals 20-59 24-27 67.

Halftime: U-Mary 39, BSU 29