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Time runs out on MSU WBB against Northern State

ABERDEEN, S.D. — The Minot State women’s basketball team went to the wire with Northern State on Saturday.

MSU senior guard Mariah Payne got off what would have been a game-tying shot, but it didn’t go down in the final seconds. Northern State (13-15, 9-13 NSIC) hung on for a 73-71 home victory over the Beavers (7-19, 4-18 NSIC).

The two-point defeat in the regular-season finale dropped the Beavers to the No. 8 seed out of the NSIC North Division. Meaning, Minot State will face NSIC South winners Sioux Falls (24-5) on the road Wednesday in the first round of the NSIC Tournament.

Earlier this season on Jan. 18, MSU lost 87-53 to Sioux Falls.

On Saturday, the Beavers started strong with a 21-14 lead after the first quarter. That advantage was gone by halftime, with Northern State leading 34-33 at the break.

MSU took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter, 54-52. The score was last tied at 69-69 with under a minute to play.

Free throws made by Avery Terwilliger and Jessi Marti allowed the Wolves to sneak away for a 73-71 win.

Both teams finished with three scorers in double figures.

Payne paced MSU with 28 points, including five 3-pointers, and seven rebounds. Bethany Theodore (12 points) and Haley Hildenbrand (10) chipped in as well.

Northern State’s offense went through Brianna Kusler (17 points), Marti (12) and Shariah Smith (10). The Wolves shot 44.8% from the field and 45% (9-for-20) behind the arc.

MSU finished at 39.1% and was also more efficient on 3-pointers at 41.2% (7-for-17).

The Beavers held the lead for over 20 minutes of game time.

After a rocky regular season, MSU heads to top-seeded Sioux Falls on Wednesday for the NSIC Tournament. An upset performance would get the Beavers back to the Sanford Pentagon and the NSIC quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.

Tipoff on Wednesday is set for 5:30 p.m.

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