GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Deeshyra Thomas' running lay-up in the closing seconds pushed visiting Weber State to a 76-74 win in the quarterfinal round of the Women's Basketball Invitational Sunday evening at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Thomas finished the night with a game-high 30 as WSU advanced to the final four of the tournament.
North Dakota (19-14) had dug itself out of a 10-point hole it created in the third quarter. WSU (22-12) had out-scored the home team, 30-19, in that period alone to help erase a four-point UND lead at the break.
The Fighting Hawks relied on their bench and Roscoe to climb out of that deficit. Senior Kelsey Knox hit big threes to try to quell the momentum in that third quarter. UND trailed by seven heading into the final 10 minutes but quickly made it a tight race.
Jumpers by Jill Morton, Mia Loyd and Samantha Roscoe trimmed the deficit to three then later a three by Leah Szabla got it back to within a bucket at 69-67 with six minutes and change left. Roscoe then connected from the high left post, part of her 9-of-12 shooting night.
UND reclaimed the lead on a powerful putback right hook by Loyd to make it 71-69 with just under four minutes to go. Thomas, however, would score the final seven points for the Wildcats including her running layup with four seconds remaining.
Roscoe tied a career high with her 22 points while Loyd had 17 rebounds and eight points. Fallyn Freije chipped in 14 for North Dakota for her fourth double-digit game of the season.
UND led for most of the first half as Roscoe rattled off the first seven points of the game. Kailie Quinn responded with eight straight as Weber State inched within one. The Fighting Hawk lead grew to as many as six in the second quarter, but Thomas foreshadowed the end of the game with the half's final field goal. UND went into the locker room leading 35-31 at the break.
WSU went on a quick 10-0 run and later led by 10 in the final minute of a frame that saw the Wildcats score 30 points. Knox's triples helped the run subside, but not before the Wildcats carried a seven-advantage into the final frame where they eventually held on.
North Dakota (19-14) concludes its season, a year that saw it advance to the postseason for the fourth time in five years.
Notes: Loyd finished her career with 1,384 points (14th all-time at UND) and 930 rebounds (5th) with 37 career double-doubles ... Her 17 rebounds Sunday give her three games with at least 17 in a game in her career (22, 19) ... Both of Roscoe's 22-point games came at home vs. Weber State (Jan. 7) ... North Dakota finished the season 11-4 at home ... The bottom two seeds, No. 7 Weber State and No. 8 USC Upstate, remain on the one side of the WBI bracket while the top two seeds, No. 1 Louisiana and No. 2 Youngstown State, remain on the opposing side.
-- UND --