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Beaver women's basketball team pulls off big upset of No. 21 Augustana

Anna Hebrink drives to the basket for Bemidji State Saturday against Augustana.

The Bemidji State women's basketball team upset No. 21-ranked Augustana 79-78 Saturday at the BSU Gymnasium.

"It is huge," said head coach Mike Curfman of the win, "especially at home. Our two seniors, Anna Hebrink and Colleen McKay, really stepped up and played great today."

Hebrink and McKay each finished with a team-high 18 points.

The Beavers improved to 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. They will host No. 9 Wayne State at 2 p.m. today.

Both teams found success from behind the arc in the first half, each making six 3-pointers. The Beavers were led early by Hebrink, who made three of her four 3-pointers in the first half. Bemidji State went to the locker room with a 38-33 lead.

The Beavers' strong shooting continued in the second half. Junior guard Samantha Baldwin made a free throw to give the home team a 54-45 lead with 14:35 left.

The Vikings took their first lead of the second half, 57-56, with 11:15 remaining.

"They are such a good team, you have to expect them do go on big runs," said Curfman. "When they do it is important to get points back. That is where Colleen McKay really shined and did a great job of getting baskets inside."

The teams traded leads for the following 10 minutes. Freshman guard Morgan Lee made a layup to give the Beavers a 77-75 lead with under a minute to play.

McKay pushed the Beaver lead to four with 16 seconds to play. The Vikings trailed by one with seven seconds and had one last chance to win the game, but failed to do so.

Lee and sophomore center Jessie Althoff finished with 11 points each.

McKay and freshman guard Ellie Wessling each grabbed nine rebounds for Bemidji State.

"Hopefully this will build some confidence," said Curfman. "Wayne is ranked very high, rightfully so, just like Augustana. We have to come out with that same 40 minutes of effort, good teamwork, and intensity. If we do that, good things can happen."