FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- Emily Dietz scored a career-high 26 points, but it wasn't enough as Denver (13-11, 6-5 Summit) beat the North Dakota State (6-17, 3-7 Summit) women's basketball team 87-67 Saturday afternoon at the Scheels Center.
The Bison held an early 4-3 lead on baskets by Dietz and Rylee Nudell. A jumper by Jasmine Jeffcoat in the lane with 7:21 left in the first quarter started a 9-2 Pioneer run that gave Denver the lead for good. The Pioneers held an 18-11 lead after the first quarter and opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run, pushing the lead to 30-11 with 6:18 left in the first half. Denver pushed the lead to 25 late in the half, but a layup by Tyrah Spencer with :59 left in the half cut the lead to 47-24 at the break.
Denver took its largest lead of the game early in the second half, as a 9-3 run to start the third quarter gave Denver a 56-27 lead with 5:43 to play in the quarter. Four free throws by Sofija Zivaljevic in the final minute of the third quarter cut the lead to 63-39 going into the final frame.
NDSU closed the game on a 12-3 run in the final 2:30, leaving Denver with the 87-67 victory.
Dietz, playing the game with a facemask after taking an elbow to the nose on Thursday night, finished with a career-high 26 points to lead all scorers. Zivaljevic joined her in double figures with 11 points, while Nudell and Michelle Gaislerova each had seven points. Samantha Romanowski led the Pioneers with 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. Marina Fernandez led the Bison with seven rebounds, while Dietz grabbed five. Nudell and Cirkeline Rimdal each had three assists, tying a career-high for Rimdal. Spencer finished with a game-high three steals.
NDSU was 20-of-46 (43.5%) from the floor and 4-of-16 from 3-point range. Denver was 32-of-60 (53.3%) from the field and 10-of-19 (52.6%) from downtown. The Bison were 23-of-27 (85.2%) at the free throw line, while Denver was 13-of-21 (61.9%) at the charity stripe. The Pioneers had advantages in points off turnovers (17-8), second chance points (19-5) and bench points (31-20).
The Bison return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 13 as they host Oral Roberts. NDSU will be wearing special pink uniforms for the game for breast cancer awareness.