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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 24 2011

IPFW sends Bison women to sixth loss in eight games

FARGO - North Dakota State is finding the Summit to be a slippery slope. The Bison are in a downhill slide.

Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne never surrendered a second half lead sending the Bison to their sixth loss in eight games – a 68-55 victory Monday night at the Bison Sports Arena. The only victories for NDSU in that stretch were over winless Centenary College and 3-15 IUPUI, the bottom two teams in the Summit League women’s basketball standings.

It was NDSU’s third straight home defeat and dropped the Bison to 8-11 overall and 4-5 in the league. Forward Abby Plucker led the way with 23 points – her seventh career game over 20 points and fifth this season. But generating offense from the other four spots on the floor was an inconsistent proposition at best.

Trailing 54-51 with five minutes left, the Mastodons put together a modest 6-0 run for a decisive advantage. The Bison did not score again until Plucker’s two free throws with 56 seconds left. By then, it was 64-53.

The Bison, trailing 28-24 at halftime, got within a point on four different occasions, the last at 49-48 with 8:38 remaining. But IPFW showed why it is a strong second place league team at 7-2. The Mastodons completed the Dakota sweep after beating South Dakota State in overtime on Saturday.

It broke a streak of 12 straight losses to the Jackrabbits and eight straight to NDSU. Moreover, IPFW had never won in Brookings or Fargo.

“It feels good,” said IPFW head coach Chris Paul. “It was a couple of milestones. Until you beat somebody on their floor, there’s always something in the back of your mind whether you can do it or not.”