The North Dakota State (13-7, 7-3 Summit) women’s basketball team is set to host South Dakota (11-11, 7-4 Summit) on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The Bison will conclude the week against South Dakota State (18-5, 11-0 Summit) on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. at Scheels Center.
Radio: Andy Rieckhoff (play-by-play) will be on the call for both games 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. Both contests will also be available on ESPN+ for subscribers.
GoBison.com: Live statistics, audio and video links are available on GoBison.com.
SUMMIT LEAGUE FOOD FIGHT
The NDSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) will be collecting food and monetary donations throughout the month of February in support of the Summit League Food Fight, a competition among league schools to collect the most donations for their local food pantries.
BISON QUICK HITS
- NDSU begins the week in second place in the Summit League standings and most recently fell short at North Dakota last week, 82-73. The Bison are 8-0 at Scheels Center this season.
- South Dakota begins the week tied for third place in the Summit League and most recently dropped a 70-64 decision to St. Thomas. The Coyotes are 5-3 in road games this season.
- South Dakota State is in first place in the Summit League and has won its last 11 straight games. The Jackrabbits are also 4-0 in conference road games.
- NDSU leads the Summit League in three-point percentage defense limiting opponents to 28.7 percent behind the arc.
- Heaven Hamling leads the Summit League and ranks 13th in the nation in free throw percentage shooting 90.0.
- Elle Evans has reached double figures in scoring in 16 games this season, including a career-high 23 points at Kansas City.
LAST TIME OUT
NDSU came up short at North Dakota, 82-73, on Saturday afternoon at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Heaven Hamling paced NDSU with a game-high 28 points to go along with seven rebounds, two steals, two assists and a block. Abby Schulte added in 12 points with four rebounds, while Elle Evans contributed 10 points with a team-high eight rebounds. Emily Behnke rounded out the top performers with 10 points and seven rebounds.
CLOSING IN ON 250 CAREER WINS
Head coach Jory Collins is closing in on his 250th career win and has currently amassed a 249-111 overall career record spanning 12 seasons. He notched a 199-58 mark during eight seasons at Emporia State. Collins has posted a 50-53 mark at NDSU over his first four seasons and earned his 50th win at Kansas City. His 50 wins at NDSU rank third all-time in Bison history behind Amy Ruley (671 wins) and Carolyn DeHoff (72 wins).
LOOKING AT SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAY
The Bison are 7-3 in Summit League play this season and are positioned in second place in the conference. NDSU is averaging 73.6 points per game and limiting opponents to 69.9. Heaven Hamling (16.3), Elle Evans (12.4) and Taylor Brown (10.1) are all averaging double digits in scoring in conference play.
NDSU is limiting opponents to 66.8 points per game this season, which ranks second in the Summit League. The Bison have held eight opponents to 65 points or less, including a season-low 43 points against Denver.
COMFORTABLE BEHIND THE ARC
The Bison drained a season-high 14 triples on 31 attempts with six different players posting at least one in the win over Omaha. That total ranks tied for the sixth-most in a single-game in NDSU history and was the third time this season the Bison have notched 10 or more triples.
The Bison have been moving the ball around the floor averaging 14.1 assists per game this season, which ranks third in the Summit League. Heaven Hamling has handed out a team-best 74 assists, while Abby Schulte has distributed a career-high 66.
NDSU handed out a season-high 20 assists in the win over Western Illinois with Schulte leading the way with a game-high eight. It marked the most assists in a single-game since the Bison passed out 21 against Waldorf on Dec. 22, 2019.
LOCKED IN AT THE LINE
NDSU buried a season-high 33 free throws in the win over North Dakota with seven different players contributing at least one. Heaven Hamling led the way connecting on a career-high 14 free throws on 15 attempts, which is tied for the third-most in a single-game in NDSU history.
Heaven Hamling and Elle Evans have both started all 20 games this season and averaging over 30 minutes per game. Evans is averaging 31.6 minutes, while Hamling is logging a team-high 32.5 minutes per game. Over three seasons at NDSU, Hamling is averaging 32.4 minutes per contest, which ranks fourth all-time in Bison history.
