FARGO — North Dakota State erased 30 minutes of offensive frustration in 10 minutes Saturday afternoon.

The Bison erupted for 29 points in the fourth quarter to rally past Nebraska-Omaha for a 55-48 victory in Summit League women's basketball before 356 fans at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

"The first 30 minutes were no offensive clinic, that's for sure," Bison head coach Maren Walseth said. "But I give our group a ton of credit for the resiliency that they showed."

NDSU (7-19, 4-10 Summit) snapped a seven-game losing streak and split the season series with the Mavericks. The Bison are in seventh place in the Summit League with two games to play in the regular season. The top eight teams in the league make the conference tournament.

"We really, really needed it," said Bison sophomore Sofija Zivaljevic, who scored 13 points. "And I think you can see at the end of the game by the way we celebrated how much it meant for us. ... We knew this was our chance to get that much-needed W."

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

The Bison trailed 34-26 through three quarters, shooting 26 percent (10 of 39) from the floor in the first 30 minutes. NDSU scored four points in the third quarter on 2-for-13 shooting from the field. That changed in the fourth quarter.

After UNO built a 44-36 lead with 5 minutes, 45 seconds to play, the Bison countered with 13 consecutive points to spark an 18-2 run that vaulted them into the lead. Zivaljevic had 10 points during that surge, including a 3-point play and a driving layup. Michelle Gaislerova capped the rally with two free throws that gave NDSU a 54-46 lead with 31 seconds remaining.

"We knew that if we wanted to win the game, we had to stick together. I think that's exactly what we did," Zivaljevic said. "You have to keep believing in yourself and your teammates and that's what we did. We kept shooting because we know we're good enough shooters."

The Bison shot 83 percent (5 of 6) from the floor in the fourth quarter. They also shot 81 percent (17 of 21) from the foul line over the final 10 minutes.

"Once you see it go through once or twice, it just keeps giving you confidence," Bison junior Rylee Nudell said. "Playing hard and seeing the ball go through the hoop really helped that fourth quarter."

Nudell finished with a game-high 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers. The 5-foot-10 forward also grabbed six rebounds. Nudell had 11 points in the fourth quarter.

"That was a great team win," Walseth said. "I'm very, very proud of the resiliency of this group."

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half. UNO shot 27 percent (8 of 30) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, while the Bison shot 33 percent (8 of 24) from the field.

The Mavericks had an 18-point first quarter that helped them take a 23-22 lead into halftime. UNO had a string of 10 consecutive points in the first quarter. Freshman center Elena Pilakouta capped that surge with a 3-point play that gave the Mavericks a 10-3 lead with 7:01 to play in the opening quarter.

UNO led for more than 34 of the game's 40 minutes, but NDSU's fourth-quarter rally proved to be the difference.

"There was a lot at stake for both ballclubs," Walseth said. "The focus was on our players, ourselves and playing for each other. They did a fantastic job of that today."

UNO 18 23 34 48

NDSU 13 22 26 55

UNO (8-19, 2-12 Summit): Carter 2-12 0-2 5, Pilakouta 1-8 1-1 3, Killian 4-10 1-2 9, Filer 1-2 2-3 4, Johnston 2-7 2-2 7, Phillips 4-8 2-2 11, Petersen 0-2 0-0 0, Wallace 0-0 0-0 0, Murdie 4-12 1-3 9. Totals 18-61 9-15 48.

NDSU (7-19, 4-10): Nudell 5-9 3-4 16, Gaislerova 2-9 2-2 7, Spencer 1-6 0-0 2, Fernandez 0-2 2-2 2, Dietz 2-6 7-10 11, Zivaljevic 3-8 7-9 13, Rimdal 1-2 0-0 2, Voegeli 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 15-45 21-27 55.

3-point goals: UNO 3-16 (Carter 1-2, Killian 0-3, Johnston 1-5, Phillips 1-4, Petersen 0-2), NDSU 4-16 (Nudell 3-5, Gaislerova 1-6, Fernandez 0-1, Zivaljevic 0-4). Total fouls: UNO 20, NDSU 17. Rebounds: UNO 35 (Filer 9), NDSU 40 (Fernandez 7). Assists: UNO 7 (Carter 4), NDSU 9 (Spencer 3, Dietz 3). Turnovers: UNO 8 (three players with 2), NDSU 13 (Dietz 4). A-356.