By: Martin Schlegel
A “much better defensive effort,” that’s the feeling in the MSUM women’s basketball locker room after the Dragons defeated the Bemidji State Beavers 70-47 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference matchup Saturday evening.
“I thought last night as compared to tonight, our defensive intensity was a little bit better,” Dragon’s head coach Karla Nelson said. “Last night we did not defend well at all and was the reason why we lost the game. Tonight was a much better effort defensive effort.”
Sophomore forward Megan Hintz said the Beavers were still in the game after the first half, so the goal was to kill any run of theirs in the second half.
“They were still in it, they were hitting threes here and there and making key shots,” Hintz said. “Coach has also stressed that team defense is huge for us. We just wanted to step up with solid defense.”
The Dragons (6-2, 3-1 NSIC) continually gave looks to Hintz and Drew Sannes in the paint. The two combined for 25 points in the first half. Hintz, who recorded 10 points and 8 rebounds, nearly had a double-double in the first half alone.
The Beavers (2-6, 1-3 NSIC) applied a similar offensive attack in the first half. Sophomore center Sydney Arrington became a popular target for Bemidji State, scoring a team-high 13 points through the first half.
In the second quarter, the Dragons diversified its offense approach by giving its three-point shooters open looks. It seemed to be a solid plan as Bemidji State began taking more risks defensively. Senior guard Cassidy Thorson, MSUM’s main sharpshooter, missed on all six of her first-half attempts.
Hintz finished the game with a double-double, recording 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sannes ended with a double-double as well, tallying 21 points and 12 rebounds.
“Last year we were successful with Drew being dominant in the post,” Hintz said. “So far this season we haven’t really had a dominant game. We wanted to step up and give that post presence tonight.”
The Dragons shut down one of the Beaver’s top scorers Brooklyn Bachman (0 points). Arrington’s hot start to the game was cut short as she only netted two points in the second half after scoring 13 in the first.
“We defended the post a lot better, that’s kind of been an uphill struggle for us,” Nelson said. “It was good to see in the second half we defended a little bit better. Bemidji is capable of putting up a lot of points in a short period of time once they get rolling. Our attention to detail to the scout was much better. That translates into not so much pressure on the offense.”