Poor quarters doom NDSU in South Dakota, Purdue Fort Wayne
The North Dakota State women’s basketball team’s road woes continued to close out the regular season. Losses at South Dakota and Purdue Fort Wayne left the Bison (7-21, 4-12) with just one win away from Fargo.
NDSU were unable to walk out of Vermillion with a win, losing to South Dakota 76-57. Losses by Purdue Fort Wayne and Omaha to go along with a win by North Dakota means the Bison will be the No. 7 seed in the Summit League Tournament.
The Bison’s first opponent will in fact be South Dakota. If they hope to win the next meeting, the Bison must be able to stop long runs by the Coyotes.
After the Herd were able to hang around in the first half, South Dakota outscored the Bison 25-9 in the third frame. A 17-3 run to end the third quarter firmly put the game away.
Despite going a respectable 10 of 23 from the 3-point line, the Bison were absolutely dominated down low. The Coyotes outscored the Bison 50-14 in the paint. This simply will not cut it if the women hope to make some noise in the Summit League Tournament.
One bright spot for the Bison on the day was Michelle Gaislerova. The sophomore guard scored 20 of NDSU’s 57 points and moved into a tie for third in school history with 72 3-pointers on the year.
The Bison now have the benefit of having seen USD just 10 days before meeting them again. This may give NDSU a chance to make some adjustments and fix whatever it was that went wrong in the third quarter. The Bison were only down by eight at halftime, so they’ve shown that they can play with South Dakota.
On Saturday, it was another case of one bad quarter dooming NDSU. The Bison were outscored 30-14 in the fourth, losing the season finale 66-46 to Purdue Fort Wayne.
The problem is the Bison are playing some of their worse basketball of the season. Something will need to change if the herd hopes to make a run at a Summit League Tournament title.
Despite going just 3 of 17 from the field in the first quarter, the Bison found themselves only down three points going into the second frame. The Mastodons took a four-point lead into halftime.
The third quarter was just not fun for anybody. Purdue Fort Wayne and the Bison combined for 18 points. The third quarter was also the second time in the game the Bison failed to score 10 or more points in a quarter. With an almost nonexistent offense, the Bison were still in a great position to win going into the fourth quarter.
Alas, a combination of the Mastodons catching fire, 12 of 16 from the field, and some bad turnovers turned the game into a rout.
Rylee Nudell and Gaislerova accounted for well over half of NDSU’s points. Nudell put up 14 points, and Gaislerova scored 12.
Gaislerova also moved into sole possession of third place in NDSU history for 3-pointers made, hitting her 73rd and 74th on the year.
The Bison are not hitting on any cylinders right now. A date with South Dakota looms, and it’ll take one of the Bison’s best games of the year if they are to have any chance of toppling the ‘Yotes. The Bison need to figure things out in the paint, they were badly outscored again down low, and cut back on the turnovers.
These are not quick fixes, but they are musts. Who knows? Perhaps the Herd can catch USD on an off night and walk away with a first-round win. Crazy things can happen in March, so not all hope has been lost quite yet.