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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Beavers falter late vs. UMC

Bemidji State freshman Sydney Arrington (55) drives toward the hoop while being blocked by a Minnesota Crookston player Tuesday during a game at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
BSU’s Hanna Zerr (3) puts up the basketball Tuesday during a game against Minnesota Crookston at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Bemidji State’s Aimee Pelzer (12) dribbles with the basketball Tuesday during a game against Minnesota Crookston at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- Tied at 73-73 with just over a minute to play, the Bemidji State women’s basketball team let one get away in an 83-75 loss to Minnesota Crookston on Tuesday night at the Sanford Center.

“It’s a little of that deflating loss,” BSU head coach Chelsea DeVille said. “We absolutely just got stuck in the mud there in the end… We had a win that was definitely in our control slip away from us.”

The Beavers (4-9, 1-10 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference)led 45-42 at halftime and 61-60 going into the fourth quarter.

But Minnesota-Crookston (4-10, 4-6 NSIC) hung in there and managed to play with the lead for much of the fourth.

That was before BSU’s Aimee Pelzer hit a big three with 4 minutes left, regaining a 71-69 lead for the Beavers. Pelzer then hit Sierra Senske with a no-look pass to tie the game at 73-all with 1 minute, 16 seconds remaining, but it was all UMC from there.

Minnesota Crookston closed the game on a 10-2 run, running away late with an 83-75 win.

“You look at the shots we took offensively, we were still getting great looks, we just couldn’t finish them,” DeVille said. “We ended up with empty possessions, and they went down… took tough shots, and they went in.”

It had started well for the Beavers. Early in the game Pelzer was on fire, nailing three three-pointers in BSU’s first four possessions. At one point following Pelzer’s long-range succerss, Erica Gartner got a steal and score to put Bemidji State ahead 14-6.

But after making five of their first six shots, the Beavers cooled off, missing seven of their last nine. It allowed UMC to crawl back in the game, resulting in a 19-18 BSU lead after one.

Isieoma Odor got the Golden Eagles ahead in the second, scoring the team’s first eight points en route to a 26-23 lead.

But then Allison Cordes took her turn from behind the arc, going 4-for-4 in the quarter, which included a streak of three straight possessions. Her fourth gave BSU a 39-33 lead with two minutes left in the half, but by the break, the Bemidji State lead was trimmed to three at 45-42.

Minnesota Crookston came out strong in the third, opening on a 7-2 spurt to take a 49-47 advantage.

The deficit reached four for BSU when Pelzer stepped up with a big three. Soon after, Gartner came up with a steal and score, and Allyson Dahl followed with a three pointer to hand the Beavers a 59-56 lead, which held at 61-60 heading into the fourth.

UMC ended up outscoring BSU 23-14 in the fourth quarter.

Pelzer finished with 21 points and eight assists, while Senske and Cordes each added 14.

UMC was led by Odor’s 21 as Emily Gruber finished with 20 and Alison Hughes 16. The Golden Eagles went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 1 minute, 13 seconds to ice away the victory.

The Beavers will return to the BSU Gymnasium at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13 to host Sioux Falls.

“It’s really frustrating because we should have had it, but it just kinda got away from us,” Pelzer said. “We just have to look past this and say, ‘We should have had that,’ and use that fire for Friday and Saturday coming up.”

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, he is currently studying Creative and Professional Writing at Bemidji State. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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