MOORHEAD, MINN.  (VCSU)  – Valley City State withstood a late rally by Concordia College on Thursday night, hanging on for a 74-69 women’s basketball victory in Moorhead.

The Vikings led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the Cobbers pulled to within two points in the final minute. Kate Williams made a free throw to put VCSU up 72-69 with 14 seconds left, and then Alli Vandal created a steal off the ensuing inbounds and scored on a breakaway layup to ice the victory.

VCSU improves to 3-4 overall this season. Concordia drops to 1-2.

Valley City State held Concordia College to just five second-quarter points as the Vikings built a 12-point halftime lead and led the rest of the way. The Vikings led just 23-21 after a high-paced first quarter, but VCSU outscored the Cobbers 15-5 in the second quarter to open up a 38-26 halftime lead. VCSU shot 58 percent in the first half, including a 7-for-11 performance from 3-point range that buoyed the Viking offense.

The Vikings led by as many as 19 points at 49-30 after opening the second half on an 11-4 run. VCSU maintained its double-digit lead throughout the third quarter, but the Cobbers nailed a 3-pointer to beat the third-quarter buzzer and then opened the fourth on an 8-2 run to pull within 58-52 with 7:55 remaining.

Out of a timeout, