BISMARCK - The Minot State University women's basketball team weathered a first half in which the University of Mary shot 51 percent from the field and knocked down eight 3-pointers.
But the Marauders couldn't weather a virtuoso performance by MSU forward Carly Boag.
The 6-foot-2 junior scored a career-high 31 points in just 25 minutes to lead the Beavers to a 74-73 comeback win Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener for both teams. Mary (4-2 overall, 0-1 NSIC) led by as many as 15 points in the first half and took a 46-35 advantage into halftime.
Minot State University guard Alisha Jones drives between the University of Mary’s Shaunna Knife, left, and McKenzie Foster during the first half Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Boag was in attack mode most of the night, but her lone assist proved to be the game-winning bucket.
With less than a minute remaining, a couple of MSU defenders swarmed Mary point guard Ali Moody and forced a turnover. Boag took a lead pass off the steal and found freshman Savana Kingsbury for the go-ahead layup.
Boag finished 12-of-16 from the field, 6-of-7 from the free-throw line, and knocked down her only 3-point attempt.
"Carly is just that kind of player," MSU coach Sheila Green Gerding said. "If you're gonna give her that ball on the block and let her have it, she's got the ability to score. What I was really proud of tonight was her looking to score. Too many times she's so unselfish that she doesn't wanna take too many shots and she kicks it out for a 20-footer instead of a two-footer."
Said Boag: "I don't really have one favorite shoulder (to turn to) so I just kind of read the defense. They just kept feeding it to me, so the least I could do was make it."
The Marauders led essentially the entire game, but scored just 27 points in the second half after posting 46 in the first. They hit just 8-of-19 shots from the foul line.
"The first half, shots went in, the second half they didn't," Mary coach Rick Neumann said. "Gotta give credit to Minot State, they didn't quit when they were down. They kept playing. I thought at times they got the mojo going in the second half and we weren't able to answer."
Boag began the second half in dominant fashion, scoring MSU's first eight points in just two minutes, 15 seconds of game time. But she picked up her fourth foul less than five minutes into the half and MSU continued the comeback with her on the bench.
A Morgan Klose 3-pointer with 10:43 remaining tied the game at 59 and capped a 12-4 MSU run. Boag sat out for about 12 minutes after picking up her fourth foul, but scored eight points in the final 4:13 to keep the Beavers close before the steal and game-winning bucket.
Senior guard Sacarra Molina chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds for MSU (3-0, 1-0) and Kingsbury added eight points and five rebounds.
Moody and Kaitlyn Haag scored 15 points apiece to lead the Marauders.
The Beavers host Minnesota State-Moorhead at 6 p.m. Friday at the MSU Dome.