The North Dakota State (6-4) women’s basketball team is set to begin Summit League play hosting Western Illinois (4-6) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. The Bison will wrap up the week against St. Thomas (5-5) on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at Scheels Center.
Radio: Andy Rieckhoff (play-by-play) will be on the call on Bison 1660.
Watch: Both games will be available on WDAY Xtra with Dom Izzo (play-by-play), Amy Ruley (analyst) and Logan Campbell (sideline) on the call. The contests will also be available on ESPN+ for subscribers.
GoBison.com: Live statistics, audio and video links are available on GoBison.com.
BISON QUICK HITS
- The Bison have dropped their last four games and begin the week with a 6-4 overall record.
- NDSU is coming off a 70-52 loss at Green Bay last Saturday.
- After playing its last six games on the road, NDSU returns home to begin Summit League play. The Bison are 3-0 at Scheels Center this season.
- This will mark the first time in three seasons that NDSU has opened Summit League play at home.
- Western Illinois has 4-6 overall record and has won its last two games. The Leathernecks conclude non-conference play against Saint Xavier on Friday night.
- St. Thomas has assembled a 5-5 overall record and most recently topped Chicago State, 74-56, to wrap up non-conference play.
- Elle Evans has reached double figures in scoring in each of her last seven games, including a season-high 17 points at Central Michigan.
- Heaven Hamling has drained a team-high 23 three-pointers through the first 10 games this season. She has totaled 147 triples over three seasons and ranks fifth all-time in NDSU history.
LAST TIME OUT
NDSU fell short at Green Bay, 70-52, on Saturday afternoon at Kress Center. Elle Evans led the way for the Bison hitting double digits in scoring for the seventh straight game with a team-best 13 points. She also hauled in a team-high seven rebounds with two steals and one assist. Abbie Draper chipped in six points with two rebounds, while Heaven Hamling added six points with four rebounds and four assists.
WELCOME TO SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAY
For the first time in three seasons, NDSU will open Summit League play at home. Under fourth-year head coach Jory Collins, the Bison are 1-2 in Summit League openers dating back to 2019-20. Last year, NDSU picked up a 67-61 road win over North Dakota to begin conference play. Heaven Hamling led the way for the Bison with a team-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
LIFE ON THE ROAD
NDSU wrapped up a six-game road swing covering four total weeks. Over that span, the Bison traveled over 3,400 miles and visited four different states (Nevada, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin). It marked the longest road stretch for NDSU since the 2011-12 season when the Bison played seven straight away from home.
COLLEGE INSIDER MID-MAJOR TOP 25 POLL
NDSU is receiving votes in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. NDSU debuted in the poll at No. 19 back on Nov. 29. This season marks the first time the Bison have been ranked in the poll since 2020-21.
The Bison started the season with a 6-0 overall record in the month of November before falling short at Eastern Michigan. It marked the best start to a season since 2004-05. NDSU began the 2004-05 season winning its first 24 games and finished with a 26-1 overall record.
Heaven Hamling and Elle Evans have both started all 10 games this season and averaging over 30 minutes per game. Evans is averaging 32.2 minutes, while Hamling is logging a team-high 32.4 minutes per game. Over three seasons at NDSU, Hamling is averaging 32.4 minutes per contest, which ranks fourth all-time Bison history.
Heaven Hamling is graduating this week with her degree in construction management and a minor in business administration before starting graduate school in January.
BATTLING FOR REBOUNDS
NDSU hauled in a season-high 48 rebounds at Northern Iowa with eight different players collecting at least two. The Bison have grabbed 40 or more rebounds in five of the first 10 games this season.
NDSU is limiting opponents to 63.6 points per game this season, which ranks second in the Summit League. The Bison have held five opponents this season to 65 points or less, including a season-low 45 points against Valley City State.
Heaven Hamling posted a career-high 39 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 7-of-12 shooting from three in the win over Nevada. The Grand Rapids, Minn., native also went 10-of-10 from the free throw line and added six rebounds, three steals and one assist to her stat line.
Her 39 points rank as the third-most all-time in a single-game at NDSU and marked her second career 30-point performance. Hamling is one of only six players in the country to post 39 or more points in a single-game this season. Additionally, her seven triples against the Wolf Pack rank tied for 10th in the nation in a single-game this season.
1,000 CAREER POINTS FOR NO. 11
Heaven Hamling has surpassed the 1,000 career points milestone with 1,051. She started her career at Stephen F. Austin State for one season in 2018-19 and netted 174 points. Hamling has totaled 877 points over the last three seasons at NDSU.
