BSU's high-powered offense shut down
MOORHEAD - The Dragons are back on top. Allison Swenson had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Minnesota State Moorhead women's basketball team to a 69-48 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory against Bemidji State befo...
MOORHEAD - The Dragons are back on top.
Allison Swenson had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Minnesota State Moorhead women's basketball team to a 69-48 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory against Bemidji State before 392 fans Friday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.
The win, and a surprising 53-48 loss by No. 22-ranked Northern State at Southwest Minnesota State, gives the Dragons a share of the NSIC lead with seven games remaining.
MSUM was in first place until last Saturday, when the lost to Concordia-St. Paul.
"We knew with a sweep this weekend we could get back up there," said Swenson, whose team dropped from fourth to ninth in the North Central Region rankings following a loss to Northern State last week. "... I think we just have to take care of business and see what happens."
On a night that neither team was better than 36-percent from the floor, the Dragons dominated the glass ending with a 60-30 advantage. That rebounding edge led MSUM to a 17-9 advantage in second-chance points and helped the hosts generate 28 points in the paint.
BSU sent the Dragons to the line 17 times, 11 of which MSUM took advantage. Meanwhile, BSU failed to convert a single free-throw attempt making a 2006-07-low two trips to the stripe.
The Dragons were led by Jessica Fesenmaier who posted 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Stephanie Peterson carried the bulk of the scoring responsibility for BSU netting 14 points while grabbing a team-high eight boards. Amy Lawson and Heidi Matzke each added 10 points.
The Beavers were in for an uphill battle form the opening tip. Down three just 15 seconds in, BSU trailed 14-2 before four minutes had come off the clock.
A Kate Bremmer 3-pointer with 15:49 to go sparked a 9-1 run by Bemidji State, cutting the Dragons' advantage to 15-11. But MSUM kept the Beavers at bay, netting the next six points and would go on to stretch its lead to as many as 15 before taking a 37-24 lead into halftime.
Being down at the half is not something new to the Beavers. In 12 of their 20 games this season they have gone into the locker room trailing by at least a point - in five of those contests, the Beavers have found a way to come back and generate a win. But that was not to be on this night as BSU's high-powered offense sputtered.
As the second half got underway, the Beavers trimmed MSUM's lead to 43-34 with 15:15 to go but the Dragons quickly added five points and never looked back cruising to the victory and a 9-2 mark in conference play.
Bemidji State finished the night just 22-of-67 (.328) from the field and was 4-of-20 (.200) on 3-pointers - a mere shadow of a team that ranks in the top-25 in the NCAA averaging over 75 points per game. Although MSUM was not much better at 27-of-75 (.360) and 4-of-12 (.333), the Dragons added 11-of-17 free-throw attempts (.647).
Bemidji State (11-9, 7-5 NSIC) is back on the road today in St. Paul to battle Concordia University-St. Paul (12-8, 9-2 NSIC) at 6 p.m.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead sports writer Heath Hotzler contributed to this story.
MSU-Moorhead 69, Bemidji State 48
Bemidji State (11-9, 7-5 NSIC): Heidi Matzke 5-16 0-0 11, Nancy McConkey 0-2 0-0 0, Kate Bremmer 4-7 0-0 9, Amy Lawson 5-10 0-0 11, Stephanie Peterson 7-13 0-0 14, Miranda Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Bridget Smith 0-7 0-0 0, Kelly Landsverk 0-0 0-0 0, Colleen Boell 1-5 0-0 3, Melissa Roberts 0-2 0-0 0, Katherin Jamnick 0-4 0-0 0, Jenny Wenlund 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 22-67 0-2 48.
MSU-Moorhead (15-5, 9-2 NSIC): Katie Walden 2-6 3-6 9, Shelly Soule 0-5 0-0 0, Lindsey Anderson 4-9 0-0 10, Allison Swenson 5-11 5-6 15, Jessica Fesenmaier 7-13 2-2 16, Chris Falzon 4-8 0-0 8, Jessica Trautwein 3-6 0-0 6, Meghan Rettke 2-7 1-2 5, Alison Nash-Gerlach 0-5 0-0 0, Krista Opheim 0-3 0-0 0, Cydney Froelich 0-1 0-0 0, Kaitlin McCarthy 0-0 0-1 0, Lisa Thielen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-75 11-17 69.
Halftime - MSU-Moorhead 37-24. 3-point goals - Bemidji State 4-20 (Matzke 1-8, Bremmer 1-2, Lawson 1-1, Smith 0-4, Boell 1-3, Roberts 0-2), MSU-Moorhead 4-12 (Walden 2-4, Anderson 2-4, Falzon 0-3, Thielen 0-1). Fouled out - none. Technicals - none. Rebounds - Bemidji State 30 (Peterson 8), MSU-Moorhead 60 (Swensen 15). Assists - Bemidji State 3 (three with 1), MSU-Moorhead 17 (Opheim 6). Turnovers - Bemidji State 15 (Matzke, Peterson 3), MSU-Moorhead 14 (six with 2). Total fouls - Bemidji State 14, MSU-Moorhead 6. A - 392. Officials - Chris Heize, Steve Dengerud, Dave Wisnewski.