The St. Cloud State Huskies women’s basketball team picked up a wire-to-wire 64-38 win against Bemidji State University Friday night at Halenbeck Hall. The win was the second in a row for the squad and it gave them a 2-0 record inside NSIC play.
In the end it was the defensive pressure that the Huskies were able to apply on the Beavers that made the difference. They held Bemidji State to 26 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent from downtown. The pressure, sparked by Chelsea Nooker’s three steals and four blocks, also led to 12 Beaver turnovers.
Huskies head coach Lori Fish was impressed with the defensive effort her team gave, stating, “To hold a team in our league to 30-some points is impressive. Our one-on-one defense got a lot better today and we’re going to have to do that continuously if we’re going to have success in this league.”
The Huskies also man-handled the Beavers on the glass, ending with a +22 rebounding margin which translated to the 22-5 edge they held in second chance points.
Finally, the bench came alive for the Huskies. After scoring no more than 12 points off the pine since the home opener, the Huskies bench poured in a season high 21 bench points in the win.
Karissa LeCaptain and Lexy Petermann led the way for the Huskies offensively with 14 points a piece. LeCaptain also hauled in 12 rebounds to record her first double-double of the season.
NSIC North Player of the Week Chelsea Nooker also continued to roll for the Huskies posting another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. It was her third double-double in a row and it puts her just one double-double shy of the conference lead, currently held by the University of Mary’s Hannah Larson.
Huskies head coach Lori Fish had some high praise for Nooker, saying, “Well she’s a spark plug, she does everything for us.”
“She had a triple double [earlier this year], she rebounds and can score, but defensively she sparks us with her steals which leads to our offense in transition.”
“We’re at our best when we can run in transition. She just brought a lot of energy tonight and it really sparked us.”
With the win the Huskies are now 2-3 on the year and 2-0 inside conference play. They will host the University of Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagles at Halenbeck Hall Saturday at 4 p.m.
Minnesota-Crookston was picked to finish second in the North Division of the NSIC in the preseason coaches’ poll, just one point behind St. Cloud State in the voting.
The Golden Eagles fell on Friday to UMD by a final of 71-65 and are now 4-2 on the year with a 1-1 in conference mark.
When asked what the team has to do in order to complete a weekend sweep Fish said, “Crookston’s a very good basketball team.”
“We’re going to struggle guarding them because they have a lot of offensive weapons, so we may have to mix it up and throw some other defenses in there. Hopefully we rebound the ball and limit them to one shot.”
Huskies junior guard Whitney Olson added, “We really have to stop their transition threes because they’re really good shooters. We also have to make sure that we play really good defense on their post.”
The Minnesota-Crookston game ends a quick home stand for the Huskies as they will hit the road this coming weekend to take on MSU-Moorhead and Northern State University on Friday and Saturday, respectively.