Bison Welcome North Dakota to Scheels Arena Saturday

Bison Women Host North Dakota at Scheels Arena Saturday Night The NDSU Bison women's basketball team will begin a two-game homestand by hosting North Dakota on Saturday night, Dec. 6, at 7:05 p.m. inside Scheels Arena in Fargo. The game will air live, statewide, on MeTV.

The Series Against North Dakota
Saturday's game against UND will mark the 81st meeting in the all-time series that dates back to 1967. North Dakota State trails North Dakota in the series, 37-43. Last season, the Bison fell to UND in Grand Forks, 88-83. NDSU's last win in the series was during the 2003-04 season, when the Bison defeated North Dakota at home, 76-73. The 2003-04 season was the final meeting between NDSU and UND until the 2012-13 season.

About North Dakota
North Dakota enters Saturday's game in Fargo at 6-1 overall after claiming an 88-40 win over Dickinson State on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in Grand Forks. UND is ranked 24th in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 Poll and has won six straight games since dropping its season opener at Colorado, 68-59.

Through seven games, North Dakota is led by junior Mia Loyd (15.3 ppg) and senior Emily Evers (12.6 ppg, 11.4 rpg). Evers has posted double-doubles in four of her seven games, and Loyd has been named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week twice (Nov. 26 and Dec. 2) this season. Sophomore Makailah Dyer (10.4 ppg) and sophomore Leah Szabla (10.0 ppg) are also averaging double-figure scoring in UND's seven contests.

As a team, North Dakota is averaging 73.0 ppg while holding its opponents to just 61.1 ppg. UND is out-rebounding its opponents, on average, 45.3 to 33.1, but averages 17.0 turnovers per game compared to 15.1 for its adversaries.

North Dakota is under the direction of third season head coach Travis Brewster (Charleston Southern, 1994).

Catching Up With The Bison
North Dakota State enters Saturday's game against North Dakota with an overall record of 3-3 after falling at No. 23/25 Mississippi State on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 109-58.
Through six games, NDSU is led in scoring by senior Brooke LeMar with 18.3 points per game (ppg), while juniors Holly Johnson and Marena Whittle are both averaging 11.5 ppg. LeMar leads the Bison in assists per game with 4.0, and Whittle paces NDSU on the glass with 9.8 rebounds per game. Junior Kahla Becken averages a team-best 2.0 steals per game and is shooting a team-high 44 percent from three-point range, going 11-for-25. Freshman Taylor Thunstedt is a team-best 10-for-22 from the field for 46 percent.

As a team, North Dakota State is averaging 67.2 ppg, while its opponents are averaging 74.7 ppg. NDSU is being out-rebounded, on average, 40.5 to 38.5, but only turns the basketball over an average of 15.8 times per game, compared to 16.3 for its adversaries.

Last Time Out: NDSU Women's Basketball Falls at No. 23/25 Mississippi State Tuesday, Dec. 2, 109-58
The North Dakota State women's basketball team (3-3) fell to the No. 23/25-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-0), 109-58, on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.

The Bulldogs limited the Bison to just 37 percent shooting (22-for-59), and Mississippi State posted a 53-30 rebounding advantage in the game, including a 20-8 offensive rebounding edge. MSU scored 39 points off 21 Bison turnovers, and had a 66-8 advantage in bench scoring for the game.

The Bulldogs were led in scoring by freshman Victoria Vivians, who led all scorers in the contest with 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds, while sophomore Breanna Richardson tallied a double-double with 17 points and 13 boards.

Senior Brooke LeMar paced the Bison in scoring, netting 17 points on 6-for-18 shooting. The Canyon Country, Calif., native also dished out a season-high seven assists and snagged four rebounds. Junior Marena Whittle rounded out the Bison in double-figures for the game, tallying 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

The Last Time Against UND: NDSU Women's Basketball Falls to UND, 88-83, Saturday, Dec. 14 in Grand Forks
The North Dakota State women's basketball team (3-7) dropped an 88-83 contest to rival North Dakota (4-3) Saturday, Dec. 14, inside the Betty Engelstad Center in Grand Forks.

The Bison led by two at halftime, 43-41, but couldn't maintain the lead in the final minutes of the second half. UND was able to use an 11-2 run in the final 2:05 of the half to claim the 88-83 victory.