HEAVEN DOING HEAVEN THINGS
Heaven Hamling has established herself as one of the best three-point shooters in the Summit League and currently ranks in the top five in three-pointers per game (3rd, 2.40), three-pointers (3rd, 48) and three-point percentage (4th, 33.1).
Hamling is also averaging a team-best and career-high 15.8 points per game this season, which ranks sixth in the Summit League. Through the first 20 games this season, she’s the only player in the Summit League averaging 15.5 points per game, 3.5 assists per contest and shooting at least 33.0 percent from three.
NOT PLAYING LIKE A FRESHMAN
Elle Evans is off to a fast start in her freshman season starting all 20 games and is averaging 12.6 points per game. That total ranks 10th in the Summit League and leads all freshmen.
Evans has reached the 20-point scoring plateau twice this season, including a career-high 23 points in the win over Kansas City. The Edwardsville, Ill., native has reached double digits in scoring 16 of 20 games.
Evans has also been a force on the defensive side of the court with 24 total blocks, which ranks sixth in the Summit League and leads all freshmen.
After not starting a game in each of her first two seasons at NDSU, Emily Behnke has started 18 games this season and has hauled in a team-high and career-best 136 rebounds. The Two Rivers, Wis., native has also notched a career-high 25 blocks this season, which ranks fourth in the Summit League.
BROWN FITS RIGHT IN
In her first season at NDSU, Taylor Brown has fit right in starting all 20 games. The Lakeville, Minn., native is averaging 9.4 points per game and has reached double digits in scoring in eight 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 20 games this season.
Graham is averaging 6.4 points per game and notched a season-high 22 points in the win over Denver, while Draper has contributed 5.2 points with 2.5 rebounds per game. Kristina Ekofo Yomane has also appeared in 18 games with two starts this season to go along with 3.2 points per game.
1,000 CAREER POINTS FOR NO. 11
Heaven Hamling has surpassed the 1,000 career points milestone with 1,214. She started her career at Stephen F. Austin State for one season in 2018-19 and netted 174 points. Hamling has totaled 1,040 points over the last three seasons at NDSU.
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. Her 39 points are tied for 15th in the nation in a single-game this season.
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 (6th, 14.2), three-point field goals made (4th, 172), three-point field goal percentage (4th, .380), free throw percentage (2nd, .888), defensive rebounding average (7th, 3.8) and minutes average (4th, 32.5).
WHO’S BACK THIS YEAR?
The Bison return six letterwinnners from last season, including three starters: Heaven Hamling, Abby Schulte and Katie Hildebrandt.
Heaven Hamling graduated in December with her degree in construction management and a minor in business administration. She will begin graduate school starting in January.
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.
STARTING A NEW 3-POINT STREAK
NDSU shot 1-of-9 from three at Kansas State last season, which ended a streak of 56 straight games that the Bison have netted at least two triples. The Bison have bounced back and have connected at least two triples in each of their last 42 games.
NDSU has a recent history of assembling lengthy three-point streaks. The Bison went 0-of-14 from three-point range against Valparaiso in 2019-20, ending a streak of 113 straight games with at least two 3-pointers.
THIS IS OUR HOUSE
NDSU is 469-141 all-time at home dating back to 1977-78. The Bison have registered an 8-0 mark at Scheels Center this season for the first time since 2004-05. Dating back to last season, the Bison have won 10 straight games at home.
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. SOUTH DAKOTA
This will mark the 82nd meeting between NDSU and South Dakota dating back to 1977 with the Bison leading the all-time series, 43-38. Earlier this season, NDSU stunned South Dakota, 79-76, on the road on Jan. 7. The win snapped a 13-game losing skid to the Coyotes that dated back to 2017. Heaven Hamling led the Bison with a team-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.
THE SERIES VS. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
South Dakota State has won each of the last 18 meetings dating back to the 2014-15 season and leads the all-time series, 59-39. Earlier this season, NDSU dropped a 94-63 decision at South Dakota State on Jan. 5. Abby Graham paced the Bison with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. Taylor Brown filled up her stat line with eight points, a team-high seven rebounds and four assists.
NDSU will travel to Omaha on Thursday, Feb. 9. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.