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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Beavers hang with No. 13 Western Washington, falter late 68-50

Playing the No. 13 team in the country, which doubles as last year’s national runner-up, is no small task. But the Bemidji State women’s basketball team held its own for three quarters against Western Washington on Saturday.

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Bemidji State Beavers
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BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Playing the No. 13 team in the country, which doubles as last year’s national runner-up, is no small task. But the Bemidji State women’s basketball team held its own for three quarters against Western Washington on Saturday.

The Beavers ultimately dropped the matchup 68-50 to conclude the Lynda Goodrich Classic in Bellingham, Wash., but the final score masks what was a competitive game for most of the contest.

BSU’s Erin Barrette hit an off-balance 3-pointer midway through the third quarter, which had Bemidji State hanging within 42-37. But the Vikings (3-1) finished the frame ahead 53-45, then limited the Beavers to 1-for-9 shooting and just five points in the fourth quarter to pull away in the end.

BSU (3-2, 0-1 NSIC) led as late as 12-11 on an Alyssa Hill layup in the first quarter. From there, Western Washington closed the frame with the final nine points as part of a 13-0 run that put the Vikings in front 24-12.

Bemidji State fought back, ripping off a 7-0 second-quarter run that Maddie Schires capped with a three, and suddenly the difference was back to 26-21.

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Western Washington pulled in front 36-26 by halftime, but Barrette’s aforementioned 3-pointer kept things interesting well into the second half. Barrette even added a one-footed three a few possessions later, which brought the Beavers within 49-43 with 12 minutes left in the game.

The fourth quarter was the eventual difference, as the Vikings used a 13-2 run and forced six BSU turnovers to pull away.

Sam Pogatchnik ended the night with a team-high 14 points for Bemidji State, while Trinity Yoder added 12. Hill also reached double figures with 10 points.

Brooke Walling posted 21 points, 17 rebounds and five assists for Western Washington. Avery Dykstra and Katrina Gimmaka contributed another 13 points apiece. The Vikings also out-rebounded the Beavers 49-29.

After a flight home, BSU will resume NSIC play by facing St. Cloud State at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, in St. Cloud.

Western Washington 68, Bemidji State 50

BSU 12 14 19 5 -- 50

WWU 20 16 17 15 -- 68

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BEMIDJI STATE -- Pogatchnik 14, Yoder 12, Hill 10, Schires 6, Barrette 6, Giorgi 2. Totals: 20-57 FGs, 6-16 3-pt. FGs, 4-6 FTs.

WESTERN WASHINGTON -- Walling 21, A. Dykstra 13, Gimmaka 13, Grandbois 9, Oberg 4, R. Dykstra 3, Reilly 2, Peterson 2, Zaragoza 1. Totals: 25-67 FGs, 6-21 3-pt. FGs, 12-13 FTs.

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