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UT Rio Grande Valley upends the Bison women at the Scheels Center

North Dakota State's Rylee Nudell drives to the basket during Tuesday night's college women's basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley Photo by Carrie Snyder / NDSU Athletics1 / 2
North Dakota State's Reilly Jacobson goes up for a shot during Tuesday night's college women's basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Photo by Carrie Snyder / NDSU Athletics2 / 2

FARGO—North Dakota State got the shot it wanted in the closing seconds Tuesday night at the Scheels Center, but not the result it wanted.

Bison senior guard Taylor Thunstedt had a 3-pointer rim off moments before the final buzzer that would have tied the game. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley got a game-high 23 points from Jameka Dowell to earn an 82-79 victory in nonconference women's basketball before 609 fans.

"It was the play we drew up," Bison head coach Maren Walseth said. "It was a good shot, a shot that a shooter wants to take."

The Bison (5-4) have lost three consecutive games.

UT Rio Grande Valley scored its last four points from the foul line. Dowell sank two foul shots that gave her team an 80-78 lead with 1 minute, 11 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. She added two more free throws for an 82-79 lead with seven seconds remaining.

The Bison got as close as 80-79 after sophomore Reilly Jacobson made the first of two free throws with 14 seconds to play. NDSU junior Marina Fernandez rebounded the miss, but lost the ball out of bounds. The Bison were 1 of 4 from the foul line in the final minute.

"We got to still keep competing," said Bison sophomore Rylee Nudell, who had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The 6-foot-2 Jacobson finished with a career-high 21 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the floor. She scored 14 of those points in the first half as the Bison held a 41-40 lead after two quarters. NDSU started the game with a 14-2 run before the Vaqueros started to rally.

"We started out strong and they came back and we acted like we were still up," Jacobson said.

Thunstedt finished with 11 points with eight of those coming in the fourth quarter. She got a clean look at the basket with less than five seconds to play, but was unable to connect. The Vaqueros grabbed the rebound the secure the victory.

"The last couple of days the theme has been toughness and compete in practice," Walseth said. "I thought we did that well tonight."

Jacobson did most of her scoring damage around the basket, scoring her team-high point total in 27 minutes.

"I thought RJ was finding herself in space," Walseth said. "She found her sweet spot. ... She was deep enough (in the paint) without being too deep."

The Bison had four players who scored in double digits. Sarah Jacobson scored 13 points to join Reilly Jacobson, Nudell and Thunstedt in double figures.

The Bison took a 76-72 lead after Autumn Ogden sank to free throws with 3:21 remaining. UT Rio Grande Valley countered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Dowell and Quynne Huggins to take a 78-76 lead with less than three minutes remaining. Huggins finished with 19 points, including 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range.

The Bison next play at rival University of North Dakota at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"We will be very open and honest about the rivalry game, what this means for the North Dakota kids, and with all respect and context understand that it's a 40-minute basketball game," Walseth said. "We need to do what we do really well and be dialed into a game plan."

UTRGV 14 40 63 82

NDSU 20 41 59 79

UTRGV (9-2): Sampson 3-8 0-0 6, Dowell 5-6 10-11 23, Tapia 1-3 0-0 2, Huggins 7-17 0-0 19, Johnson 3-10 3-4 9, Graham 5-7 4-4 15, Turk 0-6 2-2 2, McCray 1-2 0-0 2, Gueye 0-0 0-0 0, Van Tilburg 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 27-62 19-21 82.

NDSU (5-4): Kvilvang 2-5 0-0 4, Nudell 5-6 2-4 13, Thunstedt 4-12 0-0 11, S. Jacobson 4-10 2-2 13, Fernandez 1-5 0-0 3, Ogden 1-3 2-2 4, Gaislerova 1-2 0-0 2, Spencer 1-1 2-2 5, R. Jacobson 10-20 1-2 21, Voegeli 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 30-67 10-14 79.

3-point goals: UTRGV 9-25 (Sampson 0-2, Dowell 3-4, Tapia 0-1, Huggins 5-10, Johnson 0-1, Graham 1-1, Turk 0-5, McCray 0-1), NDSU 9-27 (Nudell 1-2, Thunstedt 3-11, S. Jacobson 3-8, Fernandez 1-4, Gaislerova 0-1, Spencer 1-1). Total fouls: UTRGV 14, NDSU 15. Rebounds: UTRGV 36 (Sampson 9), NDSU 36 (Nudell 7, Fernandez 7). Assists: UTRGV 13 (Graham 6), NDSU 23 (Fernandez 6). Steals: UTRGV 9 (Huggins 3), NDSU 8 (S. Jacobson 3). Turnovers: UTRGV 12 (Johnson 4), NDSU 12 (Fernandez 3). A--609.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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