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Kelsey Knox hit a pair of huge free throws near the end of regulation and had five points in the overtime session Saturday.
Strong overtime gives UND fifth straight win
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Updated: Monday 02/08/2014 20:54:21 (ET)
by Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
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GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- Kelsey Knox scored five points in the overtime period alone to help host North Dakota run its winning streak to five straight with a 64-59 win over Idaho State Saturday night in Big Sky Conference play. ISU battled back from a 12-point halftime deficit to force overtime.

Gut-check time sank in with three minutes to go in regulation as the Bengals (9-12, 7-5 Big Sky) had grabbed its first lead of the second half with a Sheryl Butter three-pointer for a 51-48 advantage. Senior Madi Buck grabbed a huge defensive rebound and scored on the other end to slice it to one then Emily Evers took over the dramatics.

Still trailing by one, Evers was able to front an inbounds pass and create a steal that gave UND (16-6, 11-2 Big Sky) the ball back with under a minute to play. Evers then split a pair from the free throw line with 51 seconds left to re-tie the score.

From there, Knox knocked down two huge free throws with 15 seconds left but Rebecca Schrimpsher was able to put back a missed three try to send the game to overtime.

In the extra frame, it was all UND as the home team made 3-of-4 from the floor while holding the Bengals to just one field goal in the final five minutes (1-of-8). The first bucket came on a strong take by Buck into the paint and followed a possession later with Makailah Dyer scoring for a 57-53 UND lead a minute-and-a-half into the extra period.

After Lindsey Reed made two free throws, Knox answered with a tough layup. The first of Knox's three free throw makes in overtime gave North Dakota a 60-57 lead. Schrimpsher again scored a basket to answer-- Idaho State's lone field goal in overtime-- and trimmed the UND lead to just one.

Knox split free throw trips over the next two UND possessions, surrounding a big blocked shot by Evers that denied Reed a chance to tie the score with under a minute remaining. Evers would again collect another block on ISU's last chance to tie the score, keeping UND's lead at three where Leah Szabla was able to ice it from thee line with two freebies.

That late second-half UND surge came following ISU rebounding from a 33-21 hafltime deficit. North Dakota's Mia Loyd scored all of UND's first six points, but the Bengals held tough, leading 16-15 with 9:32 left in the frame. An 18-5 UND run would close the half with a three by Buck the ignitor.

Jessica Tingey's jumper with 2:27 left in the half made it 25-19 but it would be the only Bengal field goal over the final nine-and-a-half minutes to allow UND to race into the locker room with a lead of a dozen. Evers powered in buckets for the final four points of the stanza for a 33-21 advantage.

ISU gradually chipped away at the deficit, closing to within seven on several occasions. They finally broke through when Anna Lee Policicchio hit a layup and Reed followed with a jumper to inch within three at 46-43. Schrimpsher score to tie the game at 48-all and Bitter's three gave ISU its first lead of the second half to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Loyd led all scorers with 17 points while adding nine rebounds. Buck chipped in 13 points and nine boards while Evers collected eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks for North Dakota.

ISU dropped just its second game in its last eight tries. The Bengals were led by 15 points and 11 rebounds by Reed.

UND heads to Montana State next Thursday for an 8:00 p.m. tip.



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