WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: BSU shuts down Peacocks in 60-52 comeback

BEMIDJI -- Mikayla Larson has been a member of the Bemidji State women's basketball team for four seasons, but Saturday night showcased that her squad this year has had the best ability to finish.

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Bemidji State Beavers

BEMIDJI -- Mikayla Larson has been a member of the Bemidji State women’s basketball team for four seasons, but Saturday night showcased that her squad this year has had the best ability to finish.

“The last couple teams we’ve had, we just kinda give up if we get in a hole,” the senior guard said. “This team, we’ve learned how to fight back, we’ve learned how to fight for each other, we’ve learned how to fight for coach.”

Behind its near-unsolvable defense in the fourth quarter, the Beavers held Upper Iowa scoreless for an 8 minute, 43 second span -- making way for a 14-0 run that turned into a 60-52 comeback win at the BSU Gymnasium.

“Without our defense, we’re not going to win the game no matter how many shots we knock down,” Larson said. “We decided after the first quarter that that wasn’t our defense. After that, we just had to bring the best we had to stay in the game, and it paid off in the end.”

Before Bemidji State (4-6, 3-3 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) shut down the Peacocks (2-11, 0-7 NSIC) late, it watched as UIU ran off 11 straight first-quarter points within two minute’s time for a 17-5 lead.


“I just didn’t think we were being very aggressive,” BSU head coach Chelsea DeVille said. “We were just following them around with their offense, going with short-hand closeouts and letting their great players nail shots. And when you see a couple shots go in, they’re going to keep rolling.”

The Beavers worked back in it, though. Following a 23-15 score after the opening quarter, a Brooklyn Bachmann inside-out layup tied the game at 24-all late in the second. Emma Gaber scored the next five to keep the advantage with Upper Iowa, but a no-look dime from Sam Adamich found Sydney Arrington for a layup that capped another hot spurt for BSU.

With Arrington’s late bunny, Bemidji State had its first lead at 31-30 entering halftime -- but the Peacocks roared ahead out of the break.

Another 11-0 run gave UIU a 41-31 lead just 2:44 into the third quarter. A pair of Savannah Domeyer layups finished off the stretch, but Bachmann answered back soon after with a personal 7-0 run -- a 3-pointer and four free throws -- to keep Bemidji State within striking distance.

Upper Iowa took a 47-42 lead with the first bucket of the fourth quarter, coming on an inside score with 9:14 to play. For all but the final 31 seconds, though, the Beavers didn’t allow a single Peacock point.

“They did a nice job offensively at the start of the game and the start of the (second) half,” DeVille said of UIU. “But I felt like we weren’t working hard enough, we weren’t playing hard enough to dictate and take things away. Once we fired (ourselves) up and refocused a little bit, we dictated the shots they got.”

BSU also went scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. But the spell was finally broken when Larson dumped off a perfect pass to Arrington for an easy two. It sparked the deciding run of 14 straight points, seven of which came from Larson, to set up the 60-52 final.

“We just fight and keep pounding and keep driving, because the game’s not over until the last buzzer,” Larson said. “It’s a nice feeling (to win). We’re here to keep going, we’re here to keep fighting. We’re not done yet.”


Bachmann led all scorers with 24 points, while Larson tallied 18 points and nine rebounds -- all of which are career highs. For Upper Iowa, Blair Klosterman finished with 12 points and Ashley Ray added 11.

The Beavers will close out the calendar year with a matchup against Winona State, tipping off at 1:30 p.m. today at the BSU Gymnasium.

Bemidji State 60, Upper Iowa 52

UIU 23 7 15 7 -- 52

BSU 15 16 11 18 -- 60

Upper Iowa (2-11, 0-7 NSIC) -- Klosterman 12, Ray 11, Rosenstiel 7, Domeyer 6, Gaber 5, Pierson 4, De Paulo 3, Martin 3, Schnoor 1, Dinius 0.

Bemidji State (4-6, 3-3 NSIC) -- Bachmann 24, Larson 18, Senske 9, Arrington 4, Appicelli 3, Adamich 1, S. Zerr 1, DuBois 0, Gartner 0, Rappe 0.

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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