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Forum staff reports, Published January 15 2011

Women's basketball: Plucker's 34 not enough as Bison fall to Western Illinois

MACOMB, Ill. – Abby Plucker scored a career-high 34 points – the most by a North Dakota State women’s basketball player in seven years – but it wasn’t enough Saturday at Summit League foe Western Illinois.

Western defeated the Bison 68-66 leaving both teams 3-3 in the conference.

“We had a number of de-fensive breakdowns,” said NDSU head coach Carolyn DeHoff. “Right now, with the loss of Janae, we’re a different team. We’re smaller and it gives oppos-ing team’s inside kids some confidence to do some things in there.”

The Bison played without 6-foot-5 center Janae Burich, who suffered a shoulder sprain on Monday against Oral Roberts.

“We hope to have her back next week,” DeHoff said.

NDSU trailed by 11 with almost 13 minutes left, but came back to tie it at 57-57. Plucker’s field goal pulled NDSU within 65-63 with 22 seconds remaining, but WIU came back with a layup four seconds later by Jackie Rieger.

“I didn’t have a time out left and a kid got behind us and they found her,” De-Hoff said.

After Hannah Linz missed a 3-pointer, the Leathernecks hit a free throw to go up 68-63 and a Bison 3-pointer with two seconds left made the final score.

It was the sixth time in Plucker’s career she had at least 20 points. She equaled Michelle Fricke’s 34 points against Wingate (N.C.) in 2004.

NDSU (7-9, 3-3 Summit): Shea 1-6 0-0 3, Plucker 14-25 2-2 34, DeGagne 3-7 2-2 8, Birkel 5-13 2-2 14, Trecker 2-3 0-0 4, Peltier 0-0 0-0 0, Linz 1-5 0-0 3, Stephenson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-60 6-6 66.

WIU (5-11, 3-3 Summit): Salvatori 1-5 0-0 3, Demery 1-2 1-1 3, Kelly 7-15 2-4 18, Barton 4-9 2-2 12, Webb 6-12 4-5 16, Lewis 1-2 2-2 4, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Henricson 2-4 0-1 4, Rieger 3-8 0-3 6, Coates 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 26-59 11-18 68.

Half: WIU 31, NDSU 26. 3-point goals: NDSU 8-21 (Shea 1-2, Plucker 4-7, Birkel 2-5, Trecker 0-1, Linz 1-5, Stephenson 0-1); WIU 5-13 (Salvatori 1-2, Kelly 2-2, Barton 2-4, Webb 0-2, Henricson 0-1, Rieger 0-2). Total fouls: NDSU 17, WIU 13. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: NDSU 37 (DeGagne 8); WIU 35 (Barton 8). Assists: NDSU 17 (Birkel 6); WIU 16 (Kelly 4). Turnovers: NDSU 17 (Birkel, Trecker 4); WIU 14 (three with 3. A-315.