Alex Berg | Sports Writer | 02/02/2011
Losing woes continued this weekend when BSU women’s basketball lost a pair of home contests to University of Mary and Northern State.
The team has struggled significantly since its win over No. 21 Augustana. Coming into this weekend’s games, the Beavers had lost five straight games since the upset victory on January 8.
The Beavers (5-14, 2-13 NSIC) saw its opponent gain a double-digit lead before they even scored in both games.
“You cannot dig yourself into that big of a hole,” said Head Coach Mike Curfman after Saturday’s loss. “We tried a different line-up and switched some little things around, but we got down 10-0 after being down 12-0 last night. That is too big of a hole to start the game. We have got to figure out a way to start better.”
U-Mary had a 12-0 lead by the 16 minute mark on Friday night. It was the first of three 12-0 runs in its favor.
“You can get by with a 4, 6, or even an 8 point run once and awhile,” said Curfman. “But to have a 36-0 run when you combine the three together, against a good offensive team is just asking too much.”
Thanks to a lay-up from freshman center Kate Warmack, BSU was able to cut the Marauder lead to just two points with a little under eight minutes left in the opening half of play.
Warmack was the only Beaver to score in double figures. She also grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds.
“It is always hard to come back when you have dug yourself in a hole,” said Warmack, “but, we were within two [points] and we just let it slip. Our defense could not pick it up. They had all good shooters. If we keyed in on one, someone else would step up.”
The Marauders made 10 three-point shots.
U-Mary retaliated with its second 12-0 run of the half to make it a 39-25 score with 3:34 minutes left in the first half.
After trailing 43-30 at halftime, the Beavers showed more life in the early part of the second half. Senior center Colleen McKay made a lay-up with 14:31 minutes left to play in the game to extend a Beaver run to 9-0. The Marauder lead shrank to only 7.
McKay added 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals throughout the game.
U-Mary answered by outscoring BSU 19-2 over the next eight minutes. After a third 12-0 run, U-Mary held a comfortable lead of 67-43 with 5:48 minutes left until the final buzzer.
“You spend so much energy trying to come back, that you cannot sustain it forever,” said Curfman. “They are a good team, and that is what good teams do; they answer a run with a run of their own.”
The beginning of Saturday’s game was eerily similar; BSU saw itself trailing Northern State 10-0 after four minutes of play.
For the second night in a row, the Beavers answered the opening run with a run of its own. The Wolves held an 18-14 lead with 9:19 minutes remaining in the first half.
The reoccurring nightmare continued for BSU. Northern State took a 42-27 lead with them to the locker room.
After scoring the first 6 points of the second half, the Wolves held a cozy 48-27 lead with 16 minutes left to play.
Hebrink’s three-pointer with just under 13 minutes left in the game made it a 54-42 score. Hebrink finished the game with 11 points with 3 made 3PT shots and recorded 3 steals.
Sophomore guard Shannon Thompson stole the ball five times. Thompson also scored 12 points, while shooting 8-9 at the free throw line. BSU made 14 of its 15 free throw attempts.
“We have to start getting to the line more,” said Curfman. “We are a good free-throw shooting team, even though we have struggled from the field.”
Northern State was able to re-gain its 20-point lead within the following two minutes and paced itself to an easy victory.
Sophomore center Jessie Althoff led the Beavers with 16 points. Freshman guard Morgan Lee added 15 points. She also made 3 three-point shots.
“It is a good league, you have got to come out to play 40 minutes of good basketball,” said Curfman. “We have not been doing that and that is why we have been on this losing skid.”
The BSU women will return to action next Saturday afternoon when they host Minnesota Duluth at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs won the first meeting between these two teams 99-76 in Duluth on January 3.