When Sheila Green Gerding scrapped last season's high-post offense in favor of a more perimeter-oriented attack, it seemed Carly Boag had the most to lose.
The 6-foot-2 Tamworth, Australia native led Minot State with 15.5 points per game last year primarily by playing on the block. While the Beavers (3-0, 1-0 Northern Sun) have switched to a Princeton-style offense predicated on improvisation and cutting, Boag has continued to find scoring opportunities.
The junior's versatility makes that a simpler task.
Minot State junior Carly Boag works around a University of Mary defender during the Beavers' win Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center. Photo courtesy of Michael Linnell/MSU sports information.
"She's hard to guard, she cuts well, she can penetrate, she can shoot," Green Gerding said. "She does a lot of good things. I think she fits pretty much anywhere you wanna put her."
Boag is leading the Beavers in scoring (19.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) for the third consecutive season entering Friday's home game against Minnesota State-Moorhead.
Against the University of Mary on Saturday, the Beavers went to a four-out, one-in motion set with Boag working the blocks. She responded with a career-high 31 points in just 25 minutes and led the Beavers to a one-point road win.
"We're starting to get sets where the opposite defender is (farther) away, so the post is more one-on-one action," said Boag, the reigning Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference player of the week.
Guarding the active Aussie one-on-one near the basket is a losing proposition for opposing teams. Boag's strength, solid footwork and ability to finish with either hand makes her a handful in the paint.
"She has unbelievable hands," said Green Gerding, who called Boag one of the best post players of her 18-year tenure at MSU. "The guards should thank her every time they throw it in there with three people and she catches it. She has good hands, she has great feet and I think she's very coachable."
Beavers open conference slate
The MSU wrestling team hosts the University of Mary tonight at 7 in its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference dual.
Mary boasts two returning All-Americans. Trevor Johnson, currently wrestling at 149 pounds, placed sixth nationally at 141 last season, and 165-pound senior Taylor Nagel was fifth in his weight division.
MSU (1-0) throttled the University of Regina 44-0 Thursday, but the Marauders represent a significant upgrade in competition. They're receiving votes for the Division II top 20 poll.
"You have to favor them," MSU coach Robin Ersland said. "They're the older program. We're a third-year program. ... They've got a couple pretty good guys in their lineup, so we'll see. We'll give it our best and go from there, but right now I think they're probably a little better than us."
The Beavers have been led by junior 174-pounder Matt Fetterley, a placewinner in all three tournaments the Beavers have wrestled this season.
Ersland said his squad has a chance if it can stay close to the Marauders in the lower weights. MSU likely will start the dual in a six-point hole because the Beavers don't have a wrestler at the 125-pound slot.
"You train all fall, and here we are - we've got a conference dual," Ersland said. "I think everybody's pretty excited about that."
Around the NSIC
Minnesota State-Mankato beat Missouri Western State 17-10 Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II football playoffs.
Freshman running back Connor Thomas rushed for 159 yards and touchdown to lead the Mavericks into a matchup Saturday with 10-2 Valdosta State (Ga.).
Mankato (13-0) handled Minot State 44-10 in the Beavers' season opener Aug. 30 at Herb Parker Stadium.
The Concordia-St. Paul volleyball team defeated Nebraska-Kearney 3-1 Saturday to win the Central Region championship and advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. The top-ranked Golden Bears (30-4) had swept their two previous regional matches against fellow NSIC schools Wayne State (Neb.) and Minnesota Duluth.
C-SP, the five-time defending national champion, swept Minot State on Oct. 12.
Augustana College (S.D.) moved up to No. 7 in the women's basketball rankings Tuesday after thrashing then-No. 9 Wayne State College 82-56 Saturday.
WSC, which dropped to No. 15, is the only other NSIC team ranked in the USA Today coaches' poll.