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Frustrated 'Dogs find few bright spots against NCC powers

Avoiding a blowout just isn't good enough for the UMD women's basketball team, which dropped a pair of close games to North Central Conference powers St. Cloud State and North Dakota recently.

Avoiding a blowout just isn't good enough for the UMD women's basketball team, which dropped a pair of close games to North Central Conference powers St. Cloud State and North Dakota recently.
Especially now, with renewed talk of a UMD shift to the NCC on the horizon, moral victories have become increasingly unsatisfying for the Bulldogs.
Saturday's 77-75 loss to the Fighting Sioux, the region's No. 3 ranked team, was particularly disheartening for Karen Stromme's squad, which blew an eight-point lead and then clawed back from an eight-point deficit only to lose in the game's final seconds.
Grand Rapids High School graduate Kim Toewe once again led the Bulldogs (5-4 overall, 2-0 NSIC) in scoring, turning in a 20-point performance against UND to go along with her 10 rebounds. Hibbing's Kate Madrinich also notched a double-double in a losing effort with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
And while it's no surprise to see Toewe and Madrinich at the top of the scoring charts, seeing freshman Katie Pavlich right behind that duo, with 13 points in just 19 minutes, was.
The Cloquet native was instrumental in UMD's second-half comeback against the Sioux, knocking down a pair of clutch three-pointers in the game's final four minutes to help erase a seven-point deficit.
"Pavlich has been, and is a great player," said Stromme. "She's played very well in several games for us. Sometimes freshmen have good games and sometimes they have bad games, so it was great to see her step up like that."
That type of freshman unpredictability can often be the result of freshman nervousness. Pavlich, however, has very little of that. She claimed that Saturday's atmosphere in Romano Gym was "a little more intense" than she was used to, but that she "just tried to play."
In truth, the atmosphere in Romano Gym on Saturday was very tense. But through it all, Pavlich, the former Minnesota Miss Basketball candidate, stayed icy cool and helped lead her team back against one of the nation's best teams.
"This was a big step," said Toewe. "But it would be nice to get one in the win column."

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