Moorhead women eliminate Bemidji State 59-58

Dressed in head-to-toe black, the Minnesota State Moorhead women's basketball team's coaches looked more like they were attending a wake than hosting a postseason game Wednesday night.

Dressed in head-to-toe black, the Minnesota State Moorhead women's basketball team's coaches looked more like they were attending a wake than hosting a postseason game Wednesday night.

But the Dragons proved they aren't ready to say goodbye to this season just yet.

Jessica Trautwein nailed a turnaround jump shot with 3.5 seconds remaining to lift MSUM to a 59-58 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament first-round victory against Bemidji State before 374 fans at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

The Dragons will travel to top-seeded Wayne State at 2 p.m. Saturday for a semifinal matchup. The Beavers' season ends with a 12-15 record.

"That was awesome," MSUM coach Karla Nelson said. "We have struggled so much. I'm just trying to find anything. You have to give us a lot of credit because our confidence was low. Now we just want to go to Wayne, play as hard as we can and see what happens."


Despite earning the No. 4 seed and a home game for the first round, the Dragons entered the postseason reeling after injuries and inconsistency led to losses in five of their last six regular-season games.

MSUM lost leading scorer and preseason co-league MVP Jessica Fesenmaier during the first game of the season, and starting freshman point guard Katie Walden went down with a broken thumb last week.

However, the Dragons battled through the absences all season and the added playing time for backups Sherri Notsch m Hayley Schanilec and Meghan Rettke finally paid dividends Wednesday.

Starting in place of Walden, Notsch registered a career-high 10 assists. Schanilec drilled three 3-pointers and finished with nine points in 17 minutes. Rettke had four points and six rebounds in 15 minutes.

None of them entered the game averaging more than 11 minutes on the court.

"February was a tough month for us," Trautwein said. "Now that it's March, we're hoping things turn around."

The Beavers played one of their best defensive games of the season to give themselves a chance to win at the end.

Bemidji State battled back from a nine-point, second-half deficit to tie the game at 48-48 with 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining.


Point guard Amy Lawson took over for the Beavers down the stretch, scoring five points in the final 2 minutes to give her team a 56-53 advantage with 38 seconds left.

Then came the mistake.

Clinging to a one-point lead, Bemidji state turned the ball over on an attempt to get it inbounds under the MSUM basket.

The miscue set up Trautwein's game-winner.

The sophomore took a pass by Notsch, turned around and drilled an off-balance fade away jumper for the win.

A running 3-point attempt by Lawson fell short at the buzzer.

"We just didn't execute and they did," Bemidji State coach Mike Curfman said. "Basketball sometimes comes down to one or two plays that you make. They made those one or two plays."

BSU (12-15, 6-8): McConkey 3-8 0-0 7, Karlee Simonson 0-4 2-3 2, Bremmer 2-8 3-4 7, Lawson 6-14 0-1 14, Peterson 2-13 0-0 4, Matzke 2-6 0-0 4, Gernbacher 5-10 3-4 16, Boell 1-2 0-0 2, Grones 0-0 0-0 0, Roberts 0-0 0-0 0, Friend 1-1 0-0 2, Mazurek 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-66 8-12 58.


MSUM (15-13, 7-7): Notsch 2-8 1-2 6, Trautwein 3-5 2-4 8, Anderson 4-17 0-0 10, Swenson 6-7 1-2 13, Sexton 0-3 0-0 0, Fremstad 0-2 4-4 4, Schanilec 3-7 0-0 9, Falzon 0-2 0-0 0, Houselog 2-4 0-1 4, Froelich 0-1 1-3 1, Soule 0-2 0-0 0, Rettke 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 22-61 9-16 59.

Halftime: MSUM 32, BSU 26. 3-pointers: BSU 6-25 (McConkey 0-2, Bremmer 0-5, Lawson 2-6, Matzke 0-2, Gernbacher 3-8, Boell 0-1), MSUM 6-25 (Notsch 1-5, Anderson 2-9, Sexton 0-1, Schanilec 3-6, Falzon 0-2, Soule 0-2). Total Fouls: BSU 15, MSUM 17. Steals: BSU 5 (Gernbacher 2), MSUM 2 (Notsch, Schanilec). Rebounds: BSU 39 (Peterson 14), MSUM 42 (Anderson 8). Assists: BSU 10 (Lawson, Peterson 3), MSUM 16 (Notsch 10). Turnovers: BSU 14 (Bremmer 4), MSUM 20 (Fremstad 5).

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