Boag, Beavers blitz No. 13 Augustana

Carly Boag and the Minot State University women’s basketball team responded in a big way from a listless performance against No. 14 Wayne State on Friday night.

Boag torched No. 13 Augustana for 32 points and 14 rebounds and the Beavers matched their highest point total of the season in an 88-71 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory Saturday at the MSU Dome. The win marked the Beavers’ first over a ranked Division II opponent.

“Energy is all about a mindset and our mind was made up tonight,” MSU coach Sheila Green Gerding said. “We had a tale of two teams (this weekend), and the right team showed up tonight.”

After laboring to score 11 points on 5 of 17 shooting Friday night, Boag racked up 16 points and eight rebounds before halftime.

“Obviously (Friday) was not my best game, but I just had to get over it and just post up,” said the 6-foot-2 senior, who went 13-for-22 from the field. “Their tallest player was 6-foot, so I just sat down and went to work.”

The Beavers (9-3 overall, 5-3 NSIC) led by double digits for the entire second half and by 21 on two occasions. It was quite the turnaround for MSU, which played “an embarrassing game” against Wayne State, according to Green Gerding.

MSU came out with more intensity Saturday from the opening tip, with an assist from pop singer Beyonce.

“That’s our main problem when we lose games – we’re low on energy,” said senior guard Alisha “Speedy” Jones, who had 11 points and six assists. “So we had to make sure we pumped ourselves up in the locker room before we went out to some Beyonce and we brought the energy and it showed on the court.”

Augustana (8-4, 4-4) opened the game on a 9-2 run, but the Beavers responded with their own 8-0 spurt. Juniors Morgan Klose and Christina Boag drilled 3-pointers and Carly Boag stepped out for a 17-footer to give MSU its first lead at 10-9.

The teams went back and forth until the Beavers took control with a 14-2 run midway through the half.

The Beavers led by at least six the rest of the stanza, which ended when Klose drained a buzzer-beating jumper from the baseline to give MSU a 44-31 edge.

In the second half, MSU stayed in a zone defense and tempted Augustana to fire away from 3-point range. The Vikings couldn’t climb back in it, as they finished just 8 of 38 (21 percent) from downtown.

Carly Boag was dominant on the offensive end but the Beavers’ other four starters also reached double figures. Klose drilled 3 of 6 3-point attempts and tallied 20 points.

“They’re very, very guard-oriented and we’re post-oriented so that was a hard matchup for them,” Green Gerding said. “And our zone was our equalizer for us. We were lucky that they missed shots because they can shoot it from pretty much anywhere inside the (half-court) line.”

Augustana forward Rhianna Gullickson hit 11 of 14 field goals en route to a team-high 24 points, and 5-10 guard Riley Nordgaard dropped in 20 points.

Neither team was shy about taking its first open shot, but the Beavers were more efficient. MSU hit 48 percent of its field-goal attempts and 19 of 23 free throws.

“You’ve gotta give them credit,” Augustana coach Dave Krauth said. “I knew they’d have some fire in their eyes after probably a poor performance (Friday) and they played well.”

The Beavers travel to Upper Iowa (4-8, 3-5) on Friday.

Daniel Allar covers Minot State University athletics. Follow him on Twitter @DAllar_MDN.