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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 22 2014

Bison women's basketball teams wins its second straight game

FARGO – It was an 83-61 women’s basketball victory for North Dakota State over Valley City State on Wednesday night. After 10 straight losses, the Bison are at least headed in the right direction with their second straight win.

It was the second time this season NDSU has had back-to-back victories.

“That seems like a long time ago,” said Bison guard Brooke LeMar. “The (losing streak) was kind of rough, but we’re moving on. Each game is a new game. … It was good to get another win.”

The hope for the Bison heading into Saturday’s home game against rival South Dakota State is to recapture the momentum from the California Irvine tournament title they won in November when they beat Montana and then Irvine in an eye-opening performance.

NDSU (5-14) could probably use some of that good vibe against the Jackrabbits, who once again lead the Summit League at 4-0. The Bison will enter the game off a road conference win at Western Illinois, a team that SDSU needed a last-second shot against to win by a point.

“How many times have they won the Summit?” said Bison forward Holly Johnson. “Every team in the Summit League wants to get a punch at them in the Summit tournament, but we’re just focusing on the game Saturday.”

LeMar led the Bison with 21 points and Johnson had 20. The Bison shot 65 percent in the second half to break it open.

“It’s nice to have a little mojo back,” Johnson said.

The Vikings came in winners of six straight and didn’t back down against the taller Bison. It was a tight first half for the most part with Valley City not giving up many second-chance opportunities underneath, which often happens when lower-division programs face Division I teams.

It was 35-25 at halftime, but it took the Vikings almost six minutes to score in the second half. By then, it was 46-27.

“We were the aggressor in the second half,” Johnson said. “They put up a good fight, and they’re a good team for their league.”

Megan Trautman and Sadiqah Jihad led Valley City with 10 points each.

“We competed well. The score doesn’t necessarily show that,” said Vikings head coach Cathy Hanek. “We’re not used to that kind of size. They had an advantage at every position and that took a toll on us.”

NDSU played without starting guard Bree Whatman, who sat out the game with concussion symptoms.

VCSU (10-6): Lee 1-8 0-0 2, Lehner 2-6 5-6 9, Even 0-4 2-2 2, Jihad 4-6 1-2 10, Pedersen 2-9 3-4 9, Cleveland 1-1 0-0 3, Ettl 2-4 0-1 4, Greiner 2-3 0-0 4, Trautman 3-7 3-3 10, Hunter 0-2 4-4 4, Boehmlehner 1-4 0-0 2, Dixon 1-6 0-0 2, Ruiz De Ter Gonzale 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 19-60 18-23 61.

NDSU (5-14): Johnson 9-16 1-1 20, Brown 0-3 0-0 0, Stephenson 3-6 2-2 8, LeMar 7-14 5-8 21, Whittle 7-12 4-5 18, Wiebe 0-1 0-0 0, Becken 2-6 0-0 4, Keena 2-3 0-0 4, Breske 2-2 0-0 4, Spier 2-3 0-1 4, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 34-66 12-17 83.

Halftime: NDSU 35, VCSU 25. Total fouls: VCSU 18, NDSU 15. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: VCSU 32 (Lehner 7); NDSU 48 (Stephenson 9). 3-point goals: VCSU 5-19 (Lee 0-4, Even 0-1, Jihad 1-1, Pedersen 2-5, Cleveland 1-1, Ettl 0-2, Boehmlehner 0-1, Dixon 0-2, Trautman 1-2); NDSU 3-14 (Johnson 1-4, Brown 0-1, LeMar 2-4, Whittle 0-2, Becken 0-3). Assists: VCSU 9 (Even 3); NDSU 16 (LeMar 5). Turnovers: VCSU 14 (Pedersen 5); NDSU 14 (LeMar 6). A-463.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia