The North Dakota State women's basketball team (6-22, 2-11 Summit) saw a 16-point first half lead slip away in a 95-87 overtime loss at South Dakota (16-12, 7-6 Summit) Thursday, Feb. 27, inside the Dakota Dome in Vermillion.
With the loss, the Bison are locked-in as the seven seed in The Summit League tournament and will face second-seeded IUPUI Saturday, March 8, at 2 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Holly Johnson and Marena Whittle combined for 62 of NDSU's 95 points, tallying 31 each. The 31 points matched Johnson's career-high and was Whittle's second-highest scoring effort of the season. The two also led the Bison on the glass, pulling down eight rebounds apiece.
Brooke LeMar was the other Bison to reach double figures, scoring 13 while dishing out three assists.
Polly Harrington led the Coyotes with 23 points while Margaret McCloud (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Tia Hemiller (14 points, 10 rebounds) posted double-doubles for USD.
The Bison jumped out to an early 7-0 lead with 18:32 to go in the opening stanza after a three from Johnson, but, South Dakota responded, using a 7-0 run of their own to knot the contest at seven at the 17-minute mark.
NDSU answered with a 13-2 spurt, capped off by back-to-back jumpers from Whittle to give the Bison a 37-24 advantage with 7:23 remaining in the first half.
NDSU went into halftime leading, 49-33.
The Bison shot a blistering 54 percent in the opening stanza, going 19-for-25 from the field and held South Dakota to just 33 percent shooting (11-for-33).
NDSU increased its lead to 52-33 to begin the second half after a trey from Johnson. The Coyotes didn't go away though, going on a 13-5 run to cut the NDSU lead to a dozen, 54-42, with 16:37 to go in the second-half. South Dakota continued to chip away the Bison advantage, eventually cutting it to just two, 56-54, with 11:17 remaining in the stanza.
The 'Yotes took their first lead of the game two minutes later before the Bison regained a four-point advantage, 65-61, when Liz Keena converted a jumper at the 7:19 mark.
With 42 seconds to go in the half, the Bison trailed USD, 79-76. Eight seconds later Johnson sank a deep three to tie the game at 79. South Dakota had a chance to win the game with two seconds remaining, but Nicole Seekamp's three was off the mark, sending the contest to overtime.
The Bison fell behind early in overtime, 83-79, before Johnson converted a layup to cut the Coyote lead in half, but, that would be as close as the Bison could get the remainder of overtime, resulting in the 95-87 setback.
After shooting 54 percent in the first half, NDSU went cold the remainder of the game, shooting 33 percent (13-for-39) in the second half and just 22 percent (2-for-9) in overtime.
South Dakota, in contrast, went 53 percent from the field in the second stanza (16-for-30) and were 3-for-4 in overtime (75 percent).
The Bison will close out the regular season Saturday, March 2, at Denver. Tip-off at Magness Arena is set for 2 p.m. CT (1 p.m. MT) with airtime on KVOX 740 "The Fan" slated for 1:40 p.m. CT.