UND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Sioux outlast Bemidji
The pace of the game didn't suit UND 6-foot-2 center Ashley Langen. "I got tired," Langen said. "I'm not going to lie." But Langen's inside presence also wore down Bemidji State, a team that wanted to run and run some more. Langen and No. 1 UND p...
The pace of the game didn't suit UND 6-foot-2 center Ashley Langen.
"I got tired," Langen said. "I'm not going to lie."
But Langen's inside presence also wore down Bemidji State, a team that wanted to run and run some more.
Langen and No. 1 UND pulled away in the final eight minutes for a 109-85 win against Bemidji before 1,518 fans in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Thursday night, a victory that improved the Sioux to 12-0.
"It was a track meet," said UND coach Gene Roebuck, whose team's 109 points is its highest total in five years. "We haven't been in a game like that this season. Bemidji will force you to score. Their game is to beat you down the floor. We had to put the ball in the basket because they were going to score quickly."
The Sioux got their share of points in transition, as did Bemidji. But the difference was UND's dominance inside.
Langen scored 29 points, while Kierah Kimbrough, a 6-1 Sioux junior, added 20 points. Whitney Ledger, a 6-1 sophomore who turned in her third straight impressive performance, finished with 12.
"The bottom line is that Langen and Kimbrough are tough inside," Bemidji coach Mike Curfman said. "That's why they're All-American candidates. The difference in the game was their depth."
Bemidji, however, pushed the Sioux for 30-plus minutes.
The Beavers, on a number of occasions, beat the Sioux down the floor to score easy baskets. Heidi Matzke, a former Red Lake Falls, Minn., standout, led Bemidji with 25 points. Karlee Simonson added 17 for the 5-6 Beavers.
Bemidji led 35-34 with 4:36 left in the first half. The Sioux, however, ended the half with an 18-5 run for a 52-40 lead. But Bemdiji came out strong in the second half, cutting the lead to three on a handful of occasions.
But Langen and the Sioux managed to hold off Bemidji's surge and pulled away in the final eight minutes. A 9-2 run, led by Kimbrough's four points, gave the Sioux an 89-75 lead with 5:46 to go.
"We really tightened up our defense in the last 10 minutes," said Roebuck, who was back on the bench after missing the last three games because of illness. "We didn't give them too much. We had a real good offensive game. We got the ball inside a lot."
The game was UND's first since the Sioux played two games in Hawaii, in addition to spending a few days at the beach.
The trip didn't leave the Sioux with tired legs.
"We needed to come out and show people we can go on a trip like that and be ready to play right away," Langen added.
Bemidji's play early, however, did catch the Sioux off guard.
Matzke's ability to run the floor and score easy baskets kept the Beavers in contention until the Sioux pulled away.
"In the beginning, we were a little shocked by how well they ran," Langen said. "But in the last eight minutes, we buckled down. We made sure we had someone on Matzke all of the time."
The Sioux shot 58 percent from the field and outrebounded Bemidji 43-33, with Langen's 15 boards leading the way.
UND's balanced scoring was not contained to the Sioux post players.
Alys Seay added 17 points, a career high. Danye Guinn added 12 points, 10 coming in the first half.
The Sioux are off until next Friday, when they host Division I Montana State.
"This was a good conditioning test for us," said Langen, who moved into fourth place on UND's career scoring list.