FARGO, N.D. (USD) — North Dakota State kept its home winning streak alive for the season as the Bison defeated South Dakota 86-82 in overtime Thursday night in Fargo.
Senior guard Heaven Hamling had another great night for the Bison as she scored a game-high 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Hamling’s first eight points came early in the first quarter and at the expense of South Dakota’s turnover count. The Coyotes had three quick turnovers to start the game and NDSU (14-7, 8-3 Summit) took advantage to go up 7-0. Elle Evans was a difference maker on defense with four blocks and seven rebounds. Evans also went 8-for-8 from the line in a game where free-throws made a big impact.
South Dakota (11-12, 7-5 Summit) point guard Grace Larkins got her fourth consecutive double-double and sixth of the season. With 19 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, Larkins flirted with a triple-double for the sixth time this season. Carley Duffney added a team-high 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from the line.

It was a tight game through all four quarters with NDSU outscoring South Dakota by just one point in both the first and second quarters. USD took its first lead of the game at 26-25 before the Bison went on a 6-0 run and took advantage of a two-minute scoring drought for the Coyotes. South Dakota put together a 5-0 run to tie the game at 50 and end the third quarter.
The Bison had a size advantage over the Coyotes, but South Dakota played smart and had three of NDSU’s bigs in foul trouble early. Even with the foul trouble, North Dakota State was still able to pound the paint and outscored the Yotes 44-38 down low while also grabbing 15 offensive rebounds to get 18 second-chance points.
The fourth quarter was another back-and-forth battle that ended in a tie, literally. Nicole Avila-Ambrosi hit a huge three with three seconds to go in the game to tie it up at 71. She then went down on defense and denied the Bison two in bounds chances to get the clock down to 1.6. NDSU couldn’t get a shot off and so to overtime it went.

Hamling scored 10 of her 28 points in overtime, including two big drives that extended the Bison lead to five. The Coyotes would not go away, and Macy Guebert responded with her first points of the night as she drained a three to bring the Yotes within two with five seconds to go. The Bison inbounded to Evans, Larkins made the quick foul, and Evans drained both free throws to seal the four-point victory for the Bison.

South Dakota faces North Dakota on Saturday in Grand Forks, North Dakota.