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Published January 12 2013

Bison sneak past Oakland in Summit League women’s hoops

ROCHESTER, Mich. – The North Dakota State women’s basketball team showed some poise in the final seconds to help end a lengthy road losing streak.

Marena Whittle hit the game-winning basket with 3 seconds left as the Bison defeated Oakland (Mich.) 60-59 in Summit League play Saturday.

The victory was NDSU’s first road win since Jan. 30, 2012 against Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne.

“It was a total team win,” Bison head coach Carolyn DeHoff said. “And I say that whole-heartedly.”

The Golden Grizzlies were up by nine points a few different times during the first half. But the Bison chipped away at the lead, pulling ahead briefly in the first half before settling for a one-point halftime deficit.

In the second half, the two teams traded leads. Oakland led 59-55 after a Peyton Apsey layup with 4 minutes, 4 seconds left. But the Golden Grizzlies would not score again.

Dani DeGagne’s 3-pointer with 3 minutes to go cut the Bison deficit to 59-58. Neither team scored again until Whittle’s jumper in the final seconds.

“Our kids made incredible plays on both ends of the floor,” DeHoff said. “And we were fortunate to have our hands on the ball in the end and make that basket.”

Katie Birkel scored a game-high 22 points for NDSU.

NDSU (6-11, 2-3 Summit): Keena 1-2 0-0 2, Whittle 1-6 2-3 4, DeGagne 4-18 0-0 9, Birkel 9-18, 2-2 22, Van Kirk 2-9 2-2 6, Johnson 4-4 0-0 10, Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Gaines 2-5 2-2 7.

O (7-10, 1-4): Nash 5-12 0-2 11, Popkey 5-12 0-0 13, Apsey 2-6 0-0 4, Lipscomb 6-13 0-0 14, E. Hamlet 2-4 1-2 5, A. Hamlet 3-7 0-0 7, Russell 1-4 1-2 3, Herrington 1-3 0-0 2.

Half: Oakland 27, North Dakota State 26. 3-point goals: NDSU 6-15 (Keena 0-1, Whittle 0-2, DeGagne 1-2, Birkel 2-3, Van Kirk 0-2, Johnson 2-2, Brown 0-1, Gaines 1-2), Oakland 7-20 (Nash 1-4, Popkey 3-6, Apsey 0-3, Lipscomb 2-4, A. Hamlet 1-3). Total fouls: NDSU 9, Oakland 12. Rebounds: NDSU 37 (Whittle 15), Oakland 41 (Lipscomb 10). Assists: NDSU 15 (DeGagne 5), Oakland 18 (Popkey 7). Steals: NDSU 8 (DeGagne 3), Oakland 6 (Lipscomb 3). Turnovers: NDSU 8, Oakland 12. A: 514.