Bison Women Edge Omaha 63-62
Release: February 23, 2013
FARGO, N.D.--Katie Birkel scored a game-high 23 points including a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left as North Dakota State University held of the University of Nebraska Omaha 63-62 in a Summit League women's basketball game played Saturday, Feb. 23, before 829 fans at the Bison Sports Arena.
North Dakota State (10-17 overall, 6-9 Summit League) snapped a three-game losing streak. The Bison host league-leading South Dakota State (21-7, 13-2 Summit League) at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2.
Birkel's free throws with 19 seconds left put NDSU ahead 63-59.
Omaha's Carolyn Blair-Mobley's lay-up cut the deficit to 63-61 with 13 seconds remaining. Mobley led the Mavericks (16-10, 6-8 Summit League) with 20 points including 12 in the final half.
The Bison had trouble inbounding the ball on the next possession, tried to call a timeout with zero left and was called for a technical foul.
Paige Frauendorfer made 1 of 2 technical free throws to close the gap to 63-62 with 9.3 seconds remaining, but missed a baseline jumper with 2 seconds left.
Marena Whittle grabbed the rebound to secure the win for North Dakota State. Whittle scored 13 points and added eight rebounds including a key offensive putback with 1:34 left. The Bison held a 45-34 rebounding advantage.
It was the seventh Katherine Burgum Classic and NDSU improved to 5-2 in the game. Omaha's Classic MVP was Frauendorfer, who scored 15 ponts, grabbed six rebounds, came up with four steals and added four assists.
North Dakota State's Classic MVP was Dani DeGagne scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had a career-high seven assists. DeGagne recorded her third double-double of the season and the fourth of her career.
The Bison led 40-37 at halftime and built a 51-39 lead on a DeGagne jumper with 15:15 left in the second half.
However, NDSU didn't hit another field goal until Birkel buried a three-pointer with 6:25 remaining that put the Bison ahead 55-51.
Birkel, a 5-foot-8 senior from Lincoln, Neb., hit 6 of 12 field goals including 5 of 8 from the three-point line. NDSU made a season best nine three-pointers. The Bison shot 37.5 percent from the field and made 12 of 16 free throws.
Ericka House added 13 points for Omaha, which also received 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots from Taijhe Kelly. The Mavericks shot 35.8 percent from the field including 20 percent from three-point line.