HAMLING CHASES HISTORY
Heaven Hamling enters the 2022-23 season with the opportunity to leave her name in NDSU history. She’s positioned inside the top 10 in Bison history in scoring average (7th, 13.9), three-point field goals made (5th, 147), three-point field goal percentage (3rd, .392), free throw percentage (2nd, .889), defensive rebounding average (10th, 3.7) and minutes average (4th, 32.4).
NOT PLAYING LIKE A FRESHMAN
Elle Evans is off to a fast start in her freshman season starting all 10 games and is averaging 12.5 points per game. That total ranks second among freshmen in the Summit League. Denver freshman guard Emma Smith leads all freshman in the conference with 14.8 points per game.
Evans has also hit double figures in scoring in each of her last seven games, including a season-high 17 points at Central Michigan. Over that span, she’s averaging 13.4 points per game.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE
After not recording a double-double in her first two seasons, Emily Behnke has notched a double-double in two of the last three games. She netted a career-high 16 points with 10 rebounds at Northern Iowa. Behnke tallied her first career double-double at Central Michigan with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
BROWN FITS RIGHT IN
In her first season at NDSU, Taylor Brown has fit right in starting each of the first 10 games. The Lakeville, Minn., native is averaging 8.7 points per game and has reached double digits in scoring in three games. Brown notched her first double-double of the season with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Minnesota.
CONTRIBUTING OFF THE BENCH
Abbie Draper and Abby Graham have both come off the bench in all 10 games this season. Draper is averaging 5.7 points per game and has reached double digits in scoring twice. Graham has added 5.0 points per game and netted a season-high 11 points in the win over Minnesota.
WHO’S BACK THIS YEAR?
The Bison return six letterwinnners from last season, including three starters: Heaven Hamling, Abby Schulte and Katie Hildebrandt.
WELCOME TO THE SQUAD
The roster features eight newcomers this season: Taylor Brown, Kristina Ekofo Yomane, Abbie Draper, Elle Evans, Marwa Bedziri, Abby Graham, Leah Mackenzie and Georgia Baldwin.
NEW, BUT PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE
Three of the eight newcomers on the roster this season have played at least 10 NCAA games in their careers. Taylor Brown appeared in 95 games over four seasons at American and Abbie Draper played in 26 games with 15 starts during her freshman season at Bradley last year. Georgia Baldwin also appeared in 11 games at Eastern Kentucky over the last two seasons.
NEW LOOK COACHING STAFF
The NDSU coaching staff has a new look this season with addition of assistant coaches Jaime Adams and Michaela Crall. Adams is back for her second stint with the program after spending four seasons from 2008-12 as an assistant coach. She also played at NDSU from 1997-01 and was inducted to the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.
Crall comes to NDSU after spending last season at Dubuque as an assistant coach. She also played for Wisconsin for three seasons from 2013-16 before starting her career in coaching as an undergraduate coach. Emily Dietz, who played at NDSU from 2017-22 and is the all-time leader games played, returns as a graduate manager this season.
PRESEASON ALL-SUMMIT LEAGUE FIRST TEAM
Heaven Hamling was selected to the Preseason All-Summit League First Team. She started all 29 games last season and logged a team-high 34.4 minutes per contest. Hamling ranked ninth in the Summit League with a team-best 14.3 points per game and reached double digits in scoring in 24 of 29 games. The Grand Rapids, Minn., native led the conference in three-point field goals per game with 2.31 and three-point field goal percentage shooting 39.0 percent.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL
NDSU was picked to finish fifth in the Summit League Preseason Poll. South Dakota State garnered 36 first place votes to take the top spot, while South Dakota picked up four first place votes in second place. Oral Roberts closed out the top three in third place.
BISON IN GREECE
Over the span of eight days, the Bison had the opportunity to practice, play two games and learn about the culture in Greece during a trip in August. NDSU spent the first four days in Athens before concluding the trip in Glyfada.
THE SERIES VS. WESTERN ILLINOIS
This will be the 32nd all-time meeting between NDSU and Western Illinois with the Leathernecks leading the series that dates back to 2008, 19-12. It will also mark only the second time NDSU and Western Illinois have opened conference play against each other after the Leathernecks topped the Bison, 77-65, in the 2020-21 season.
In their most recent meeting last season, NDSU dropped a 61-59 decision to Western Illinois at Scheels Center. Abby Schulte netted 12 points, while Heaven Hamling posted a game-high 11 rebounds with seven points.
THE SERIES VS. ST. THOMAS
This will be only the fourth all-time meeting between NDSU and St. Thomas with the Bison leading the series that dates back to 1980, 2-1. In their most recent meeting last season, NDSU edged St. Thomas, 69-60, at Scheels Center. Heaven Hamling tallied 12 points with seven rebounds and a game-high five assists.
NDSU will continue its homestand hosting North Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 31. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. at Scheels Center.
Credit: Source link