GRAND FORKS, N.D. ( All five North Dakota State starters scored in double figures Sunday, as the Bison women's basketball team defeated North Dakota 82-74. It was the first victory in Grand Forks since 2004 and the first regular season sweep of the Fighting Hawks since the 2003-04 season.
NDSU improved to 9-17 overall and 6-8 in the Summit League, while North Dakota dropped to 14-13 overall and 5-9 in league play. The Bison are now in sole possession of sixth place in the Summit League standings. NDSU returns to the Scheels Center for the final two regular season games of the year, starting on Thursday, Feb. 27 against South Dakota State. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. and is part of a doubleheader with the NDSU men, who will tipoff at 8 p.m. against the Jackrabbits.
Rylee Nudell and Sofija Zivaljevic led the Bison with 18 points apiece. Zivaljevic went over 400 points for her career in the game. Michelle Gaislerova added 16 points, while Ryan Cobbins and Emily Dietz had 11 and 10 respectively. Megan Zander had a game-high 20 points off the bench for the Fighting Hawks. Dietz finished with a game-high 10 rebounds, collecting her sixth double-double of the season. Zivaljevic and Nudell each had seven rebounds. Nudell moved into seventh in school history with 346 career defensive rebounds with six in the game. Zivaljevic had a team-high five assists, while Nudell tied a career-high with three steals. Dietz tied a season-high with a pair of blocked shots.
Gaislerova entered the game with an NCAA Division I women's record 74 consecutive made free throws. She made her first attempt of the game to extend the record to 75 before missing her second, snapping a streak that reached back to December 2018. Gaislerova made two additional free throws and currently sits at 98.2 percent for the season and 91.8 percent for her career.
NDSU was 37-of-59 (45.8%) from the floor and 5-of-14 (35.7%) from 3-point range. The Fighting Hawks were 28-of-70 (40%) from the field and 4-of-22 (18.2%) from downtown. NDSU entered the game ranked 37th in the nation in free throw percentage at 75.1, but went 23-of-39 (59%) in the game. North Dakota was 14-of-20 (70%) at the charity stripe. The Fighting Hawks had a 34-9 advantage in bench points, while both teams finished with 38 points in the paint.
The Bison scored the first points of the game, but North Dakota led for a majority of the first quarter. NDSU used an 11-2 run late in the first quarter to take the lead for good. The Bison used a 13-6 run over a 3:47 span in the second quarter to take a 42-30 lead, but Zander scored the final four points of the half to cut NDSU's lead to 42-34 at the break. North Dakota trimmed the lead to six with 8:24 left in the third quarter, but five-straight points from Nudell sparked a 12-5 run to give NDSU its largest lead of the game at 58-45 with 4:51 to play in the quarter. The Fighting Hawks scored nine-straight points after that and cut the lead to 60-58 into the fourth quarter. Jaclyn Jarnot tied the game at 60-60 with 8:15 to play, but Nudell drilled a 3-pointer with 7:58 left to give NDSU the lead for good.