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Men’s and Women’s Basketball Woes Continue

Alex Berg | Sports Writer | 02/09/2011

Both the men’s and women’s BSU basketball teams came into last weekend hoping to snap season-long losing streaks. But, neither team was successful in its mission. The women lost its eighth consecutive game; while the men’s losing skid was extended to seven.

Women’s Head Coach Mike Curfman shook up his starting line-up in hopes of gaining an edge in the rebounding department. Three centers, freshman Kate Warmack, sophomore Jessie Althoff and senior Colleen McKay, all were in the starting line-up.

“Kate Warmack has been working really hard and improving a lot on the defensive end,” said Curfman. “We decided to go with a little bigger of a line-up. It worked, we got off to a really good start.”

The Bulldogs only out-rebounded the Beavers by 3 on Saturday, which was a huge improvement from the 42-28 edge the Bulldogs had in the first meeting between the two teams.

“I think it really helped to have some size in there,” said McKay. “We also did a better job at getting after the boards and securing the rebounds.”

McKay finished with a game-high of 17 points. She also grabbed 4rebounds.

The Beavers (5-15, 2-14 NSIC) held a 25-11 lead over the Bulldogs with 9:35 minutes remaining in the first half.

“We did a really nice job starting the game with energy,” said McKay. “We hit some nice shots and got back on defense. It was a great start to the game.”

But the rest of the game was all Bulldogs. UMD went on a 21-0 run over the next seven minutes to take a 32-25 lead. Despite the huge run, BSU only trailed by 4 points at the half.

The Beavers stayed with the Bulldogs for most of the second half. The Bulldogs held a 50-47 lead with four minutes until the final buzzer.

Duluth finished by outscoring Bemidji 13-4, winning 63-51.

“We came out with great energy and great passion,” said Curfman. “The loss was not from a lack of energy or effort.”

Althoff added 14 points and 7 boards for the Beavers. Senior guard Anna Hebrink made 2 three-point shots and scored 7 points. She also grabbed 6 rebounds. Freshman guard Morgan Lee scored 8 points, also dishing out 4 assists and recording 3 steals.

“I am proud of our effort,” said Curfman, “but it is getting old being close. We have got to find a way to finish it.”

The women’s team will return to play on Friday night, when it plays at Minnesota, Crookston at 6 p.m.

The men’s team was fortunate to run in a struggling team. UMD’s men’s team came into Saturday with a nine-game losing streak.

The Beavers (7-13, 4-12 NSIC) were without sophomore guard Lance Rongstad, who suffered an injury in practice. Freshman forward Zach Noreen made his first career start and fellow freshman forward Maxie Rosenbloom played eight minutes.

“We are in a losing streak,” said Head Coach Matt Bowen. “I need to find something, whether it is the rotation or inserting different kids to get us out of this funk. Zach and Max have played well in practice, they have been patient, and have waited their turn. I thought they did well while they were in there.”

Duluth made 9 three-point shots in the first half. The hot shooting was enough to give it a 50-32 halftime lead.

“It is extremely frustrating,” Bowen said of Duluth’s outside shooting. “Especially considering all the time we have put in this in practice.”

“In the first half they were hitting shots everywhere,” added junior guard James Ellisor. “We were late in our defensive rotations. They were shooting a high percentage from three-point range and we were not able to stop them.”

Ellisor finished with a game-high 28 points. It was the seventh time he scored at least 20 points this season.

UMD fought off BSU’s comeback attempt and they never allowed the Beavers to come closer than 9 points. UMD won 89-75.

“I was proud of our guys for digging out of an 18-point hole and getting it to 9 a couple times,” said Bowen. “We battled, but until we fix the mistakes on the defensive end, we will not get rewarded for what we want to do.”

The Bulldogs also out-rebounded the Beavers 38-24. It had 15 second chance points off of 15 offensive rebounds.

“Rebounding was huge,” said Bowen. “They hit all kinds of outside shots in the first half, so we adjusted to that and killed us down low.”

Sophomore forward Mason Walters scored 18 points with a pair of three-pointers for the Beavers. Tesdahl scored 7 points and recorded a team-high 6 assists.

The men’s team also plays next Friday at Minnesota, Crookston at 8 p.m. Both teams are looking to get out of its current skid and finish the NSIC season on a positive note.