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Forum staff reports, Published February 14 2013

Bison come up short despite DeGagne’s night

MACOMB, Ill. – Dani DeGagne reached a milestone, but North Dakota State’s comeback attempt fell short.

The Bison women’s basketball team cut a 15-point deficit in the second half down to two in the final minute. But Western Illinois held on for a 55-50 victory in Summit League play Thursday.

“They were ahead most of the game,” Bison head coach Carolyn DeHoff said. “Really, it was them. They played a lot of kids and certainly tried to wear us down.”

DeHoff pointed to the Leathernecks’ 16 offensive rebounds as a big problem for NDSU.

“They had two shots for every possession,” DeHoff said of WIU. “And that really hurt. And it didn’t get much better, except for the last four minutes when we made that run.”

DeGagne, a senior, finished with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. She eclipsed 1,000 career points in the game.

“It’s been fun and will continue to be fun coaching her,” DeHoff said. “She’s such a versatile player, and we’ve put her in many positions. … Congratulations to her.”

NDSU (9-16): DeGagne 7-17, 1-2 15, Van Kirk 4-11, 2-2 12, Birkel 4-17, 4-6, 12, Whittle 2-6, 0-0 5, Johnson 1-3 0-0 3, Brown 1-2, 0-0 2, Gaines 0-1, 1-2 1.

WIU (11-13): Luke 7-12, 4-4 18, Harmon 4-5, 1-1 11, Maher 4-13, 0-0 10, Rieger 3-9, 0-0 6, Henricson 1-5, 1-2 4, Kontautaite 1-9, 2-2 4, Salvatori 1-4, 0-0 2.

Half: WIU 21, NDSU 19. 3-point goals: NDSU 4-14 (Whittle 1-2, DeGagne 0-1, Birkel 0-3, Van Kirk 2-5, Johnson 1-3), WIU 5-21 (Rieger 0-1, Maher 2-8, Henricson 1-3, Kontautaite 0-4, Reed 0-2, Salvatori 0-1, Harmon 2-2. Total fouls: NDSU 14, WIU 12. Rebounds: NDSU 42 (DeGagne 15), WIU 48 (Luke 11). Assists: NDSU 12 (Birkel 7), WIU 12 (Henricson 5). Steals: NDSU 8 (DeGagne 4), WIU 5 (Luke 2). Turnovers: NDSU 14, WIU 13. A: 542.