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Katie Birkel scored 21 points in North Dakota State's 62-60 loss at Kansas City on Thursday night.
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Courtesy: Bill Powell
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O'Connor Last-Second Shot Lifts Kansas City Past Bison Women 62-60

Courtesy: NDSU Athletic Media Relations
Release: January 31, 2013
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KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Eilise O'Connor hit a jumper with 1.4-seconds left to lift Kansas City to a 62-60 win over North Dakota State University in a Summit League women's basketball game played Thursday, Jan. 31, before 598 at the Swinney Recreation Center.

North Dakota State (7-14, 3-6 Summit League) is scheduled to play the University of South Dakota (11-11, 6-3 Summit League) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in the DakotaDome.

Kansas City (8-14, 4-5 Summit League) scored the game's final six points after the Bison took a 60-56 lead with 4:15 remaining on a baseline jumper by Britney Gaines. Kelsey Barnwell sank a pair of free throws and then a short jumper with 42-seconds left to tie the game.

North Dakota State was called for an offensive foul with 14-seconds left to set up O'Connor's game-winner. O'Connor led the Kangaroos with 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

The outcome overshadowed NDSU's best shooting performance on the road this season. The Bison made 51.9 percent from the field. The previous highest field goal percentage on the road was 41.1 percent at South Dakota State on Dec. 30.

Seniors Katie Birkel and Dani DeGagne combined for 40 points. Birkel matched a career-high with 10 field goals made out of 18 attempts for 21 points and moved up two spots to No. 14 all-time at NDSU in scoring with 1,321.

DeGagne netted 11 of her 19 points in the second half and made 9 of 15 field goals. Freshman Marena Whittle came up a season-high five steals.

North Dakota State led 34-30 at halftime in a game where the score was tied 11 times and the lead changed hands on eight occasions. The Bison held a 22-21 advantage on the boards, committed only nine turnovers and scored 20 points off 15 Kansas City miscues.

Kansas City shot 61.9 percent from the field in the first half and 55.3 percent overall. The Kangaroos made 7 of 16 three-pointers including a trio from Emile Blakesly. Taylor Leathers scored 14 points for KC, while Blakesley had 11 and Barnwell added 10.



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