NDSU was led in scoring by Marena Whittle with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Four other Bison reached double figures. Holly Johnson recorded 17 points while Miki Stephenson had 13 and Kahla Becken tallied 11. Brooke LeMar scored 10 points, respectively, to round out the double figure scoring.

UND was paced by Madi Buck with a game-high 37 points.
The Bison were 33-for-69 from the field for 48 percent but just 8-for-20 (40 percent) from three. NDSU only attempted 10 free throws during the game, making nine of them.

North Dakota was 30-for-66 (46 percent) from the field and 8-for-16 (50 percent) from beyond the arc. UND took 24 free throws, converting 20 of them for 83 percent. NDSU was out-rebounded by UND, 38-36.

Breaking the 20-point Threshold
Brooke LeMar has eclipsed the 20-point threshold twice this season after scoring more than 20 points nine times in 30 games last season. LeMar netted 25 in the regular season opener against Kent State Nov. 16, before tallying 21 versus NJIT on Nov. 29 in the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament.

Back-to-Back-to-Back Double-Doubles
Marena Whittle tallied back-to-back-to-back double-doubles in NDSU's games against Milwaukee, Western Michigan and Northeastern. Against Milwaukee and at Western Michigan, the Vermont South Victoria, Australia, native scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Against Northeastern, Whittle tallied 19 points and 12 boards.

Into the Record Books
Marena Whittle holds the career record for defensive rebounding average at NDSU with 5.1 boards per game and ranks eighth in overall career rebounding average with 7.4 per game.

From Downtown!
Kahla Becken is a team-best 11-for-25 (44 percent) from three-point range through six games. Freshman Taylor Thunstedt is 7-for-19 (37 percent), and Brooke LeMar is 8-for-25 (32 percent).

Defending the Perimeter
NDSU is holding its opponents to just 34 percent shooting (29-for-85) from three-point range through six games. The Bison are averaging 6.2 made threes per game, compared to 4.8 for their adversaries.

Sharing the Basketball
The Bison have tallied double-digit assists in four of six games this season. NDSU posted 12 against Kent State and Mississippi State, 17 against Milwaukee and 14 against Northeastern.

Taking Care of the Basketball
NDSU has turned the ball over 95 times so far this season, compared to 98 miscues from its opponents. The Bison have scored 122 points off turnovers in their six contests.

NDSU in the NCAA National Statistics (As of Dec. 4)
Through six games, the Bison rank 96th out of 343 in three-point field goals per game with an average of 6.2 treys per game.
Individually, Marena Whittle is 23rd out of 30 in defensive rebounds per game (8.0), 30th out of 50 in double-doubles (3.0) and 59th out of 250 in total rebounds per game (9.8). Brooke LeMar is 67th out of 250 in points per game (18.3) and 83rd out of 250 in free-throw percentage (.864).

NDSU in The Summit League Statistics (As of Dec. 4)
After six games, NDSU ranks third in The Summit League statistics in steals with 8.7 per game. The Bison are fourth in points per game (67.2) and turnovers per game (15.8), sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.327) and blocks per game (2.7), seventh in rebounds per game (38.5) and free-throw percentage (.685) and eighth in field goal percentage (.386).
Individually, Brooke LeMar leads the league in minutes played (36.8) and is third in scoring (18.3 ppg). She is fourth in assists per game (4.0) and tied for sixth in steals per game (1.5). Marena Whittle is third in total rebounds per game (9.8) and is tied for sixth in blocks per game (1.0). She ranks second in defensive rebounds per game with 7.7. Kahla Becken is second in steals per game (2.0).

New Home
The Bison will compete in the historic Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse for the next two seasons as the Bison Sports Arena is renovated into the new Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

