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Tom Mix, Published January 25 2014

SDSU tops NDSU in women's hoops at the BSA

FARGO – North Dakota State trimmed down a double-digit deficit in the first half against South Dakota State, but could not do the same in the second half Saturday.

The Jackrabbits held on to defeat the Bison 73-53 during a Summit League women’s basketball contest at the Bison Sports Arena.

SDSU (14-7, 5-0 Summit) jumped out to an 18-6 advantage, but the Bison (5-15, 1-4) regrouped. NDSU pulled to within 31-30 at halftime after sophomore forward Holly Johnson capped a 12-4 run by hitting a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in the first half.

“We had a lot of momentum,” junior guard Brook LeMar said of NDSU’s surge in the first half. “We were making our shots and were getting defensive stops.”

The positive momentum did not carry over after the break.

NDSU came up empty on its first four possessions of the second half, allowing SDSU to maintain its lead and later pull away.

Freshman Kerri Young led the way for the Jackrabbits, scoring a game-high 23 points off the bench.

“They built their lead to double digits at the eight-minute mark of the second half and I think by that time we were hunting so hard for our shots,” NDSU head coach Carolyn DeHoff said.

“We went through a drought where we didn’t make shots when we needed to,” LeMar added. “That is going to happen sometimes.”

LeMar led the Bison with 20 points and Johnson added 13 points and eight rebounds.

“We are fortunate that (NDSU) missed a lot of shots that they are very capable of making,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “Some were contested, but others were not. We were fortunate they didn’t make a few more shots to get a lead and push it a little bit further.”

NDSU shot 27.3 percent (18-for-66) during the game.

“I don’t think there was much more we could have done defensively,” DeHoff said. “We could have held off the glass a little better, but I think that was a function of us wearing down a little and not hitting our shots. We never could build a lead. So the whole second half we were climbing uphill.”

Saturday’s game was honored by NDSU as the Katherine Burgum Classic. Young and LeMar were named each team’s most valuable player and were awarded plaques following the game.

SDSU has won the last seven meetings between the two teams.

SDSU (14-7): Strop 0-1 0-0 0, Clarin 3-10 1-2 7, Boever 0-5 2-4 2, Paluch 3-4 2-3 9, Waytashek 2-6 8-8 12, Stevens 3-10 2-2 10, Stuart 0-1 0-0 0, Young 8-16 7-8 23, Heiser 1-2 4-5 6, Ober 0-1 4-6 4. Totals: 20-56 30-38 73.

NDSU (5-15): Johnson 4-13 4-8 13, Whittle 3-13 2-2 8, Stephenson 2-9 0-0 4, LeMar 6-14 6-6 20, Becken 2-10 0-0 5, Whatman 0-4 0-0 0, Keena 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 18-66 12-16 53.

Half: SDSU 31, NDSU 30. 3-point goals: SDSU 3-17 (Strop 0-1, Boever 0-1, Paluch 1-2, Waytashek 0-3, Stevens 2-5, Stuart 0-1, Young 0-3, Heiser 0-1), NDSU 5-23 (Johnson 1-4, Whittle 0-3, Stephenson 0-1, LeMar 2-5, Whatman 0-3, Becken 1-6, Brown 1-1). Total fouls: SDSU 19, NDSU 25. Rebounds: SDSU 57 (Clarin, Boever 9), NDSU 35 (Johnson, Whittle 8). Assists: SDSU 11 (Waytashek 6), NDSU 10 LeMar, Whatman 4). Steals: SDSU 2 (Paluch, Stevens 2), NDSU 8 (LeMar 3). Turnovers: SDSU 16, NDSU 7. A: 1,763.

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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562