In both of their meetings this season, North Dakota State College of Science and Miles Community College went down to the wire in slugfests. The pair of teams split their previous battles and their third matchup was even closer on Sunday, Feb. 9.
With the game tied at 46, Science got the ball back with 21 seconds left. Zaraya March burned a bulk of the clock on the perimeter and after the Wildcats got a shot off, Kate Carlson was waiting under the hoop for the board. The sophomore pulled it down and got a shot off, drawing a foul with less than half a second left on the clock.
Carlson stepped up to the line composed and rattled in her first shot to take the lead. The strategy after that was to intentionally miss the second one, forcing a full-court heave. The Madison, Wisconsin, native put some extra zip on her shot aimed at the back of the rim, but accidentally buried it. The Pioneers took a timeout to move down the court, but couldn’t get the shot off in time in a 48-46 Wildcat victory.
“I’m just pleased with how we finished. We’ve been in games like that before this year,” NDSCS coach Tom Dryburgh said. “We’ve had our opportunities and dropped a couple of those. To be able to get that I think is going to propel us.”
Science had a five-point lead with 1:20 remaining courtesy of a Justyna Butler 3 in the right corner.
“I thought Justyna’s 3 was kind of one of those coming-out parties. Her confidence was there to make that shot and I think that’s huge for us,” Dryburgh said.
The Pioneers entered the game tied for first in the conference.
“We’re the spoiler. We’re not the hunted, we’re the hunter. That’s a different place to be in and we’re all right with that,” Dryburgh said.
Carlson and Nikki Metcalfe each came up a point shy from double-doubles as the pair pulled down 12 and 11 boards, respectively. The pair of bigs were also the leading scorers in the win.
Next up for Science (20-5) is a 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 road bout with the top team in the conference, Bismarck State College.
Duoth Gach entered North Dakota State College of Science’s Monday, Feb. 10 home battle with Miles Community College needing two 3-pointers to break Julian Walters’ record for career triples. Gach took care of the record less than 90 seconds into the game and received a rousing ovation from the crowd. But there was one problem: His brother knocked down more 3s than Walters during his time as a Wildcat.
“I’m pretty sure I have the record,” Gach Gach said during the game.
Due to a clerical error, the team realized after the game that Gach Gach holds the record of 178 made 3s with Duoth Gach moving up to second place with 170. Duoth still has at least six games left to catch up to his brother.
The second all-time leader in career 3s knocked down three more shots from downtown, cruising to a team-high 19 points in the 94-70 Science win. He was joined in double figures by Mohamed “Momo” Kone (15 points), Damien Gordon (14 points) and Rayquan Moore (14 points).
Science exploded for 59 points in the second half, outscoring their foes by 16 after halftime.
The Wildcats (21-4) hosted Minnesota Prep Academy for another home game at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10.