No. 6 seed Bemidji State to face No. 3 seed Augustana Feb. 26
Bemidji State University women’s basketball will travel to face Augustana University in the opening round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Augustana leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 17-3. The Beavers snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Vikings with a 74-57 victory on Dec. 14, 2019. Four Beavers scored in double figures in the win over the Vikings, led by junior center Taylor Bray with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor. Sophomores Trinity Myer and Claire Wolhowe each followed with 12 points while freshman center Rachael Heittola chipped in 10 points off the bench. Junior guard Brooklyn Bachmann led BSU on the boards with nine rebounds.
The Beavers and Vikings have met once in the NSIC Tournament, a 94-57 win by then-ranked No. 12 AU on Feb. 21, 2018.
The series began Dec. 10, 1983, a 77-72 win by Bemidji State in overtime.
Bemidji State has now won two of its last three games after a weekend split against St. Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota Duluth. BSU opened the weekend with a 65-62 win over SCSU before falling in triple overtime, 91-80, to UMD. The Beavers enter the NSIC Tournament as the No. 6 seed in the North division. BSU faced a seven-point deficit late in the first quarter but held SCSU to 1-of-8 from the floor over the final five minutes of the first half. After a 32-29 lead at halftime, BSU extended its lead to a game-high seven points, 40-33, midway through the third quarter and held off a late attack by the Huskies with an 8-4 run to close the game. BSU outscored SCSU in the paint, 46-32, and scored 14 points off 15 Huskies turnovers.
After trailing by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, BSU outscored UMD 27-17 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The Beavers overcame two two-possession deficits in the first and second overtime periods to force a third. Bachmann hit a 3-pointer with six seconds to play in the second overtime before the Beavers were held scoreless in the third overtime period. BSU’s overtime game against UMD was the longest for the team since a three-overtime game against UMD on Dec. 5, 2015 in Duluth, Minn.
Heittola earned NSIC North Division Player of the Week after averaging 27.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. She recorded back-to-back double-doubles, first setting career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds against SCSU and following with new career-highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds against UMD.
Myer averaged 16.0 points per game with 24 coming against UMD. She scored 17 of her 24 points against the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter.
Myer ranks 11th in the NSIC with 13.7 points per game, third with 4.0 assists per game, tied for sixth with 1.7 steals per game and seventh shooting 44.5 percent from the field. Wolhowe ranks sixth in the nation and leads the NSIC shooting 47.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Augustana ends the regular season as the number three seed in the NSIC South Division after a weekend split against the University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University. The Vikings opened the weekend with a 79-56 win over the Cougars before a 72-65 loss to the Mustangs. The Vikings defense ranks among the top half of the NSIC, coming in third allowing 39.1 percent shooting from the field, fourth with 64.2 points allowed per game and fourth allowing 31.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Senior guard Abby Hora leads the Vikings and ranks 20th in the league with 12.3 points per game. Senior guard Hana Beyer leads the NSIC with 2.2 steals per game while Hora follows in second with 2.0 steals per game.