Bison Cruise By Panthers in Season Opener

FARGO, N.D. ( – The second season of the Jory Collins’ era opened with a bang Wednesday night, as the North Dakota State women’s basketball team beat Northern Iowa 85-68 at the Scheels Center.

NDSU improved to 1-0 on the year, while the Panthers dropped to 1-2. The two teams met in the season opener last year in Cedar Falls, with the Panthers coming away with a 95-63 victory. NDSU returns to action on Saturday, as the Bison host Green Bay (1-0). Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Scheels Center.

Heaven Hamling and Emily Dietz each scored 20 points, a career-high for Hamling in her first game as a Bison after sitting out last season due to NCAA Transfer rules. Last year at Northern Iowa, Dietz was 1-of-8 with two points in the opener. Ryan Cobbins and Reneya Hopkins each added 11 points. Dietz had eight rebounds, while Hamling tied a career-high with six boards. Hamling and Hopkins each had four assists, while Hopkins added two steals.

The Bison shot were 30-of-57 (52.6%) from the field and 5-of-10 from downtown. Northern Iowa was 23-of-62 (37.1%) from the floor and 5-of-21 (23.8%) from 3-point range. NDSU was 20-of-26 (76.9%) at the free throw line, while the Panthers were 17-of-27 (63%). NDSU led for 36:16 of the 40 minutes.

NDSU led 25-15 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 42-26 at the half. The Bison were 7-of-8 (87.5%) from the field in the fourth quarter, while attempting 17 free throws in the final frame.

Bison play two games this weekend at home versus Green Bay.