NDSU women’s basketball falls to 6-2 following two road losses

Herd stunned in a last-second loss at Central Michigan

Bison cannot find momentum in 73-55 loss to Eastern Michigan

              On Thursday, December 1st, the North Dakota State University women’s basketball played their third game of a six-game road trip. The Bison (6-0) faced off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles (4-0) in Ypsilanti, Mich.

NDSU started the game off cold, allowing the Eagles to sprint out to a 7-1 run. However, over the course of the first quarter, freshman guard Elle Evans drained three shots from beyond the arc to keep the Herd on pace with the Eagles’ offense. The Bison trailed Eastern 18-15 heading into the second.

              In the first 20 seconds of the second quarter, senior guard Heaven Hamling found a wide-open Elle Evans for her fourth three of the contest, tying the game at 18. The Bison and the Eagles proceeded to trade baskets for the rest of the quarter. However, a layup from Hamling with four seconds left on the clock gave the Herd the edge heading into the half, 30-29. Both teams had their respective opportunities to push their leads and gain momentum in the first half, but neither capitalized on them.

              This theme continued out of halftime, as multiple turnovers and fouls halted offensive possessions. The game was stalled at 39-39 from the 6:23 mark to the 3:55 mark, where Eastern Michigan finally converted on a layup which sparked an 8-4 Eagles run to end the third quarter.

              The Bison were unable to find their footing at all in the fourth, but Eastern was keen on pushing their lead. The Eagles shot out of the break to a quick 4-0 run off the back of three NDSU turnovers. Eastern Michigan did not look back from this break and continued to punish NDSU for their mistakes and missed shots. The Eagles had the largest lead of the night at the 3:43 mark, where they led the Herd 67-47. NDSU tried to fight back late, but it was too late for the Bison.

              The Herd’s leading scorer on the season, Heaven Hamling, was held to only seven points on 3-17 shooting. Apart from her outstanding first-half start, Elle Evans only scored 14 points in the game. The Bison had a poor shooting effort as a team, shooting just 32.8 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from beyond the arc. Eastern Michigan had four players score double digits with sophomore center Tayra Eke putting up a double-double (14 pts/10 rebounds). The Bison were missing much-needed production to keep on pace with the Eagles’ fourth-quarter attack, as the Herd was outscored 26-12 in the final period of play.

The loss was NDSU’s first of the season, putting their record at 6-1 before heading to Mount Pleasant, Mich. to face the Chippewas of Central Michigan University on Saturday, December 3rd.

Bison heartbroken in 66-65 loss to Central Michigan

              After an unfortunate defeat to Eastern Michigan, the North Dakota State University women’s basketball team looked to recoup and start another winning streak. On the fourth game of their six-game road trip, NDSU (6-1) faced off against the Central Michigan Chippewas (0-6).

              Out of the gates, senior guard Heaven Hamling drained a three-pointer to start the Bison off strong. However, despite an early 5-0 run, NDSU failed to sustain and capitalize on opportunities to build its lead. Reminiscent of the Eastern game, the Herd went back and forth with their opponent, but struggled with cold shooting, hitting 46 percent of shots from the field and only one three-pointer out of four attempts. Central Michigan led at the end of one, 20-15.

              The Bison’s struggles continued in the ensuing quarter, as the Herd’s shooting worsened from the field. This cold shooting, combined with NDSU turnovers, allowed the Chippewas to jump out to a 37-25 lead, the game’s largest of the night. The Bison never gave up though, as freshman guard Elle Evans scored a three-pointer, then rolled in a layup off a steal to put the Herd into halftime trailing 39-30.

NDSU guard Heaven Hamling dribbles past Central Michigan guard Karrington Gordon during their game on Sunday in Ypsilanti, Mich. The Chippewas defeated the Bison 66-65. Photo Courtesy | NDSU Athletics

              NDSU came out of the break with a vengeance, quickly sprinting out on a 12-4 run before a TV timeout. The Bison offense started to come alive, as the Herd shot an impressive 72 percent from the field and 66 percent on three-point attempts. NDSU kept the momentum going throughout the quarter, converting off of CMU turnovers to end the quarter up 51-49. The Bison outscored the Chippewas 21-10 in the quarter.

              The Herd spent the early part of the fourth quarter looking to put the game away. NDSU went on a 6-0 run highlighted by junior forward Emily Behnke. The Bison lead then grew to 7, their largest of the night, after a feed to graduate student Taylor Brown inside the paint. With 1:11 left in the game, the Herd led CMU 65-63. The game looked all but over as the Chippewas missed a three-point jumper with three seconds to go. Disaster then struck NDSU, as the Herd’s inbound pass was stolen by a Chippewa player, allowing CMU to sprint down the court and heave up a three-point attempt. The shot missed but Elle Evans fouled CMU forward Sydney Harris on the shot sending her to the line. Harris drained all three freebies and stole a win from the Bison and put the Chippewas in the win column for the first time this season, 66-65.              

With the heartbreaking loss, the Bison drop to 6-2 on the season. The Herd moves on to play the University of Northern Iowa (4-3) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Panthers were ranked #22 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll, while NDSU was ranked #19 prior to their two losses.

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