The North Dakota State women's basketball team (3-12, 0-1 Summit) suffered a heartbreaking 98-89 double overtime loss to the Fort Wayne Mastodons (8-7, 1-0 Summit) Thursday evening inside the Bison Sports Arena on the first evening of Summit League play.
The game was the first double overtime contest for the Bison since the 2007-08 season.
NDSU and Fort Wayne traded baskets in the first half until there was 5:11 remaining, when a layup from Amanda Hyde, The Summit League preseason Player of the Year, gave Fort Wayne a 28-26 advantage.
The Mastodons took a 42-36 lead into halftime.
Holly Johnson led the Bison in the first stanza, scoring nine points, while Marena Whittle chipped in eight.
The Bison were 17-for-37 from the field for 46 percent, but failed to make a three-pointer, going 0-for-5. NDSU only shot two free throws in the half, making both of them.
Hyde and Haley Seibert paced Fort Wayne in half number one with 14 points each.
The Mastodons were 14-for-34 (41 percent) from the field and 4-for-9 from beyond the arc for 44 percent. Fort Wayne attempted 11 free throws, making 10 for 91 percent.
NDSU fell behind 50-42 to start the second half but used an 8-0 run, sparked by a Brooke LeMar jumper, to tie the game at 50 with 13:22 to go.
The Bison took their first lead since 10:44 remaining in the first half after Johnson drilled a jumper, giving NDSU a 54-52 advantage with 12:10 on the clock in the second stanza. NDSU's lead grew to 65-59 when Whittle buried a jump shot with 4:59 remaining in the half.
The Mastodons responded, though, trimming the Bison lead to one, 73-72, after Seibert hit one of two free throws with 1:16 to go. With eight seconds remaining, Whittle gave the Bison a 76-74 advantage after hitting one of two foul shots. The Mastodons' Hyde dribbled down the court and was fouled with 0.3 seconds to go, giving her two free throws. She made both, tying the game at 76, to force overtime.
Whittle led all scorers after two halves, scoring a career-high 26 points while snagging 13 boards.
The Mastodons raced out to an 80-76 lead in the first overtime period after a pair of free throws from Hyde and a layup courtesy of Stefanie Mauk.
However, NDSU fought back, knotting the game at 82 with 2:05 remaining when Whittle converted a pair of foul shots. Whittle then gave the Bison an 84-82 advantage after drilling a jumper with 58 seconds on the clock.
Again, Hyde rescued the Mastodons, sending the game into a second overtime after hitting a three with four seconds remaining.
NDSU took an early 89-88 lead in double overtime after another jumper from Whittle. Fort Wayne regained a 90-89 advantage after Hyde made two free throws with 3:40 to go.
The Bison couldn't regain the lead the remainder of the period, falling to the Mastodons, 98-89.
Whittle ended the game with a career-best 34 points on 11-for-22 shooting. She also matched her career-high for rebounds, pulling down 15 boards to complete the double-double. Johnson scored 14 points for NDSU while both LeMar and Liz Keena had 12 points to round out the double figure scoring for the Bison.
NDSU was 35-for-86 (41 percent) from the field but only 3-for-18 (17 percent) from beyond the arc for the game. The Bison went 16-of-19 from the free throw line for 84 percent.
Hyde led Fort Wayne, scoring a team-high 35 points while also snagging 10 rebounds.
The Mastodons shot 42 percent from the field, going 29-for-69, and were 8-for-25 from three for 32 percent. Fort Wayne was 32-for-40 from the charity stripe for 80 percent.
The Bison out-rebounded Fort Wayne, 51-42, but had 14 turnovers compared to just 11 by the Mastodons.
With the loss, NDSU drops to 3-12 overall and 0-1 in Summit League play while Fort Wayne moves to 8-7 and 1-0 in league competition.
The Bison return to action Saturday, Jan. 11, when they host IUPUI in a 2 p.m. Summit League game at the Bison Sports Arena. Airtime on KVOX 740-AM "The Fan" is set for 1:40 p.m