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Women's basketball: Late three-point play lifts Bison to win at Montana

Elle Evans was fouled making a shot in the paint and her free throw with 30 seconds left put North Dakota State ahead for good on Monday.

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MISSOULA, Mont. — Elle Evans' three-point play with 30 seconds left put North Dakota State ahead and the Bison held of for a 65-63 season-opening victory on Monday.

Montana took a 63-61 lead on Sammy Fatkin's jumper off a Bison turnover with 58 seconds left. But Evans scored on a shot in the paint and drew a foul on the Griz' Alex Pirog. Evans sank the foul shot for a 64-63 lead.

The Bison's Emily Behnke blocked Fatkins' shot with 13 seconds left and recovered the ball. The Bison got the ball to Evans with eight seconds left and she drew another foul, making one of two free throws. Montana's Gina Marxen missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

NDSU's Abby Schulte hit two free throws with two seconds left in the first half to cut the Griz' halftime lead to 29-28. The Bison surge into the lead early in the third quarter, outscoring Montana 17-6 and taking a 45-35 lead midway through the third.

The Griz shaved the lead to three points heading into the fourth quarter but the Bison didn't buckle and led by seven with 7:19 left. Montana battled back to tie it 61-61 with 2:39 remaining.

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Heaven Hamling led the Bison with 19 points, six assists and five steals. Abbie Draper hit all four of her 3-point attempts and finished with 12 points, and Evans scored 10 points. Behnke scored six points, had a team-high nine rebounds and blocked three shots.

Marxen led the Griz with 21 points and Fatkin finished with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The 1-0 Bison open their home schedule hosting Mayville State at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.

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