SPORTS SUNDAY -- The rivalry between North Dakota State and North Dakota is always intense.
This year, the basketball version of the feud took a step up.
For the first time, both men's and women's basketball programs met as Summit League foes.
It was the first time the Bison and Fighting Hawks have been conference opponents since 2004, when both were in the North Central Conference in Division II.
For NDSU, the debut with its rival couldn't have gone any better.
The men's game on Saturday was a back and forth affair. The second half featured the lead changing hands six times before Bison forward Deng Geu scored the final bucket with 1:35 left to play to make it 67-65. The visitors had a shot to win at the buzzer, but missed two open looks and a desperation heave.
"That is a good North Dakota team and that's what I said in the locker room," Bison head coach Dave Richman said. "This is a great win, let's enjoy it."
"It was heated, not always pretty with both teams fighting and clawing for everything," said UND head coach Brian Jones. "I thought we just competed. That is what you want from these games. I was proud of our grit."
The women's game on Sunday began right where the men left off. The two squads traded punches, with the home team taking a six-point lead into the locker rooms.
When the Fighting Hawks scored the first four points of the third quarter within a minute, NDSU coach Maren Walseth called timeout and gave a blunt message to her team.
"I was not pleased at all with the effort," Walseth said. "Just do what we say. I told Marina 'That is not what we talked about,' and I told Rylee Nudell she is better than that. And I said, 'I don't know what happened to you guys but change it.'"
The message was heard loud and clear. Walseth's group responded with a 14-5 run to end the quarter en route to snapping an eight-game losing streak against UND, 69-57, and put the finishing touches on a Bison sweep of the weekend.
Emily Dietz, a West Fargo native and NDSU sophomore forward, scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
"It means everything," Dietz said. "Coming into this game and being from North Dakota, you have a lot of pride in your school and it was a good win."