Herd holds onto 2nd in Summit League standings
The North Dakota State University women’s basketball team traveled north on I-29 to face off against the University of North Dakota on Saturday. The Bison entered the game fresh off a hard-fought road weekend series where they earned a split in Summit League play.
Both teams played scrappy and physical defense to start the game, leading to numerous fouls and turnovers. Bison guard Elle Evans made her defensive impact known early as she forced turnovers on two consecutive UND possessions. The Herd capitalized on UND’s mistakes, gaining a slim 6-2 lead with 6:47 remaining in the first. The teams then traded baskets, as neither team was able to obtain a firm grasp on the game. The lead changed eight times as UND held a narrow 15-14 lead after one quarter of play.
The teams quickly traded three-pointers as the second quarter started. The scoring never let up and neither team was able to pull away from the other. This ping-pong style scoring continued with NDSU leading 27-24 until a TV timeout with 4:41 to play. After the timeout, UND went on an 11-4 run to end the half leading 35-29.
The third quarter saw the three-pointers start raining down for the Fighting Hawks. NDSU turnovers and fouls sparked a 10-0 UND run, forcing a Bison timeout. During the run, the Herd had no offensive possessions. This was a huge turning point for the Fighting Hawks, who took the lead and ran with it. The stat sheet tells the tale of the third quarter. NDSU shot an abysmal 28.6 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from beyond the arc, while UND shot a respective 45.8 percent and 60 percent. The Fighting Hawks outscored the Bison 28-15 in the quarter as their lead grew to 19 heading into the fourth.
Photo Courtesy | NDSU Athletics
Despite the deficit, NDSU did not go down without a fight. Senior guard Heaven Hamling led a quarter-long rally that saw the Herd draw to within seven with 51 seconds left to play. However, NDSU’s efforts were too late, as the damage was already done. UND converted their free throws in the final minute to put the game to rest, 82-73.
With the win, the Fighting Hawks snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Bison. The game marked the end of a three-game road stint for the Herd (13-7, 7-3 Summit), who now return to Fargo for a duel with the University of South Dakota on February 2nd. Even with the loss, the Bison remain in second place in the Summit League standings, sitting one ahead of the Coyotes. USD will look to get revenge and overtake NDSU’s spot, who upset them in Vermillion earlier in the year. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. inside the Scheels Center. The game will be televised live on WDAY Xtra and available to listeners on Bison 1660AM. Student tickets are available at www.gobison.com/students.