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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Wayne State defense overwhelms BSU in first round playoff loss

Wayne State’s Millie Niggeling, left, and Kara Powell defend against BSU’s Tatum Sheley during their first-round NSIC playoff game Wednesday in Wayne, Neb. The Wildcats held the Beavers to just 13 first-half points and won the game 72-42 to advance to this weekend’s quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Beavers finish their season 9-18 overall. Richard Rhoden | The Wayne Stater

WAYNE, Neb. —The BSU women’s basketball team did a good job executing its gameplan against top-seeded Wayne State in the first half of their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference first-round tournament game.

The Beavers held Wildcats to 27 points and just 35 percent shooting in the first half.

But unfortunately for the Beavers, the Wildcats’ defense was even better.

Wayne State held BSU to just 13 points in the first half, then exploded to score 49 points in the second en route to a 72-42 victory Wednesday night at Wayne State’s Rice Auditorium.

“When you play a team that’s 27-3 and No. 9 in the country your margin for error is pretty small,” BSU head coach Mike Curfman told Beaver Radio Network following the game. “We did some good things but couldn’t keep up with them in the second half.”

The Beavers end their season at 9-18 overall.

Wayne, now 27-3, will advance to Saturday’s NSIC quarterfinal game Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, they’ll take on the University of Sioux Falls.

In Wednesday’s game the Beavers did a good job limiting the Wildcats’ scoring but couldn’t do much of their own.

Wayne State led the entire game and scored the game’s first nine points. BSU didn’t get on the board until a Jessie Althoff layup nearly halfway through the first half.

The Wildcats went into the break with a 27-13 lead.

“We had 26 shots at halftime, but they were all good shots,” Curfman said. “We executed the gameplan perfectly in the first half.

“In the second half we had to speed up a little bit and got away from the gameplan because we were down 14 at the half.”

Wayne scored the first three baskets of the second half to go up by 20 until BSU finally scored.

The Wildcats ran from there, outscoring BSU 45-29 in the second half. Once Wayne went up 35-15 with 17:32 they never led by less than 20 for the rest of the game.

Senior Kate Warmack led BSU with 14 points while fellow seniors Morgan Lee and Jessie Althoff added 10 and six points, respectively. Warmack also grabbed 16 rebounds to cap her BSU career with a double-double.

Millie Niggeling had a game-high 18 for Wayne State while Addy Roller added 10.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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