After a pair of Minot State University losses last weekend, Beavers coach Sheila Green Gerding expressed the need for a third scorer to join senior guard Sacarra Molina and junior post player Carly Boag.
Morgan Klose made a strong case for her candidacy with a second-half outburst Wednesday.
The 5-foot-9 sophomore scored 15 of her 17 points after halftime, including several key baskets down the stretch, as the Beavers pulled away from pesky NAIA opponent Midland University 77-64 at the MSU Dome.
Minot State University guard Lauren Safranski drives past Midland University’s Darien Moon on Wednesday at the MSU Dome. Safranski had 13 points in the Beavers’ win.
Klose was held scoreless in the Beavers' last couple games, but hit 3-of-5 3-pointers, with two coming during the decisive run late in the second half. After Midland's Jamilah Johnson knocked down a 3 from the right corner to knot the score at 62 with five minutes, 42 seconds remaining, Klose scored eight points during the Beavers' 15-2 game-ending spurt.
"Coach said, 'We can't have Carly and Sacarra doing it all,' " said Klose, who added seven rebounds and four assists. "I just wanted to step up. I knew Sacarra believed in me and Carly always tells me to shoot so I just wanted to prove to them that I was still there for them."
Boag and Molina each did their part in the win, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively. Boag also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, and Molina slid from shooting guard to point when the MSU offense was stalling in the face of Midland's man-to-man pressure.
"We moved Sacarra Molina to the point and she handled it," Green Gerding said. "She came off the high ball pick and either got a score, got a kick to Morgan, or we swung that ball and got a better shot. ... We got things going offensively and attacked their pressure a little better."
MSU senior Lauren Safranski hit all six of her free-throw attempts and knocked down a second-half 3 en route to 13 points. Molina said the scoring balance was encouraging for the Beavers, who get more than 30 combined points from Molina and Boag per game but whose next-leading scorers (Safranski and Klose) average seven per outing.
"We just need Morgan to look for her shots more, the right shots, and just spot up every time," Molina said. "And we need to get her the ball more, honestly. ... We just need to get everybody the shots that they're comfortable with. Everybody needs to contribute. It really can't be left on one or two people, especially at the NCAA Division II level."
Johnson led the Warriors (5-9) with 16 points.
The Beavers (5-3 overall, 2-3 Northern Sun) play another home nonconference game Dec. 30 against Brandon University.