Sioux Falls S.D. (NSUWolves.com) – The Northern State University women’s basketball team fell short in overtime Saturday evening in the semifinal round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament to No. 7 Augustana University, 90-86. The Wolves finish the season with a 26-6 record overall, after notching their first regional win in five seasons as well as a share of both the NSIC Overall and North Division titles.
Northern State trailed by five points on multiple occasions in the first quarter but cut the Viking lead to two points heading into the second. The Wolves out-scored Augustana in the second and led 37-36 at the half. After three quarters of play the Wolves held a 9-point advantage. NSU had a seven point lead with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter, however Augustana went on a 9-2 run, forcing the overtime period. The Vikings out-scored the Wolves 12-8 in OT sealing the victory and advancing to the regional finals.
The Wolves shot 43.2 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from behind the arc, while recording 50 rebounds as a team. Defensively, NSU held Augustana to a 37.0 field goal percentage from beyond the arc, and gave up just 32 rebounds. Northern added 28 points in the paint, nine second chance points on 16 offensive rebounds, nine points off of nine turnovers, and 25 bench points. They combined for 25 assists, a season high 12 made 3-pointers, six steals, and four blocks.
Jill Conrad led the Wolves with 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. The senior shot 46.7 percent from the floor and a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line. Alexis Tappe followed with 16 points, leading the team off of the bench. She added a team second best eight rebounds, as well as three assists and two steals, while shooting 7-of-12 from the floor.
Brianna Kusler and Miranda Ristau each tallied 15 points for the Wolves. Kusler notched eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, and a team high five made 3-pointers, while Ristau tallied seven rebounds, one assist, three blocks, and two steals. Jessi Marti was the last player in double figures, notching 12 points, four rebounds, five assists, and one steal.
Gabby Laimer added six points off the bench for the Wolves, while Brynn Flakus recorded two points, three rebounds, and two assists. Haley Froelich tallied two points, four rebounds, one assist, and one block, while Alayna Johnson and Anika Fredrick combined for one point, one rebound, and two assists.
Northern State seniors Miranda Ristau, Jill Conrad, Alexis Tappe, Gabby Laimer, Brynn Flakus, and Haley Froelich played their final games in a Wolves uniform. The group propelled the program to new heights, qualifying for 5-straight NCAA Central Region Tournaments, and winning two NSIC/Sanford Health Basketball Tournament titles, three NSIC North Division titles, and one NSIC Overall Championship.