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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Beavers working toward continued progress

Bemidji State senior Emma Rappe (left) looks for a passing lane on Jan. 5 during a game against St. Cloud State at the BSU Gymnasium. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The losing streak has hit double-digits on the Bemidji State women’s basketball team, but it’s not for lack of effort.

“It’s really refreshing, as a coach, when you come to practice every day and they come to work hard for you,” BSU head coach Chelsea DeVille said. “After a game, I don’t ever question effort. For the majority of our group, they’re just busting their tail. That’s something that I’m really proud of.”

After its 2-0 start, Bemidji State has lost 10 straight games to fall to 2-10 overall and 0-8 within the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. But the Beavers are focused on keeping their heads above water as they try to correct course.

“Trying to keep everyone motivated (is part of my role),” senior captain Emma Rappe said. “Sometimes, it seems like people get down on themselves if they have an off day shooting, myself even. Making sure I pick everyone up if they’re down, and keeping everyone moving forward (is important). If they’re having an off day, just tell them, ‘Hey, it’s going to be OK. You’ve got the next one. Keep moving forward.’”

It won’t get any easier, though, as BSU has to go through the hottest team in the league.

Minnesota State Moorhead has skyrocketed atop the NSIC standings through its current 10-game winning streak, becoming one of two Division II teams nationally to have a double-digit winning streak in each of the past three seasons.

“We don’t sugarcoat things, so they know that any team we play, we’re the underdog in this league that we haven’t proven anything yet,” DeVille said. “We have to play our absolute best, and hopefully we catch (MSUM) on maybe a colder night, or we just play harder than them. That’s how you’re going to have to beat them.”

The showdown takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, in Moorhead, and the Beavers will then trek south to Aberdeen, S.D., for a 4 p.m. game against Northern State on Saturday, Jan. 12, to close the weekend series.

“The first time, I didn’t get a chance to play against them (due to an injury), so it’s kind of like an extra motivation for me,” Rappe said of the matchups. “I can go out there and play against them this time. As a team, I think we’re motivated to try to get an upset. We can’t go down from here, so we might as well go up.”

Bemidji State also has the benefit of looking back on the last meetings against the Dragons (12-2, 10-0 NSIC) and Wolves (6-8, 3-5 NSIC) and adjusting accordingly.

“We can reflect on what they did before and who we were at the time,” DeVille said. “We’ve changed some things: How we do things offensively and who we are defensively. We get to tweak things, and I’m sure they will, as well.”

And though BSU is still searching for the win column, they feel closer to putting together the full-game effort required to come out on top.

“Obviously we want to win games and everything, but I think we’re getting closer and closer to fulfilling a full game.” DeVille said. “There’s things I need to do better as a coach and handling clock management, times and runs, no doubt. I think everyone is just trying to continue to build off of little gains and little wins.”

BSU basketball clinic postponed

A New Year’s Clinic hosted by the Bemidji State women’s basketball program, originally scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 13, has been postponed. A rescheduled date has yet to be announced.

The two-hour clinic is open to girls who entered grades 1-6 during fall 2018 to work on their basketball skills with the BSU coaching staff and current players.

The cost per participant is $20 with same-day registration.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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