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Hamling, Bison cruise to decisive Summit League victory against St. Thomas

Senior guard Heaven Hamling scored 17 points to help lead the Bison to a conference victory against the Tommies.

North Dakota State guard Heaven Hamling elevates for a shot against St. Thomas on Wednesday at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
Zachary Lucy / NDSU Athletics
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FARGO — North Dakota State is heading into the holiday break on a Summit League surge.

Senior guard Heaven Hamling scored a game-high 17 points to help lift the Bison to a 74-56 women's basketball victory against St. Thomas on Wednesday at Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

“I don’t know if you’re ever where you want to be," said Bison head coach Jory Collins. "I like our team, I like what our potential is. We have the pieces to be a very good basketball team.”

NDSU (8-4, 2-0 SL) has won back-to-back Summit League games by an average margin of 21 points to start the league schedule. The Bison next play at 1 p.m. Dec. 31 against the University of North Dakota at the SHAC.

“I think 2-0 in conference is a good place to be at going into Christmas break so you can go home and enjoy it," Hamling said.


Hamling shot 63% (5 of 8) from 3-point range. She also added six rebounds and six assists.

“The last two games she’s been great," Collins said. “I love the fact that she’s getting eight 3s off.”

The Bison poured it on early in the fourth quarter with seven consecutive points. Abby Schulte capped that scoring burst with two free throws for a 65-41 lead with 7 minutes, 45 seconds to play.

“I think our energy and how much fun we have, it’s different in past years," Hamling said. “I know this program is on the (rise) and I’m super excited to be a part of it.”

NDSU started to pull away in the third quarter with a 14-2 run that extended its lead to more than 20 points. Senior forward Taylor Brown capped the surge with a transition layup for a 56-34 lead with 1:28 to play in the third quarter. Freshman guard Abby Graham scored five points during that rally, including a 3-point shot.

NDSU took a 57-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

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The Bison pushed their lead to double digits with a string of nine consecutive points that started late in the first quarter and ended early in the second quarter. Hamling capped the surge with a steal and layup that gave NDSU a 23-11 lead with 9:05 to play in the first half. Hamling also sank a 3-pointer with two seconds to play in the first quarter to help fuel the rally.

NDSU led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter before St. Thomas rallied. The Tommies scored nine consecutive points to cut the Bison lead to 32-23 after an Amber Scalia 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining in the opening half.


The Bison scored the final five points of the second quarter to take a 37-23 lead into halftime. Brown capped that surge with a rebound and basket with four seconds to play until halftime.

NDSU shot 50% (14 of 28) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Hamling had 11 points — including 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range — in the first half. The Bison carried that vibe into the second half.

“In basketball, winning your game right before break makes the break better," Collins said. "You don’t have to sit on it for a long time.”

UST 11 23 39 56
NDSU 19 37 57 74

UST (5-7, 0-2 SL): Hill 0-10 3-4 3, Glynn 2-5 1-1 5, Lamker 3-4 2-2 8, Opichka 5-7 0-1 10, Negaard 1-6 0-0 3, Feuerbach 1-1 0-0 3, Pratt 1-2 2-4 4, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Frentzel 0-0 0-0 0, Scalia 2-7 2-2 8, Dague 1-1 0-0 3, Mendez 0-0 0-0 0, Greenwood 0-0 0-0 0, Langbehn 2-8 5-7 9, Hatfield 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 15-21 56.

NDSU (8-4, 2-0): Hamling 6-11 0-0 17, Brown 3-5 1-2 7, Behnke 0-1 5-10 5, Evans 4-8 1-2 10, Schulte 0-3 8-10 8, Draper 2-3 2-2 7, Baldwin 1-4 0-0 2, Graham 3-8 1-2 8, Novak 0-1 0-0 0, Ekofo Yomane 3-5 0-0 6, Olson 0-0 0-0 0, Hildebrandt 1-4 2-4 4. Totals 23-53 20-32 74.

3-point goals: UST 5-17 (Hill 0-3, Opichka 0-1, Negaard 1-5, Feuerbach 1-1, Johnson 0-1, Scalia 2-5, Dague 1-1), NDSU 8-22 (Hamling 5-8, Brown 0-1, Evans 1-3, Draper 1-1, Baldwin 0-1, Graham 1-4, Ekofo Yomane 0-1, Hildebrandt 0-3). Total fouls: UST 22, NDSU 20. Fouled out: Draper. Rebounds: UST 27 (Opichka 4), NDSU 43 (Behnke 8). Assists: UST 10 (three players with 2), NDSU 16 (Hamling 6). Turnovers: UST 22, NDSU 20.

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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