Some of the numbers didn’t look great for the Bethel College women’s basketball team Tuesday in KCAC play against Southwestern — 35% shooting, 21 turnovers, 20 fouls.
But a 49-37 rebounding edge and 15-of-20 shooting from the free-throw line made up for that in a 64-41 win.
Southwestern, 0-6 overall and 0-4 in KCAC play, hit just 14 of 58 from the field (24%) with 21 fouls and 20 turnovers.
The loss was the Moundbuilders’ 10th straight dating back to last season.
"We talked about being a team that’s a fourth-quarter team and closes games," Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. "We did a much better job of staying aggressive and continuing to guard. Against Oklahoma Wesleyan, we got a little bit tight and didn’t guard as well in the fourth quarter. We guarded better in the fourth quarter. We battled defensively in the fourth quarter. That team can score, and I thought we did a good job against their best players. We made some of the other players try and beat us."
Abby Schmidt scored 24 points with 19 rebounds, her sixth double-double of the season and 53rd of her career. Kendall Michalski scored a season-high 23 points on 7-of-17 3-point shooting. Michalski tied her own school record for most 3-pointers made in a game.
"I give 110 percent credit to my teammates," Michalski said. "They definitely knew I was hot and found anyway possible to get me the ball. I have 110 percent credit to my teammates."
Bethel entered the fourth quarter in a similar position as in Friday’s 64-60 win over Oklahoma Wesleyan, but instead of going scoreless for the first 8 1/2 minutes of the final period, like the Threshers did Friday, Bethel outscored the Moundbuilders 23-15.
"It looked a little iffy," Michalski said. "The thing Coach Drew said is we cannot step down to their level. We have to keep pushing it and pushing it. We can’t go slack."
Michalski played in just 21 games last season, and played in many of those games injured.
"It feels amazing to be finally healthy," Michalski said. "Last year, I battled a torn labral in my hip. I got it in preseason and had it the whole season. It’s awesome to shoot, run, defend."
Bethel also saw the return of junior Alex Bearup, who missed the Threshers’ first four games because of COVID-19.
"It’s always good to get Bearup back," Johnson said. "She plays with an energy that’s hard to duplicate. She has so much length and athleticism and affects the game all over the place."
Lauren Richter led Southwestern with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Ashton Burdick scored nine.
Bethel jumped out 14-5 in the first quarter as Southwestern hit just 2 of 12 from the field and turned the ball over 10 times.
Bethel led by as many as 12 in the second quarter. Southwestern cut it to nine at the half, 24-15.
Bethel opened the third quarter on an 11-3 run capped by a Josie Calzonetti 3-pointer. Southwestern got as close a 13 late in the quarter. Bethel led 41-26 at the end of the period.
Southwestern made a 5-2 run to open the third quarter as Bethel had four fouls in the first 2:04 of the period. A Jasmina Jones trey with under five minutes to play put Bethel back up by 17. A Michalski trey with 2:43 to play put Bethel up by 21.
Bethel, 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the KCAC, is scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Friday at Tabor. The Bluejays are 2-0, 1-0 in the conference, after a 52-47 win over Bethany Saturday.
"Our next three games are against the top of the conference, so we’re definitely going to need some consistency," Michalski said. "These next three games are really going to test us."
"They are very talented," Johnson said. "They battled with Bethany Saturday. That was two of the better teams in the conference. We want to be in that mix. We want to have that mentality to battle, be tough and play hard."