Before even beginning a postgame interview Wednesday, University of Jamestown women's basketball coach Greg Ulland flatly delivered a blanket statement: "Carly Boag is good."
The Minot State University senior scored 25 of her 29 points in the second half to lead the Beavers past Jamestown 85-67 in front of 1,003 at the MSU Dome.
"She's so tough to guard," Ulland said. "Sometimes we would send two, three people at her and we still couldn't stop her. Her athleticism, her strength, everything. She's an extremely good basketball player. ... They made it a point of emphasis to get her the ball the second half, and we just couldn't do anything about it."
Minot State University forward Carly Boag (40) seals Jamestown post Alexis Watts on an inbounds play during the Beavers’ victory Wednesday at the MSU Dome.
With the Beavers trailing 42-40 less than four minutes into the second half, Boag scored 12 straight MSU points to give her team a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The 6-foot-2 forward hit 4 of 4 free-throw attempts in that span, scored on a couple of post moves and finished a layup on a fast break she started with a steal.
The one-woman run came after a subpar first half by Boag's standards - four points, six rebounds and two turnovers. Boag finished with a game-high 13 rebounds as the Beavers beat Jamestown 21-9 on the glass after halftime. The Jimmies (6-1) held a 26-17 rebounding edge before the intermission.
"I made sure that second half was a new half," Boag said. "Coach made it an emphasis about getting the ball inside to the post and I just played one-on-one. If they double-teamed, I'd kick it out to teammates to get shots."
Jamestown - ranked No. 10 in NAIA Division II - threatened to make a run midway through the second half. Jimmies senior Carly Jensen knocked down two 3-pointers in less than two minutes, but Boag scored seven points in that same span to keep the Beavers (2-0) out front.
"It just took a half for our team to understand where the ball needs to get," MSU coach Sheila Green Gerding said. "She's a great player and she's an unselfish player. If she gets double-teamed, triple-teamed, she's gonna kick the ball out and she understands where that comes from. We gotta use her, and if we're just watching her work in there and moving the ball around the perimeter and she's not getting touches, we're not gonna be effective."
Boag's 11-of-18 performance from the field helped MSU shoot 53 percent. Senior guard Speedy Jones knocked down 5 of 8 field goals - including 2 of 3 from 3-point range - and all seven of her free throws en route to 19 points.
"She's just showing what she's gonna do for us this season," Green Gerding said. "She scored tonight, she led us, she handled the ball and did the right things with time-and-score situations, and she defended. It was really nice to see."
Neither team got into an offensive rhythm in a first half that featured 35 free throws. Despite shooting just 8-for-33 (24 percent) in the opening stanza, Jamestown tied it at 32 with a 9-0 run to close the half. Jensen went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and led the Jimmies with 18 points.
Junior forward Katie Hardy had 15 points and nine rebounds for MSU, which hosts Presentation College (S.D.) at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Daniel Allar covers Minot State University athletics. Follow him on Twitter @DAllar_MDN.