Bemidji State wins nail-biter over Minnesota Crookston, 79-77

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Bren Fox in a game against UMary on Jan. 30. Fox scored 16 points to help Minnesota Crookston to its highest-scoring game of the season in a 79-77 loss to Bemidji State Friday.

The Golden Eagles had the ball just where they wanted it — in the hands of their best outside shooter, looking a covered, but not too-covered, 3-pointer for the win.

But Mary Burke's last-second shot, while accurate, bounced off the front of the rim, and Bemidji State escaped with a 79-77 win over the Minnesota Crookston women's basketball team Friday evening at Lysaker Gymnasium.

UMC fell to 3-12 and 3-10 in NSIC play with the loss. This despite its highest-scoring game of the year and just its second time over 70 points, and despite its third-best shooting performance of the season (45 percent) and from 3-point range (44 percent).

While post players Bren Fox (16 points on 7-of-9 shooting) and Julia Peplinski (16 points, eight rebounds), as well as guard Emma Carpenter (13 points, three 3-pointers) powered the Golden Eagles, none of them could match Rachel Heittola's prowess. The Beaver forward scored 25 points, hit 10 of 13 shots, and pulled down 11 boards. In addition, BSU had three others with over 10 points.

The Beavers (8-5, 7-4) led 24-17 after one quarter and looked to be pulling away, leading by 11 early in the second. But UMC went on a 9-0 run capped off by a Carpenter three and ultimately tied it at 31, before Bemidji State took a 41-35 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was the Golden Eagles' best from an offensive standpoint, as they scored 24 points. While an 8-2 Bemidji State run towards the end of the quarter gave it a 64-57 lead, UMC had an answer.

Peplinski scored five straight points, three coming from the free-throw line. UMC took the lead on a three by Burke, going up 68-64 on a layup by Ashley Freund (Sr., G).

From there, it was a dogfight, with the Golden Eagles and Beavers alternating baskets or free throws. But a 3-pointer by Coley Rezabek put BSU up 75-72 with 3:23 to play, giving the Beavers the lead for good.

Burke hit a three to pull within 78-77 in the final minute, and Minnesota Crookston had a chance to tie in the final seconds. However, Peplinski stepped out of bounds on the baseline.

UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles and Beavers play again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be the final game of the regular season, and final game for UMC seniors Abby Guidinger, Ashley Freund and Jennifer Lax.


Minnesota Crookston 17-18-24-18—77

Bemidji State 24-17-23-15—79


  • Points: Bren Fox 16, Julia Peplinski 16, Emma Carpenter 13, Mary Burke 10
  • Rebounds: Julia Peplinski 8, Kylie Post 6, Bren Fox 4, Haylee Wheeler 4
  • Assists: Jes Mertens 4, Emma Carpenter 2, Kylie Post 2
  • Steals: Jes Mertens 2, Mary Burke 2
  • Blocks: Bren Fox 1, Jes Mertens 1, Kylie Post 1
  • Team: 26-58 field goals, 8-18 3-pointers, 17-25 free throws


  • Points: Rachel Heittola 25, Brooklyn Bachmann 15, Coley Rezabek 13, Taylor Bray 12
  • Rebounds: Rachel Heittola 11, several with 4
  • Assists: Brooklyn Bachmann 4, Claire Wolhowe 2, Sydney Zerr 2
  • Steals: Taylor Vold 3, Rachel Heittola 2
  • Blocks: Brooklyn Bachman 2, Taylor Vold 2
  • Team: 26-55 field goals, 4-15 3-pointers, 23-25 free throws

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