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Bison, Hamling use gritty 2nd half to rally past rival UND

NDSU guard Heaven Hamling scored 28 points to help lift the Bison to victory against UND on Saturday.

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North Dakota State’s Heaven Hamling brings the ball down the court and looks for an opening to pass to her teammates during their basketball game against North Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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FARGO — North Dakota State head coach Jory Collins thought his team was getting "out-toughed" in multiple areas in the first half Saturday at Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

The Bison played with more grit in the final 20 minutes and rallied for an 81-76 victory against the University of North Dakota in Summit League women's basketball before 1,691 fans.

“I think it’s just a mental switch," said Bison senior guard Heaven Hamling, who had a game-high 28 points. "We flipped the switch in the second half."

NDSU (9-4, 3-0 Summit League) has won eight consecutive games against UND. The Fighting Hawks (9-4, 2-1) dropped their first conference game this season.

“This is a big rivalry," said UND head coach Mallory Bernhard as she started to choke up with emotion. "It means something to our locker room.”

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North Dakota State’s Abby Schulte eyes the basket as she prepares to jump up for a shot against North Dakota’s Tara Bieniewicz during their basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

The Bison surged into the lead for good with 11 consecutive points late in the third quarter. Freshman guard Abby Graham capped that rally with a basket in the paint that gave NDSU a 60-53 lead with 11 seconds to play in the third. The Bison carried a 60-55 lead into the final 10 minutes.

“I’m really proud of our second half," Collins said.

The Bison scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and built a 68-56 lead after Hamling scored on a drive to the basket with 6:56 remaining.

"Pound-for-pound she’s our toughest kid," Collins said.

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North Dakota State’s Kristina Ekofo Yomane sprints to keep control of the ball after a missed shot against North Dakota during their basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

The Fighting Hawks weren't finished, clawing back into the game behind senior guard Kacie Borowicz, who scored a team-high 27 points. She had 12 points in the fourth quarter, including 4-for-4 shooting from the foul line.

“We’ve just got to learn how to keep our lead and finish games," Borowicz said.

Hamling missed her second foul shot with 11 seconds remaining and NDSU holding a 77-74 lead. Senior forward Taylor Brown grabbed the offensive rebound and missed before Emily Behnke grabbed another offensive board and was fouled.

“That was great, took some time off the clock and it fell right in place for us," said Brown, who had 15 points and eight rebounds.

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North Dakota State’s Abbie Draper jumps for the rebound against North Dakota’s Juliet Gordon during their basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Behnke sanks two free throws for a 79-74 lead with 7 seconds to play.

“It’s those little things," Bernhard said. “We couldn’t secure the ball. At the end of the game, it’s those rebounds.”

The Bison outrebounded UND 25-16 in the second half.

“The environment was great and our team’s energy was awesome," Brown said.

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The Fighting Hawks seized the momentum in the first half.

UND surged into the lead, scoring the first 13 points in the second quarter. Senior guard Claire Orth sparked that rally with six consecutive points. Senior forward Sammiyah Hoskin capped the surge with a basket that gave the Fighting Hawks a 25-16 lead with 6:14 to play in the first half.

Hamling scored 10 points in the first half to help keep the Bison close through 20 minutes. Her drive and layup cut the UND lead to 38-32 with 47 seconds to play in the opening half. The Fighting Hawks carried that six-point lead into halftime. NDSU had a four-point lead after one quarter.

“There’s always more energy, more intensity for this game," Borowicz said. “I think that is the rivalry, the want to win.”

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North Dakota State’s Kristina Ekofo Yomane tries to get a shot up towards the basket while battling against North Dakota’s Nakiyah Hurst during their basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

UND 12 38 55 76
NDSU 16 32 60 81

UND (): Daninger 1-3 1-1 4, Orth 4-5 4-4 12, Borowicz 9-28 9-9 27, Hoskin 7-13 0-0 14, Gordon 0-2 3-4 3, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Manson 1-4 0-0 3, Bieniewicz 0-1 0-0 0, Beal 0-0 0-0 0, Hurst 4-8 2-2 11, VanderWal 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 27-66 19-20 76.

NDSU (): Hamling 6-18 14-15 28, Brown 6-11 2-2 15, Behnke 4-8 5-6 13, Evans 3-7 1-2 7, Schulte 1-5 3-4 6, Draper 1-3 0-0 2, Baldwin 0-0 0-0 0, Graham 1-6 2-2 4, Ekofo Yomane 0-1 6-6 6. Totals 22-59 33-37 81.

3-point goals: UND 3-19 (Daninger 1-3, Borowicz 0-6, Gordon 0-1, Davis 0-1, Manson 1-4, Bieniewicz 0-1, Hurst 1-3), NDSU 4-22 (Hamling 2-10, Brown 1-4, Evans 0-2, Schulte 1-1, Draper 0-2, Graham 0-3). Total fouls: UND 27, NDSU 22. Fouled out: Gordon, Orth, Schulte. Rebounds: UND 35 (Hoskin 9), NDSU 39 (Behnke 9). Assists: UND 10 (Daninger 3, Gordon 3), NDSU 12 (Hamling 6). Turnovers: UND 16, NDSU 17.

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North Dakota State’s Abby Schulte passes to teammate Georgia Baldwin while keeping the ball away from North Dakota’s DJ Davis during their basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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North Dakota State women’s basketball head coach Jory Collins speaks to a player from the sidelines during their basketball game against North Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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North Dakota State women’s basketball head coach Jory Collins speaks to the team while in a time out during their basketball game against North Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

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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