NDSU Women's Basketball Signs Two High School Standouts on Early Signing Day
North Dakota State women's basketball head coach Maren Walseth announced Wednesday, Nov. 12, the signing of high school standouts Kennedy Childers and Megan Gamble to National Letters of Intent to attend North Dakota State University and play basketball beginning in the fall of 2015.
Childers, a 5-foot-9 guard from West Des Moines, Iowa, has enjoyed a standout prep career at Iowa 5A powerhouse Dowling Catholic High School.
A three-star athlete who was the 31st-ranked guard in her position by ESPN, Childers has helped Dowling Catholic to two 5A state championship appearances and one state championship. She was limited to only seven games her junior season due to injury.
Childers has also excelled in the classroom, having earned Academic All-Conference for the Central Iowa Metropolitan League the past two seasons and Presidential Honor Roll honors each semester at Dowling Catholic.
Childers played AAU basketball for Kingdom Hoops Elite. This past summer she helped her team win the 2014 USJN National Championship in Augusta, Ga.
She is the daughter of Chris and Kris Childers.
Gamble, a 5-foot-7 guard from Omaha, Neb., is a two-time all-state honorable mention selection at Central High School.
A three-year starter for Central, she helped her team to a Class A state championship appearance in 2012 and a third-place state finish in 2013. Gamble averaged 13 points per game and dished out five assists per game during her junior season. The 5-foot-7 guard also earned all-Metro Team accolades and was selected as a team captain twice by her teammates.
She is the daughter of Teri Murphy and Dexter Dawson.

Bison Ninth in Summit League Preseason Poll
The North Dakota State University women's basketball team was picked ninth in The Summit League preseason poll released Tuesday, Oct. 7, by the league office.
The Bison tallied 158 points in the poll.
South Dakota State was selected to capture the 2014-15 Summit League women's basketball championship after winning its third consecutive regular season title a year ago. The Jackrabbits collected 27-of-32 first-place votes and 513 points in a vote of the league's head coaches, SIDs and select media.
South Dakota, last season's tournament champion, earned four first-place votes and 420 points to place second in the poll. Regular season runner-up IUPUI was in third place followed by Western Illinois in fourth with the final first-place tally. Denver, which finished second at the tournament a year ago, came in fifth while Fort Wayne placed sixth. Oral Roberts, which returns to the league for the first time since 2011-12, Omaha and the Bison rounded out the poll.

Preseason Honors
Senior guard Brooke LeMar, the reigning Summit League Newcomer of the Year and a second team all-league selection in 2013-14, was named to the preseason Summit League first team after averaging 15.1 points and 5.3 assists per game last season.

Three NDSU Women's Basketball Games to be Televised during the 2014-15 Regular Season
The North Dakota State women's basketball team will be featured on television three times during the upcoming 2014-15 regular season, NDSU athletics and The Summit League announced Tuesday, Oct. 14.
NDSU's non-conference game at Scheels Arena against North Dakota on Dec. 6 will be televised throughout the state of North Dakota on MeTV. The television network is available via over-the-air channels in Bismarck (5.2), Minot (10.2), Williston (8.2) and Dickinson (7.2) as well as through additional providers.
The Bison will also have a pair of Summit League contests carried on Midco Sports Network and ESPN3 through the league's television package. The home game at Scheels Arena on Jan. 4 and the road contest at South Dakota on Jan. 15 will be broadcast.

Up Next
North Dakota State returns to the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse to host Mayville State in a non-conference game on Monday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.

Head Coach Maren Walseth
Maren Walseth was named the 10th head women's basketball coach in NDSU history Monday, April 14, 2014.

Walseth joined the Bison after spending seven years as an assistant coach at Big Ten power Penn State University in State College, Pa., where she helped the Lady Lions to three Big Ten championships, four NCAA tournament appearances and two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.

At Penn State, Walseth was primarily responsible for coaching the post players while also playing a significant role in recruiting and opponent scouting efforts. She was the lead academic liaison for the Lady Lions and coached 32 Academic All-Big Ten recipients.

Prior to becoming an assistant at Penn State, Walseth spent three years as an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. While at Navy, she assisted with recruiting as well as on-court player development and scouting, and was also the academic liaison for the Midshipmen.

A native of Bloomington, Minn., Walseth was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree as a forward at Penn State from 1997-2002. She was also a key member of the 2000 Lady Lion team that advanced to the Final Four and claimed the Big Ten conference championship. Walseth also was a member of the 1998 WNIT championship team. She graduated from Penn State in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in communications.

Walseth was drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs in the third-round of the 2001 WNBA draft and spent four years playing professionally. She played for the Washington Mystics of the WNBA in 2002 before spending two years playing professionally in France. Walseth also spent a season with the Women's National Basketball League's (NWBL) Colorado Chill.

Walseth's sister, Annika, played for NDSU during the 2007-08 season.