FARGO — Fourth quarters and overtimes have been issues for the North Dakota State women’s basketball team this season. On Thursday night, the Bison found another problem: second overtimes.

NDSU squandered a five-point lead in the second extra session and Western Illinois left Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex with a 79-78 victory. It was perhaps the biggest punch to the stomach for the Bison players yet, with the sullen faces of NDSU players Rylee Nudell and Emily Dietz after the game telling more of a story than anything they could say.

“Obviously frustrating,” Nudell said.

Sam Pryor’s 3-point field goal with 12.3 seconds left in the second overtime was the difference for Western. NDSU’s ensuing possession ended with a turnover with 3.5 seconds left, but Pryor, after getting fouled, missed two free throws.

NDSU got the ball on its end of the court after a timeout at 2.5 seconds. Nudell’s 3-pointer from the corner hit the rim and fell off, leaving NDSU with its second overtime defeat of the season.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

 The North Dakota State bench reacts as they take the lead in the second overtime against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum
The North Dakota State bench reacts as they take the lead in the second overtime against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum

 The North Dakota State bench watches a free throw attempt in the second overtime against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum
The North Dakota State bench watches a free throw attempt in the second overtime against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum

 The North Dakota State bench reacts as Western Illinois takes the lead in the closing seconds of the second overtime at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum
The North Dakota State bench reacts as Western Illinois takes the lead in the closing seconds of the second overtime at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum

 The North Dakota State bench watches Rylee Nudell take a shot in double overtime at the buzzer against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum
The North Dakota State bench watches Rylee Nudell take a shot in double overtime at the buzzer against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum

“It’s hard to get over the hump,” Bison head coach Jory Collins said. “It’s a struggle right now.”

Nudell and Dietz did their part, both in production and effort. Dietz had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, and Nudell 21 points and 15 rebounds.

“We have a handful of people that are playing at a really good level right now and she’s one of them,” Collins said of Nudell. “She’s completely changed the way she’s played the last six, seven games. She’s much more of a factor on both ends of the floor.”

With each passing quarter and overtime, life got more interesting for both teams.

Back-to-back baskets from Nudell and Dietz in the first OT gave the Bison a 67-64 lead with one minute left. Western responded with a bucket from Olivia Kaufmann.

 North Dakota State's Rylee Nudell shoots against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2.
David Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State's Rylee Nudell shoots against Western Illinois at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum

NDSU’s offensive possession ended with Nudell’s attempted 3-pointer, which appeared after the shot clock went off. Nonetheless, the Bison got the rebound with nine seconds left and guard Sofija Zivaljevic made 1 of 2 free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining.

After the timeout, Western got the ball out of bounds on its end of the court and Pryor’s 12-footer at the buzzer forced a second overtime.

“We played hard for a long time, but playing hard isn’t good enough,” Collins said. “You have to execute and you have to make plays when plays are needed. We had timely missed free throws and timely turnovers in critical possessions.”

 North Dakota State's Emily Dietz drives against Western Illinois' Evan Zars at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2.
David Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State's Emily Dietz drives against Western Illinois' Evan Zars at the Scheels Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. David Samson / The Forum

NDSU took the long road back after trailing most of the night.

The Bison tied it once in the third quarter, then finally forged ahead early in the fourth quarter behind Nudell. She hit back-to-back field goals to cut the Western lead to one point.

Her two free throws with 7:29 remaining gave NDSU its first lead of the game at 54-53. In a year when winning the fourth quarter has been a challenge, it gave the Bison another chance to figure it out.

Not scoring didn’t help. From that point until Nudell’s layup with 2:49 left, the Bison could only get an inside hoop from Danneka Voegeli. Still, NDSU only trailed 60-58.

It remained that way until Dietz’s layup tied it at 60-60 with 4.8 seconds left.



WIU 20 38 49 60 68 79

NDSU 12 31 47 60 68 78

WIU (7-8, 1-1 Summit): Zars 7-10 3-5 17, Flores 6-14 2-3 14, Nichols 2-9 5-7 9, Kaufmann 7-15 5-8 19, Gilmore 1-10 2-4 4, Lutz 1-4 0-0 3, Pryor 4-13 2-6 13, Guidinger 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 28-77 19-33.

NDSU (3-11, 0-2 Summit): Nudell 8-15 3-5 21, Dietz 10-16 4-10 24, Zivaljevic 1-9 4-6 6, Cobbins 3-15 0-0 6, Gaislerova 5-13 1-1 12, Rimdal 0-4 0-0 0, Voegeli 2-4 1-2 5, Terrer van Gool 1-3 0-0 2, Scales 1-3 0-0 2, Skibiel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 31-83 13-24.

Total fouls: WIU 22, NDSU 25. Fouled out: Zivaljevic. Rebounds: WIU 50 (Zars 11); NDSU 63 (Nudell 15). 3-point goals: WIU 4-24 (Zas 0-1, Flores 0-5, Kaufmann 0-2, Gilmore 0-4, Lutz 1-3, Pryor 3-9); NDSU 3-22 (Nudell 2-5, Zivaljevic 0-2, Cobbins 0-7, Gaislerova 1-4, Rimdal 0-1, Scales 1-3, Skibiel 0-1, Terrer van Gool 1-3). Assists: WIU 11 (Flores 6); NDSU 17 (Dietz 5). Turnovers: WIU 10 (Flores 3); NDSU 17 (Dietz, Cobbins 4). A-373