The North Dakota State women’s basketball team finished up the first half of Summit League play on the road last week. NDSU lost both games and are set to return home with just one conference win so far.
The Bison made their first stop of the week in Omaha Wednesday. The two teams swapped hot quarters in the first half, and the Mavericks ultimately took the 80-67 win.
It was NDSU this time that got off to the hot start. Sarah Jacobson and Taylor Thunstedt connected on 3-pointers to lead the Bison on a 17-5 run in the first six minutes.
Omaha clawed their way back into the game early in the second, using a 6-0 burst that brought the game to within five. NDSU’s Rylee Nudell got back-to-back layups in the paint to maintain the lead for a short time.
However, the home team seized all control right before halftime. The Mavericks struck quick in the final two and a half minutes for an 11-0 run. Jess Walter hit the go-ahead three for Omaha, giving the Mavericks the lead for good.
Issues compounded for the Bison out of the break. Omaha scored the next eight points before Macey Kvilvang put an end to the Bison’s seven-minute scoreless streak.
The Bison never got within double-digits to the Mavericks the rest of the way. Reilly Jacobson led the Bison with 18 points on the evening, followed by 13 from Nudell.
NDSU took the trip east to face Western Illinois Saturday and caught the turnover bug. The Bison coughed up the ball 21 times. That led to 25 points, which the Leathernecks rode to a 97-72 win.
The first quarter was a hotly contested affair, with the lead switching hands seven times. The Bison took the lead through Sarah Jacobson’s 3-pointer seven minutes into the contest.
Western Illinois took the lead back for good a minute later. The Leathernecks then set out building the lead in the second quarter. Sarah Jacobson continued to keep the game close, knocking down another three.
Out of halftime, Western Illinois came out firing. Their first five shots came from behind the arc, sinking four. That extended the lead to 15.
The Leathernecks continued to build the lead until the final buzzer.
A bright spot for the Bison was the career-high point total from Jacobson. She scored a team-high 26 with the help of six 3-pointers.
Jacobson was not the only player hitting long shots on the night. The Leathernecks set a new program-record with 19 in the game.
Reilly Jacobson and Nudell also finished with double-digit points, with 14 and 13, respectively.
The loss puts NDSU as one of three teams in the Summit with one win (1-6, 8-13 overall), joining Fort Wayne (1-7) and Omaha (1-6). Western Illinois improves to 6-2 in the Summit League and sits third in the standings.
The good news for the Bison is that they now play five of their remaining seven games at home. The bad news is that the schedule gets tougher.
The Bison return home to host second-place South Dakota State 7 p.m. Thursday. The Herd then hit the road for the second to last time Saturday, when they roll into Vermilion to take on league-leading South Dakota.