The North Dakota State women's basketball team (1-3) saw a four-point lead with two minutes remaining slip away in the final minute of the game, falling 86-82 to Northern Iowa (2-2) Wednesday, Nov. 20, inside the Bison Sports Arena.
The Bison jumped out to an early six point lead after a layup from Liz Keena with 17:48 remaining in the first half before Northern Iowa regained the lead at the 13:25 mark on a jumper from Hannah Schonhardt.
The Panthers increased their lead by as much as 13 before the Bison came storming back to take a 45-44 lead into halftime after Brooke LeMar made a layup and was fouled, sinking the free-throw to complete the three-point play.
LeMar led all scorers in the opening stanza with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
The Bison went 20-for-35 (57 percent) from the field in the first half and were 4-for-7 (57 percent) from three. NDSU was just 1-for-4 from the foul line in the opening half.
Northern Iowa was paced by Schonhardt with 13 first half points.
The Panthers were 18-for-34 (53 percent) from the field, but just 3-for-10 (30 percent) from beyond the arc in the half. UNI shot 5-for-8 (63 percent) from the free-throw line.
NDSU extended its advantage to 47-44 with 18:23 left in the second half after a Holly Johnson layup. The Bison increased their lead to as much as 11 in the second stanza after two more jumpers from Johnson at the 5:28 mark and 4:53 mark.
The Panthers didn't go away though, cutting the Bison lead to 81-77 after a three-pointer from Jen Keitel with 1:19 left in the half. Stephanie Davison followed up with another three for UNI to cut the NDSU lead to just one, 81-80, with a minute remaining.
The Bison lead crept back up to 82-80 after a free-throw from Marena Whittle with 51-seconds left, but the Panthers continued their late surge, regaining an 83-82 lead after another three from Erin Dohnalek with 40 seconds remaining.
The Bison had a chance to take-back the lead, but Johnson's jumper with 20 second left was short and UNI hit key free-throws in the final 20 seconds to secure the 86-82 win.
LeMar led the Bison in scoring for the game with a career-high 24 points. Hannah Breske also scored in double figures with 15 points while Johnson had 14. Whittle rounded out the Bison in double-figures, scoring 11 points, respectively.
NDSU shot 35-for-62 (57 percent) from the field in the contest and were 7-for-13 (54 percent) from three-point range. The Bison made only five free throws out of 14 attempts in the game though, for 36 percent.
Keitel paced Northern Iowa with a double-double, scoring 24 points while pulling down 12 rebounds.
The Panthers were 30-for-68 (44 percent) from the field and 6-for-26 (23 percent) from three in the contest. UNI was 20-for-27 at the free-throw line for 74 percent.
The Bison out-rebounded the Panthers, 38-37, but committed 18 turnovers which led to 22 Northern Iowa points. UNI only turned the ball over eight times in the game.
With the loss, NDSU falls to 1-3 on the season while UNI improves to 2-2.
The Bison are back in action Saturday, Nov. 23, when they travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to face the Milwaukee Panthers in an 11 a.m. contest. Pregame with Jack Michaels on 740-AM "The Fan" is set for 10:40 a.m.