FARGO - Say this about the North Dakota State women’s basketball team: Those moments when a game didn’t go so well hasn’t carried over to ensuing games. Two days after getting throttled by South Dakota State, the Bison rebounded in their final regular season home game.

They owned the final minute and subsequently the game in a 67-64 win over Nebraska Omaha Saturday afternoon at Scheels Arena at Sanford Health Athletic Complex. The Bison finished the Summit League at 7-9 and will take the No. 6 seed into the postseason tournament.

NDSU, 10-18, plays at 2:30 p.m. next Sunday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in a year when it reached double digits in wins for the first time since 2014-15 when they won 11.

“We made big-time plays in big-time situations,” said Bison senior Rylee Nudell, in her last home game. “It’s just locking in and focusing on what our jobs are and what we need to do during crunch time.”

Nudell’s two free throws tied it at 64-64 with 1:07 remaining. On the other end, Bison center Emily Dietz blocked a Maverick shot attempt with the shot clocking winding down giving NDSU a chance for the lead.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Dietz was fouled with two seconds left on NDSU’s possession clock and nine seconds left in the game. She made the first free throw, but missed the second. Bison guard Ryan Cobbins, however, corralled the rebound in traffic and was tied up.

With the possession arrow favoring NDSU, Nudell was fouled with 4.7 seconds left after taking the inbounds pass. She sank both free throws forcing Omaha in need of a 3-pointer to tie it.

Ella Ogier’s attempt from the top of the key hit the rim and bounced away.

“Pleased to get a win as ugly as it was,” said Bison head coach Jory Collins. “We made enough plays down the stretch, had people step up and make good basketball plays.”

The win means NDSU hasn’t lost two straight since a two-overtime loss to Western Illinois and loss at Oral Roberts in early January.

“It keeps me sane first of all,” Collins said. “We’re a long ways from earlier in the year. We’ve had a lead in the fourth quarter in 12 of our 16 conference games. We’re in those games. We didn’t get all of those but there’s enough there to build on for next year.”

Said Bison guard Sofija Zivaljevic: “We knew from the start Omaha was a must-win. South Dakota State, we had an opportunity but we were big underdogs in that game. We knew we couldn’t let that performance affect us today.”

Zivaljevic, a redshirt junior, also played her last home game because of academic reasons. She’s graduating in May and couldn’t attain a master’s degree in one year next season. A native of Montenegro, she’s heading to Europe to pursue professional basketball.

Nudell finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead NDSU.

“Pretty emotional, I started tearing up at the end of the game,” Dietz said of the two seniors. “Those two have been role models for myself and it’s been an incredible experience.”

UNO 19 29 41 64

NDSU 12 34 37 67

UNO (7-22, 2-14 Summit): Filer 4-6 0-2 9, Murdie 4-8 3-3 12, Carter 3-8 0-0 6, Ogier 7-15 2-2 17, Killian 3-8 0-0 8, Ekdahl 1-5 2-2 4, Wilson 2-6 0-0 4, Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Pilakouta 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 26-59 7-9.

NDSU (10-18, 7-9 Summit): Nudell 4-10 4-6 13, Dietz 6-11 5-6 17, Zivaljevic 4-5 4-4 13, Cobbins 4-7 0-0 8, Gaislerova 1-8 0-0 3, Scales 3-6 0-0 7, Terrer van Gool 1-4 0-0 2, Rimdal 1-2 0-2 2, Voegeli 1-2 0-0 2, Skibiel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-55 13-18.

Total fouls: UNO 20, NDSU 14. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: UNO 28 (Ogier 8); NDSU 38 (Nudell 13). 3-point goals: UNO 5-20 (Filer 1-3, Murdie 1-1, Ogier 1-6, Killian 2-6, Ekdahl 0-3); NDSU 4-15 (Nudell1-3 , Zivaljevic 1-2, Cobbins 0-3, Gaislerova 1-4, Scales 1-3). Assists: UNO 6 (Killian 2); NDSU 5 (Zivaljevic 2). Turnovers: UNO 8 (Ogier 3); NDSU 11(Zivaljevic 4). A-625.