Bulldog women grab OT victory

Minnesota Duluth post player Katie Winkelman has had better days than Friday. Winkelman's shot wasn't falling, she had an occasional turnover and was in foul trouble. But the 6-foot-1 senior knew exactly what to do when she got the ball beyond th...

Minnesota Duluth post player Katie Winkelman has had better days than Friday.

Winkelman's shot wasn't falling, she had an occasional turnover and was in foul trouble.

But the 6-foot-1 senior knew exactly what to do when she got the ball beyond the arc with time winding down and the Bulldogs trailing by two to Bemidji State.

Fire away.

Winkelman's 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds left in overtime lifted UMD to a 73-72 nonconference victory on the opening day of the American Family Insurance Classic before 673 at Romano Gymnasium.


UMD (2-2) has had all four games this season decided in the final 20 seconds, and Winkelman missed shots in the closing seconds of the Bulldogs' two losses. Not this time.

"That felt great making that shot, especially since I missed every other shot in the second half," said Winkelman, who made 15 3-pointers last season. "I didn't have my best game, but that doesn't bother me as much this year because we have so much talent on our team. Last year if my shot wasn't falling I'd get more frustrated. I felt like there was more pressure on me. It's not like that this year. We have so many other players who can shoot well and have big games. They're awesome."

First-year UMD coach Dave Stromme added three Division I transfers in Katy Freeman (Southern Illinois), Venessa Ostergaard (Bradley) and Liz Preller (North Dakota State), a sophomore who is being redshirted.

Freeman is having an immediate impact, as evidenced by Friday's performance. The 5-foot-11 guard from Duluth East finished with a team-high 20 points, five rebounds and four assists and provided a jolt whenever the Bulldogs went into a lull.

UMD jumped to a 26-14 lead to open the game before Bemidji (0-3) gradually trimmed the margin and took their first lead 2:35 before the half on two free throws by Heidi Matzke.

An Ostergaard 3-pointer just before the half gave UMD a 42-39 lead.

"We were down early but came back," said Bemidji State junior center Stephanie Peterson, who finished with team highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds. "It's a tough one to lose, but we showed a lot of heart. We haven't played a full 40-minute game yet, but there are a lot of positives we can take from a game like this."

UMD led by as many as eight points in the second half but could never put away a shorter, high-energy Bemidji team.


"We were outplayed, outhustled, outcoached," Stromme said. "That's the way they like to play. They want to speed you up, and we allowed them to do it to the point where we became a little tentative. We didn't get settled into a rhythm, and that's a credit to their team and their coaching staff. They do a great job with the players they have. They make plays, the hustle plays. That's something they do well and we have to get better at."

UMD had a chance to finish the game in regulation but Freeman's floater in the lane went off the back of the rim.

Overtime was also closely contested, with Bemidji taking a 72-70 lead on Karlee Simonson's 3-pointer with 2:16 remaining. That is how it would stay until Winkelman took a pass from Alissa Pauly in the closing seconds and, despite a rough second half shooting, didn't hesitate.

"It wasn't the play but I knew my defender had been sagging off on me all game long, so I was just hoping Pauly would pass it to me, and she did," Winkelman said. "I knew I was shooting that ball even before I got it. It was fun to come out on top of a game like this. It'd fun to blow out a team by 20. That'll be our next objective."

In other tournament games Friday, Duluth native Erika Quigley scored 27 points to lead St. Cloud State to a 75-65 over Northern Michigan, and Minnesota State-Mankato used a big second half to top Michigan Tech 67-48 in a men's game.

n Today's tournament schedule calls for St. Cloud State (3-0) to play Bemidji State (0-3) at 1 p.m. (women's game), Minnesota State-Mankato (3-1) to play Northern Michican (1-2) at 3 p.m. (men's game), UMD (2-2) to play Northern Michigan (1-2) at 6 p.m. (women's game) and UMD (4-1) to play Michigan Tech (2-1) at 8 p.m. in the tournament finale (men's game).

Bemidji State (72)

Heidi Matzke 0-6 2-2 2, Melissa Roberts 0-1 0-0 0, Nancy McConkey 0-3 0-0 0, Amy Lawson 2-9 5-6 9, Stephanie Peterson 6-12 8-8 20, Bridget Smith 3-6 2-2 11, Colleen Boell 1-1 0-0 2. Karlee Simonson 5-13, 1-2 13, Katherin Jamnick 1-1 0-1 2, Kate Bremmer 0-0 0-0 0, Jenny Wenlund 0-0 0-0 0, Kirsten Hangstler 4-7, 3-4 13.


Minnesota Duluth (73)

Katy Freeman 6-11, 5-5 20, Alissa Pauly 1-4 1-2 3, Justine Axtell 4-9 1-2 13, Katie Winkelman 5-10 0-0 11, Kim Wagers 1-1 2-2 4, Venessa Ostergaard 1-1 0-0 3, Stephanie Reiter 2-4 0-0 Monica Mayry 1-1 0-0 2, Jordanne Even 1-2 1-2 3, Kelly Vavanagh 0-1 0-0 0, Jacque Hartman 4-11 0-2 8, Amber Hughes 0-0 0-0 0.

Halftime--UMD 42, BSU 39. 3-point goals--BSU 7-16 (Matzke 0-2, McConkey 0-1, Lawson 0-1, Smith 3-4, Simonson 2-3, Hengstler 2-5); UMD 11-24 (Freeman 3-7, Pauley 0-2, Axtell 4-7, Winkelman 1-1, Ostergaard 1-1, Reiter 2-4, Even 0-1, Kavanagh 0-1). Rebounds--BSU 35 (Peterson 13); UMD 37 (Axtell 8). Assists--BSU 18 (Lawson 6); UMD 17 (Pauly 7). Fouls--BSU 15; UMD 22.

JON NOWACKI covers college sports. He can be reached weeknights at (218) 723-5305 or by e-mail at

Jon Nowacki is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune
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