Seniors Katie Birkel and Dani DeGagne combined for 41 points as North Dakota State University turned back the University of South Dakota 57-50 in a Summit League women's basketball game played Saturday, Feb. 2, before 1,015 at the DakotaDome.
VERMILLION, S.D.--Seniors Katie Birkel and Dani DeGagne combined for 41 points as North Dakota State University turned back the University of South Dakota 57-50 in a Summit League women's basketball game played Saturday, Feb. 2, before 1,015 at the DakotaDome.
North Dakota State (8-14, 4-6 Summit) picked up its second road win in 10 tries this season. The Bison host Oakland University (8-13, 2-7 Summit). The Golden Grizzlies lost to Omaha 67-63.
It was the second straight down to the wire game for NDSU that saw nine lead changes and eight ties. DeGagne, Birkel and Britney Gaines all hit two free throws in the game's final 23 seconds to secure the win. The Bison made 12 of 14 from the line and USD was 3 of 4.
Birkel scored a game-high 24 points including both three-point attempts. She moved to 12th all-time in scoring at NDSU now with 1,345 points -- passing Lisa Stamp (1983-87) and Angie Froehlich (2000-04).
Nicole Seekamp's 19 points led South Dakota (11-12, 6-4 Summit), while Polly Harrington had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
North Dakota State was able to build a 21-10 lead in the first half as DeGagne netted 10 of her 17 points.
However, Seekamp and Harrington led the Coyotes on a 11-0 run to close out the final seven minutes of the first half and force a 21-21 tie at the intermission.
Birkel scored 18 of her game-high total in the second half on a variety of shots. Her first three-ball tied the game at 41-all 5:26 left and started a crucial 8-0 run that put NDSU ahead 46-41.
USD could only cut the deficit to two points, the last coming at 48-46 on Harrington's bucket inside off a Seekamp pass with 1:58 left.
That's when Birkel knocked down her second three-ball from the right side.
Neither team shot well from the field, NDSU at 35.6 percent and South Dakota at 35 percent. The teams combined to make only 8 of 40 three-pointers.
North Dakota State held a 39-38 rebounding edge. The Bison were outrebounded 44-26 in the 21-point loss to USD in January.