FARGO,N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- The North Dakota State women's basketball team scored the final six points of regulation to force overtime, where the Bison beat Denver 85-80 Sunday afternoon at the Scheels Center.
NDSU improved to 5-14 overall and 2-5 in the Summit League with the victory. The Pioneers dropped to 9-12 overall and 3-5 in league play. The two teams split the season series, as the Pioneers won the Summit League opener for both schools on Dec. 29 in Denver. The Bison hit the road next week for a three-game road trip, starting on Thursday at Purdue Fort Wayne. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. (central) on Jan. 30 in Fort Wayne, Ind. at Memorial Coliseum. The Mastodons are 5-15 overall and 1-6 in league play after a 58-57 win at Omaha on Sunday.
Emily Dietz and Rylee Nudell each had a double-double to lead the Bison. Dietz finished with 21 points and tied a career-high with 13 rebounds, while Nudell had 18 points and 12 rebounds. It was the fifth double-double of the season for Dietz and the third for Nudell. Dietz went over the 20 point mark for the fifth time in her career. Ryan Cobbins had 14 points, while Nicole Scales had a season-high 11 points. Cobbins had a season-high five assists, while Dietz dished out four. Nudell tied a career-high with three steals, while Sofija Zivaljevic and Cobbins each had two, tying a career-high for Zivaljevic. Nudell moved into eighth in school history with her 97th career start. Madison Nelson, the second-leading scorer and leading rebounder in the Summit League, finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Denver had a 32-9 advantage in points off turnovers, as the Pioneers capitalized on 32 NDSU turnovers. The Bison had a season-high 54 points in the paint. NDSU was 32-of-59 (54.2%) from the field and 4-of-18 (22.2%) from 3-point range. Denver was 30-of-80 (37.5%) from the floor and 6-of-27 (22.2%) from downtown. NDSU was 17-of-24 (70.8%) at the free throw line, while Denver was 14-of-18 (77.8%).
The Pioneers had their largest lead of the game in the first quarter, using a 13-4 run over a 5:15 span to take a 19-11 lead after the first quarter. The Bison slowly cut into the lead, using a 12-4 run over the final 4:23 of the first half to tie the game at 33-33 at the break. Denver again pushed the lead to eight late in the third quarter on a 10-2 run. NDSU used a 19-7 run over a 5:28 span late in the third quarter into the fourth quarter to take a 60-56 lead with 6:17 to play. The Pioneers responded with a 13-3 run, taking a 69-63 lead with 1:33 to play on back-to-back jumpers by Meghan Boyd. A layup by Dietz with :06 to play in regulation tied the game before Cobbins stole the Denver inbounds pass to send the game to overtime. NDSU opened overtime with an 8-3 run and never trailed in the extra period.
The overtime victory was the first for the Bison since defeating Oral Roberts 75-72 in overtime on March 1, 2008.