DENVER, Colo. (NDSU Athletics) -- Denver opened the fourth quarter on a 15-5 run, as the Pioneers defeated the North Dakota State women's basketball team 91-82 Sunday afternoon in the Summit League opener for both schools.
The Bison dropped to 3-10 overall, while the Pioneers evened their record at 7-7 on the year. NDSU returns home on Thursday, Jan. 2 against Western Illinois. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Scheels Center.
Michelle Gaislerova tied a season-high with 21 points to lead the Bison. It was the 10th career 20-plus point game for Gaislerova and the 50th double digit performance of her career. Emily Dietz (14), Danneka Voegeli (13), Sofija Zivaljevic (12) and Rylee Nudell (11) joined Gaislerova in double figures. It was a season-high for Voegeli. Madison Nelson led five Pioneers in double figures with 31 points, while also adding 12 rebounds.
Olivia Skibiel had a career-high nine rebounds, while Nudell, Dietz and Voegeli each had seven boards. Zivaljevic had five assists, while Cirkeline Rimdal had a career-high four. Gaislerova added a season-high two steals.
The Bison were 33-of-80 (41.3%) from the floor and 6-of-25 (24%) from downtown. NDSU was 1-of-10 from 3-point range in the second half. Denver was 35-of-81 (43.2%) from the field and 9-of-25 (36%) from 3-point range, including 6-of-13 from downtown in the second half. Both teams went to the free throw line 15 times, with NDSU hitting 10 and the Pioneers connecting on 12. NDSU led for 26:27 of the game. The Pioneers had a 24-7 advantage in fast break points and a 42-19 edge in bench points.
NDSU opened the game with a 14-4 lead in the first 4:51 of the game. The Pioneers responded with eight-straight points in less than a minute before NDSU closed the first quarter on a 10-3 run to take a 27-17 lead after the first frame. Gaislerova connected on a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, giving NDSU its largest lead of the game at 30-17. Denver cut the lead to two with 2:47 left in the half, but the Bison took a 48-42 lead at halftime. Dietz opened the third quarter with a layup before the Pioneers went on a 13-4 run over a 3:12 span to take their first lead of the game. The Bison responded with a 9-2 run to go back up 63-57 with 4:42 to play in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Lauren Loven :10 into the fourth quarter gave Denver the lead for good.