DeGagne Powers Bison to 59-48 Victory over Kansas City
Release: January 05, 2013
FARGO, N.D. - Senior Dani DeGagne got off to a red-hot start and Katie Birkel made the clutch plays late to lead the North Dakota State women's basketball team to a 59-48 win over Kansas City in Summit League action in the Bison Sports Arena on Saturday, Jan. 5.
DeGagne got the Bison started early - scoring 11 of her season-high 20 points in the first 11 minutes - and Birkel sealed the victory with a clutch basket, a steal, and a pair of free throws in the game's final 70 seconds.
DeGagne racked up a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with her 20-point performance, giving her the second double-double by an NDSU player this season. Freshman Marena Whittle recorded the first on Nov. 13 at Boise State.
North Dakota State (5-10, 1-2 Summit) used just seven players in the victory, with all seven playing at least 20 minutes. The Bison overcame a 1-for-18 shooting performance from three-point range by shooting 20-for-43 from inside the arc.
Kansas City (4-12, 0-3 Summit) was led by Eilise O'Connor's 14 points.
The Bison committed a season-low seven turnovers and limited Kansas City to 48 points, matching NDSU's season low for points allowed.
DeGagne's 20 points were the most by an NDSU player this season.
With the Bison trailing 11-10 just over eight minutes into the game, DeGagne drained a jumper to send NDSU on a 10-0 run over the next six minutes. The Bison never lost that lead, leading by as many as 13 points at 44-31 with 8:34 to play in the game.
Kansas City rallied to cut the margin to three at 51-48 with 1:40 to play, but the veteran Birkel single-handedly stopped the threat. Birkel knocked down a jumper late in the shot clock, stole a UMKC pass on the next possession, and drained two free throws to put NDSU up 55-48 with 37 seconds remaining.
NDSU will return to the road next weekend for a pair of Summit League games. The Bison will meet Fort Wayne at 6 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, Jan. 10, and Oakland at 1 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, Jan. 12.