It’s Gabbie Bohl’s world, we are just living in it

The University of Mary won its second Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game Friday by defeating St. Cloud State, 59-47. The Marauders shot close to 21 percent better in the second half compared to the first half to continue their winning streak to three games.

Gabbie B(allin)ohl — If Friday’s performance doesn’t land Gabbie Bohl with NSIC Player of the Week honors, I’ll write a hand-written letter to the committee. The UMary junior finished with 27 points and 19 rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Bohl also made 13 of 14 from the free throw line and added three blocks. She was a machine. Ten of Bohl’s points came in the fourth quarter when UMary outscored the Huskies 25-11 after trailing 36-34 heading into the final frame. One of the biggest differences I saw not only in Bohl’s play but UMary’s post players were that they seemed more comfortable in the second half. It was almost like they were waiting to see what SCSU’s defense was giving them before they made a move and it definitely worked out for Rick Neumann’s squad.

Free points — UMary has been pretty solid at the free throw line this season and that continued against the Huskies. The Marauders knocked down 21 of 24 from the charity stripe and Coral Gillette, Macy Williams and Jordyn Jossart finished a combined 6 of 6. This season UMary has shot 25 more free throws this season than its opponents.

Winning without the 3-pointer — Great teams can win games when the long-range buckets aren’t falling and when the Marauders 3-point threat finishes the game 1 for 7 and you still win by 12 points that has to feel good. The Marauders only attempted less than 15 3-pointers for the second time this season and made its fewest (four) in five games.

Gabbie Bohl is ready to deliver a knockout punch to the NSIC

More: ROSTER | NSIC RANKINGS 

Gabbie Bohl and the University of Mary say its first action of the 2018-19 season Thursday against South Dakota State at Frost Arena.

The Marauders surrendered a 77-46 loss but a lot of players got some meaningful playing time against a Jackrabbits team that was picked to win the Summit League.

UMary had its final exhibition contest Monday evening against Concordia College (Minn.) and dominated 67-24 before they open up the season on Nov. 14 against Yellowstone Christian College.

“Our team has high expectations to be great this year,” Bohl said a few days after being named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Preseason Player of the Year said.

“The NSIC is a very competitive conference, so every night will be competitive. That’s why this conference is so fun to play in.”

The Marauders were picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches’ poll and received one first-place vote but Bohl who averaged 18 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks believes UMary can finish higher.

“I think we are better than 6th overall,” Bohl admitted. “I hope we can reach the top by the end of the season and (be) playing for the NSIC championship.”

Rick Neumann’s squad finished 13-16 (9-13 North) last season after back-to-back years with 15 wins but UMary brings back its Top 3 scorers and four of its five starters.

However, Neumann is going to have a young bench as 12 of his 17 players are underclassmen.

“Our freshmen coming in are very talented and are quick learners,” Bohl said. “Practices are running very smoothly and they are playing like they have been in the program before so that’s been really exciting.”

This offseason Bohl worked on putting on “more healthy weight” because towards the tail end of the 2017-18 season she felt more tired and weaker.

The junior forward has been consistent at the free throw line during the last two years but her free throw percentage will hopefully improve this year. Bohl is coming off a 68.7 percent free throw performance and made 68.4 percent of the charity stripe shots her freshman season.

Receiving such a high honor before the season starts, Bohl is very humbled and she’s ready to focus on helping the Marauders improve from last season.

It’s an awesome recognition,” she added, “because our conference has a lot of talented players that are just as deserving.”

“There really isn’t a lot of pressure for the fact I don’t think about the honor as a target on my back. It’s more of a motivation to continue to work hard and put in the extra time to be better than the day before.”

The Marauders will have two home games next week before heading to the Western Washington Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 23-24.

UMary will open up NSIC play at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 against in-state rival Minot State.