BEMIDJI -- To feel good going into the postseason in three weeks, the Bemidji State women’s basketball team said it can’t afford series like the one it just had.
“We can’t take steps backwards like we did last weekend. We have to compete,” BSU head coach Chelsea DeVille said. “… When games get out to the 20-plus-(point) losses, you’re not competing and you’re not able to coach during those losses. I want to be able to coach for 40 minutes and see our kids competing like they had been previously.”
The Beavers ran into Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State on hot nights, resulting in 48- and 21-point losses.
“I definitely thought we played poorly, and I don’t think anyone was going to beat USF that night. And then same with Southwest,” DeVille said. “… Sioux Falls is a very talented team, and Southwest is very talented, too.
“We knew what we were up against, we just caught somebody on their best night, and we performed poorly.”
The two losses dropped Bemidji State to 5-15 overall and 3-13 within Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. But they still provided a blueprint on how to correct course.
“We took some time to reflect on the past games this weekend, so I think that really helped us see what we were missing, which we might not have seen on the court,” said sophomore Taylor Bray. “We just need to play the game that we can play -- play Bemidji basketball. We need to keep playing as a team and finding the best option.”
Both DeVille and Bray noted that inside shooting needed to be better. On the weekend, BSU shot 26-for-77 (33.8 percent) from inside the arc and 34-for-112 (30.4 percent) overall.
“We have to stay the course of what our scouting report is. We just have to make shots, as well,” DeVille said. “It’s both ends of the court, and it’s going to be a team effort. We just need to compete.”
The Beavers will hope the familiar BSU Gymnasium will help, as they’re back home to host Concordia-St. Paul (15-6, 11-5 NSIC) at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, and Minnesota State (9-11, 6-10 NSIC) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9.
“Obviously we’re more comfortable on our home court. That’s where we practice, that’s where we play, that’s where we do everything,” Bray said. “… Having the crowd behind our back, too, obviously it makes a difference. It brings a different energy.”
And if it translates to wins, it can go a long way for Bemidji State’s postseason fate. The Beavers are currently eighth in the NSIC North, two games back of a three-way tie between Minnesota Crookston, Minot State and Northern State at 5-11 in the conference.
Saturday’s doubleheader with the men’s team will also double as Native Nations Night, which has expanded from the hockey rink to the hardwood this year. The event is designed to recognize American Indians of the Bemidji region and pique interest in the university. Admission is free for all youth up to 12th grade.