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Bison Women Rally Falls Short at Western Illinois - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bison Women Rally Falls Short at Western Illinois

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Ashley Luke scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Western Illinois held on to defeat North Dakota State 55-50 in a Summit League women's basketball game played Thursday, Feb. 14, before 542 fans at Waste Management Court

North Dakota State (9-16, 5-8 Summit League) is scheduled to play IUPUI (15-9, 8-3 Summit League) at 2 p.m. (Central) on Saturday, Feb. 16, at The Jungle. The Jaguars defeated South Dakota State 70-67 for the second time this season on Thursday.

The Leathernecks (11-13, 4-7 Summit League), who broke a five-game losing streak, had to fend off a furious comeback in the final five minutes by North Dakota State.

Paige Harmon converted on a traditional three-point play to put Western Illinois ahead 50-38 with 3:34 remaining. Harmon sparked the second half surge for WIU by scoring all 11 of her points.

NDSU went on a 12-2 run. Jamie Van Kirk drilled a pair of three-point field goals, while Katie Birkel and Dani DeGagne also scored. Van Kirk and Birkel each finished with 12 points.

DeGagne's jumper in the lane with 50.2-seconds left cut the deficit to 52-50. However, Luke connected on a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 54-50 with 28-seconds remaining. Rebecca Henricson made 1 of 2 throws to make the final.

DeGagne, a 5-foot-10 senior from Brandon, Manitoba, finished with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to pace the Bison. DeGagne became the 30th NDSU women's basketball player to reach 1,000 points with 17:01 left in the first half and enters Saturday with 1,013 points.

Neither team shot well from the field, North Dakota State making 31.7 percent compared to 30.9 percent for the Fighting Leathernecks. The teams combined to make 9 of 35 three-pointers.

Western Illinois held a 48-42 rebounding advantage. Each team scored 10 points off of turnovers.

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