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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 25 2011

Women's basketball: Bison get bounced by IPFW

North Dakota State is finding the Summit to be a slippery slope.

Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne never surrendered a second-half lead to defeat NDSU 68-55 Monday night before 786 fans at the Bison Sports Arena. The loss sends the Bison to their sixth loss in eight games. 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 Summit 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.

“We’re just not an efficient, effective, in-the-groove offensive team right now,” said Bison head coach Carolyn DeHoff. “We’re just not playing good basketball right now.”

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.

“I think our effort is there,” Plucker said. “The execution just wasn’t there and we had some breakdowns. You have to execute with the game on the line.”

The Bison, trailing 28-24 at halftime, got to 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 making the plays down the stretch. 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.”

They did it defensively in part with a 1-2-2 extended zone defense that was meant to slow the Bison down. It worked; NDSU frequently had trouble beating the shot clock in the last several minutes.

“We wanted to make them delay a bit,” Paul said. “Then all of a sudden there’s 10 on the shot clock and they have to rush a bit.”

All was not well off the court, either.

NDSU center Janae Burich was fined $225 and placed on three month unsupervised probation in Cass County for minor in possession or consumption, which appeared in Sunday’s Forum.

DeHoff said she was unaware of the infraction.

IPFW (13-5, 7-2 Summit): Rosado 12-18 0-0 24, Weinert 3-8 3-6 9, Drake 2-8 7-8 11, Zuppe 1-6 2-2 4, Boese 2-7 0-0 4, Hyde 1-1 0-0 3, Murphy 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson 5-9 2-2 12. Totals: 26-59 14-18 68.

NDSU (8-11, 4-5 Summit): Plucker 8-14 5-6 23, Burich 3-7 2-2 8, DeGagne 3-8 2-2 8, Birkel 1-8 0-0 2, Trecker 1-6 2-2 4, Shea 2-4 0-0 4, Linz 2-4 0-0 6, Stephenson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-51 11-12 55.

Halftime: IPFW 28, NDSU 24. Total fouls: IPFW 9, NDSU 13. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: IPFW 32 (Weinert 13); NDSU 34 (DeGagne 9). 3-point goals: IPFW 2-19 (Rosado 0-1, Drake 0-5, Zuppe 1-5, Boese 0-4, Hyde 1-1, Jackson 0-3); NDSU 4-13 (Plucker 2-4, DeGagne 0-1, Birkel 0-2, Trecker 0-2, Linz 2-4). Assists: IPFW 9 (Jackson 3); NDSU 10 (Birkel 5). Turnovers: IPFW 7 (Rosado, Weinert 2); NDSU 16 (Plucker 4). A-786.

Inforum searchword: Bison womens basketball

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970).

He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia