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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 30 2013

Central Cass grad Breske helps Bison women prevail in exhibition hoops

FARGO – When Hannah Breske gave North Dakota State a verbal commitment, redshirting in her freshman season was a possibility. Now?

It’s quite possible she’ll play a large role.

Not only is the Central Cass graduate playing, she was the first player off the Bison bench Wednesday night in the women’s basketball exhibition opener against Minnesota-Crookston. The NCAA Division II Golden Eagles, who finished 8-19 a year ago, had the upper hand for just over a half.

But NDSU’s size won out in the final 20 minutes in a 64-59 victory at the Bison Sports Arena that wasn’t decided until the final minute.

It was Breske who perhaps had the clinching hoop, a 12-footer off a nice feed from guard Brooke LeMar that made it 64-57 with 1 minute, 1 second remaining.

“It was nice Brooke saw me open,” Breske said, “and she laid it right in there.”

Breske originally verballed to NDSU the summer before her senior season at Central Cass. At the time, she was told redshirting would be up to her.

“It was a matter if I thought I was ready to make the jump,” she said.

With injuries and defections, there isn’t much room for redshirting with the Bison. Plus, the 6-foot guard will be counted on with her length on defense.

“I think we found some things out about her,” said NDSU head coach Carolyn DeHoff. “We found out what she can do well in our system.”

Breske finished with nine points and two assists in 31 minutes of playing time. Forward Holly Johnson led the way with 13 points. Forward Liz Keena added 12.

Tied at 39-39 at around the 12-minute mark, the Bison went on a 16-4 run for some much-needed breathing room. Eight straight free throws, the last two by guard Bree Whatman, made it 55-43 with 8:12 remaining.

But the Eagles didn’t go away, pulling within 58-56 with 2:26 remaining taking advantage of a few of NDSU’s 20 turnovers.

“We have work to do,” DeHoff said. “My overall assessment is we put in a lot of things for a young team and our kids were on overload. But we executed much better in the second half.”

UMC: Moenkedick 6-12 1-3 13, Livingston 2-6 1-3 6, Barnes 0-4 5-6 5, Thielman 6-14 5-5 20, Martell 1-4 0-1 2, Christenson 1-4 0-0 2, Walker 1-2 1-2 3, Perkins 0-2 0-0 0, Church 2-3 2-2 7, Thorn 0-2 1-2 1, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-53 16-24 59.

NDSU: Johnson 3-4 7-8 13, Keena 6-6 0-0 12, LeMar 0-6 4-4 4, Whatman 0-5 2-2 2, Whittle 2-9 2-2 7, Wiebe 0-0 0-0 0, Becken 2-5 3-5 7, Breske 3-6 3-4 9, Spier 3-6 2-3 8, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Stephenson 0-2 2-2 2, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-50 25-30 64.

Halftime: UMC 30, NDSU 26. Total fouls: UMC 23, NDSU 23. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: UMC 24 (Barnes, Thielman 6); NDSU 49 (Johnson 11). 3-point goals: UMC 5-19 (Moenkedink 0-1, Livingston 1-3, Thielman 3-4, Martell 0-3, Christenson 0-2, Perkins 0-1, Walker 0-1, Church 1-2, Thorn 0-2); NDSU 1-8 (Whatman 0-2, Whittle 1-4, Becken 0-2). Assists: UMC 9 (Livingston, Barnes 3); NDSU 12 (LeMar 4). Turnovers: UMC 13 (Thielman 3); NDSU 20 (Johnson 5). A–565

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia