FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- The North Dakota State (7-19, 4-10 Summit) women's basketball team scored a season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter Saturday, as the Bison beat Omaha (8-19, 2-12 Summit) 55-48 at the Scheels Center.
After a 3-pointer by Rylee Nudell to start the game, not much went the way of the Bison in the first three quarters. NDSU tallied just 26 points in the first 30 minutes before the fourth quarter explosion. Omaha entered the game ranked third in the Summit League in scoring defense. Following the Nudell trey, the Mavs scored 10-straight points to take a 10-3 lead with 7:01 left in the first quarter. A layup by Danneka Voegeli with :46 left in the first half cut the Omaha lead to 23-22 at the half.
Omaha opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run, pushing the lead to 34-24 with 1:59 to play in the frame. A jumper by Sofija Zivaljevic with 1:37 to play in the third quarter cut the lead to 34-26 going into the final 10 minutes. That's when the Bison turned it on.
NDSU opened the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run, cutting the lead to 37-36 on a pair of Emily Dietz free throws with 7:22 to play. In a matter of 1:14, the Mavs scored seven-straight points to take a 44-36 lead with 5:45 to play. This time the Bison had a big run that Omaha couldn't answer. A free throw by Dietz, followed by seven-straight points from Zivaljevic, sparked a 13-0 run. A long ball by Nudell with 2:50 to play gave NDSU a 49-44 lead. A layup by Claire Killian with 1:54 left cut the lead to three, but NDSU hit six free throws down the stretch to seal the 55-48 victory. Nudell (11) and Zivaljevic (10) combined for 21 of NDSU's 29 fourth quarter points.
Nudell finished with a game-high 16 points, while Zivaljevic and Dietz joined her in double figures with 13 and 11 points respectively. Kalen Phillips led the Mavs with 11 points off the bench. Marina Fernandez led the Bison with seven rebounds, while Nudell and Zivaljevic each had six, a career-high for Zivaljevic. Tyrah Spencer and Dietz each had three assists, tying a career-high for Dietz. Voegeli tied a career-high with two steals, while Dietz blocked a career-high three shots. Before the game, the Bison honored their three seniors in Spencer, Fernandez and Hanna Norman, as they played their final game at the Scheels Center.
NDSU was 15-of-45 (33.3%) from the field and 4-of-16 from 3-point range. The Mavs were 18-of-61 (29.5%) from the floor and 3-of-16 (18.8%) from downtown. Omaha was 9-of-15 (60%) at the free throw line, while NDSU was 21-of-27 (77.8%) at the charity stripe. The Mavs held advantages in points in the paint (28-16), points off turnovers (17-5) and second chance points (7-2).
The Bison return to action on Thursday, Feb. 28, as they face 23rd-ranked South Dakota in Vermillion.