BEMIDJI -- “Really good, kiddo. I’m proud of you.”
Coming from Dave Krauth, those words meant a little more to Chelsea DeVille.
“He’s the reason I coach,” DeVille said. “I’m proud to finally put a product out there that represents the reason I got into coaching.”
But those words, meaningful as they may be, were an understatement. DeVille’s Bemidji State women’s basketball team played fantastic against Augustana all Saturday night, and the Beavers convincingly defeated DeVille’s alma mater 74-57 inside the BSU Gymnasium.
“She came into the locker room, and just seeing the joy on her face (was special),” sophomore Trinity Myer said. “She said, ‘He made me a coach.’ Her getting that win over him, it’s like, ‘Hey, now you see me. I’m here, and I’m here to win.’”
The victory marked DeVille’s first over her former school, the first over her former head coach. It’s also her program’s first win over the Vikings since 2011 and just the third overall in 21 tries.
“It’s good to see how much we’ve grown and how she’s such an awesome coaching leader,” sophomore Claire Wolhowe said. “To see her beat her old coach, it’s just awesome.”
A lot had to go right in order for Bemidji State (5-4, 2-3 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) to beat a program as storied as Augustana’s, but the Beavers proved they were up for the challenge.
For starters, the defense forced the Vikings (6-3, 2-3 NSIC) into 15 straight misses, held them scoreless for an 8 minute, 30 second-stretch between the first and second quarters, and rolled out a 17-0 run on the offensive end.
“They have so many weapons, they space you out,” DeVille said. “(Against) a team that usually crashes the boards hard, we kept them off the boards and limited them that way. Then we went the other way and played fast and (with) really good tempo on offense.”
It also took composure on the offensive end. The Vikings tested BSU with a full-court 2-1-2 press, but more often than not, Bemidji State broke it and settled into an efficient offense. And then it was the shooting -- 10-for-21 from 3-point range -- that kept the Beavers in control.
“I don’t think they really got the touches in the paint they wanted,” Myer said. “That’s where we thrived: getting paint touches. Then they’ll want to double on our posts, and we have great shooters. So we’ll get it to our shooters.”
BSU entered the half ahead 44-27. But against a Krauth-coached Augustana team, a run was surely coming. And yet, the DeVille-coached Bemidji State team didn’t let it.
“We knew that we had to keep them on a short run,” Myer said. “If they scored two, three times, we knew we had to get one on the offensive end but then come back on the defensive end and stop them right then and there.”
Augie came as close as 10 at 48-38 in the third, but Wolhowe, Sydney Zerr and Coley Rezabek answered right back with 3-pointers that made for a 9-0 run. By that point, the Beavers wouldn’t be stopped.
“We just had to maintain our level and energy throughout the whole last half,” Wolhowe said. “We wanted it really bad. We’ve been having close games, so it’s a nice win to end the weekend on.”
BSU entered the fourth quarter up 16 points, and the defense only allowed eight in the final frame. Bemidji State ate up the clock -- epitomized by a late possession with four offensive rebounds -- to lift DeVille to victory.
FINAL: @BSUBeaversWBB 74, Augustana 57.— Micah Friez (@micahfriez) December 14, 2019
Chelsea DeVille, a 2009 Augie graduate, earns her first career win over her alma mater. Her players were fantastic.
Bray had 14, Myer and Wolhowe 12, Heittola 10. That's one of the most complete performances BSU has shown in a long time.
“We left a couple wins out there, in our minds, and we weren’t happy about a couple of those losses,” DeVille said. “We wanted to win because we said we wanted to protect home court. When we lost last night in a battle that we thought we could have won, we knew we had to play even better and more poised tonight. … Just a whole team effort on both ends.”
Taylor Bray finished with 14 points to lead the team, while Myer and Wolhowe each had 12 and Rachael Heittola 10 off the bench.
Freshman Lauren Sees carried Augie with a game-high 22 points.
The Beavers resume NSIC play when they welcome in Minnesota Crookston for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Saturday, Dec. 21, at home.
Bemidji State 74, Augustana 57
AU 11 16 22 8 -- 57
BSU 17 27 21 9 -- 74
AUGUSTANA (6-3, 2-3 NSIC) -- Sees 22, Honner 10, Mitby 8, Hora 7, Karp 6, Metoxen 4, Duffy 0, Shiffler 0, Van Veldhuizen 0, Zilverberg 0. Totals 20-60, 13-18, 57.
BEMIDJI STATE (5-4, 2-3 NSIC) -- Bray 14, Myer 12, Wolhowe 12, Heittola 10, Rezabek 9, Bachmann 6, Gartner 6, Zerr 5, DuBois 0. Totals 24-51, 16-22, 74.