Vikings Play Bison Tough in Sunday Exhibition


FARGO, N.D. ( -The underdog Valley City State Vikings gave the North Dakota State University women’s basketball team a game Sunday in Fargo.

The Vikings played the NCAA Division I Bison tough into the fourth quarter before falling 67-58. The game was an exhibition contest for VCSU (4-0) and does not count on their season record. North Dakota State improves its season record to 4-0.

The two teams went shot-for-shot throughout much of the first half. Lexi Lennon’s 18th point of the first half gave the Vikings a 34-33 lead with 3:35 remaining in the half. A quick 8-0 spurt by the Bison helped them take a 42-39 lead into the break. The Bison did not trail in the second half, opening up a 53-47 lead after three quarters en route to the victory.

Lennon scored 18 first-half points as she led all scorers with 21 points in the game. Sophomore center Mackenzie Huber had 14 points, five rebounds and four blocks inside for the Vikings. Kennedy Henningsgard added 11 points and Kate Williams scored eight. Alli Vandal led the Vikings with 10 rebounds.

Playing their second game in as many days, the Vikings appeared to hit a wall in the second half as they shot just 25 percent over the final 20 minutes, including 0-for-11 from 3-point range.

VCSU finished the game shooting 36 percent from the field (24-67), 23 percent on 3’s (5-22) and 83 percent at the line (5-6). VCSU was 5-for-11 on 3’s in the first half before shooting 0-for-11 in the second half. The Vikings committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 13 by the Bison.

NDSU shot 40 percent for the game (25-63), 39 percent on 3’s (5-13) and 67 percent at the line (12-18). The Bison held a 48-35 rebounding advantage, including a 19-15 edge on the offensive glass. Michelle Gaislerova had 12 points off the bench to lead NDSU. Rylee Nudell had 11 points and eight rebounds.

It was the second straight meeting that VCSU has played the Bison tough. During the 2015-16 season, VCSU lost 85-77 during an exhibition game at NDSU.

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Valley City State is off to a 4-0 start this season, the first time they have done that since starting 5-0 during the 2005-06 season. The Vikings will try to match that start this coming weekend at the Dordt College Classic in Iowa. VCSU will play Briar Cliff University on Nov. 24 and Dordt College on Nov. 25.

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