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Thorson sets career 3-point mark, Volkert hits big shot to help Dragons win OT thriller

Minnesota State Moorhead guard Cassidy Thorson scored 25 points, including seven 3-pointers in Saturday's overtime win against Wayne State at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. Laurel Hoseth / Dragons Athletics

MOORHEAD—Minnesota State Moorhead guard Jacky Volkert shined in the closing moments of overtime Saturday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

The junior swished the go-ahead 3-pointer with 29 seconds to play to help lift the Dragons to a dramatic 86-84 victory against Wayne State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women's basketball before 874 fans.

"Jacky made some unbelievable shots at the end of that game. That's what great players do," Dragons head coach Karla Nelson said. "If she questions herself, she doesn't hit that shot."

The Dragons (13-3, 10-2 NSIC) have won seven consecutive games, including Friday's 75-64 victory against previously unbeaten and No. 11-ranked Augustana.

"We might not have started the year quite to are best, but we are definitely getting there," said Volkert, who scored 22 points and added 10 assists. "These wins just mean everything."

The Dragons are tied for first place in the North Division with Northern State (14-3, 10-2). Augustana earned 77-64 road win against Northern State on Saturday. That made the weekend home sweep more important for the Dragons.

"It keeps us in the race," Nelson said. "If you can win your games at home it keeps you in the race for a conference title. You have to hold serve on your home floor."

Wayne State looked in position to rally for victory after senior forward Maggie Schulte sank a free throw that gave the Wildcats an 84-80 lead with 1 minute, 58 seconds to play in overtime. Schulte, who finished with a game-high 28 points, also sank a 3-pointer at the fourth-quarter buzzer that tied the score at 75-75 and forced overtime. Schulte made 6 of 7 shots from beyond the arc.

"It kind of felt like they had to momentum, they were hitting every big shot they were taking," said Dragons guard Cassidy Thorson, who scored a team-high 25 points. "I thought we just played with guts, came back and responded."

Volkert scored the game's final six points, starting with a 15-foot jumper that cut the Wayne State lead to 84-82 with 1:42 to play in overtime. She sank her go-ahead 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Dragons an 85-84 lead with 29 seconds remaining.

"Drew (Sannes) found me and just goosebumps and shivers up and down my spine," said Volkert, who added a free throw with 13 seconds to play in overtime. "We just kept our composure."

Thorson shot 44 percent (7 of 16) from 3-point range, including a key make from beyond the arc in overtime. Her seven 3-pointers gave her the program's career record. The West Fargo High School graduate has made 198 for the Dragons. Marisa Yernatich (2009-13) held the old mark with 197.

"It was a good night," Thorson said.

The Dragons built a 64-51 lead after Thorson drained a 3-pointer with 7:40 to play in the fourth quarter. Wayne State, however, got hot from 3-point range to claw back into the game. The Wildcats hit five 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the fourth. Schulte capped that rally with her clutch 3-pointer at the fourth-quarter buzzer.

"The one thing that this team has shown regardless of how we've played is at the end, we've persevered," Nelson said. "We just hang in there and hang in there and show some grit. That is a quality you can't teach."

WSC 18 32 47 75 84

MSUM 23 35 56 75 86

WSC (14-6, 8-4 NSIC): O'Connor 1-5 0-0 3, Norling 0-3 0-0 0, Busse 1-3 0-0 3, Schulte 8-14 6-8 28, Ballinger 5-15 3-3 13, Vesey 0-0 0-0 0, Brainerd 0-0 0-0 0, Lowe 4-7 1-1 12, Knox 0-0 0-0 0, Reiner 0-0 0-0 0, Larson 3-6 4-4 12, Bongartz 4-4 5-8 13. Totals 26-57 19-24 84.

MSUM (13-3, 10-2): Thorson 8-17 2-2 25, Fech 0-0 0-0 0, Volkert 7-11 5-6 22, Sannes 6-11 6-6 19, Hintz 2-4 0-0 5, Selensky 2-8 0-2 5, Borowicz 0-3 4-4 4, Galegher 1-3 0-0 2, Liegel 0-3 0-0 0, Green 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 28-65 17-20 86.

3-point goals: WSC 13-24 (O'Connor 1-3, Norling 0-2, Busse 1-3, Schulte 6-7, Lowe 3-6, Larson 2-3), MSUM 13-30 (Thorson 7-16, Volkert 3-6, Sannes 1-1, Hintz 1-1, Selensky 1-4, Liegel 0-2). Total fouls: WSC 22, MSUM 24. Rebounds: WSC 31 (Schulte 5, Larson 5), MSUM 40 (Selensky 10). Assists: WSC 14 (Schulte 4), MSUM 23 (Volkert 10). Steals: WSC 9 (Schulte 3, Lowe 3), MSUM 4 (Thorson 2). Turnovers: WSC 16 (Schulte 4), MSUM 16 (Volkert 6). A--874.

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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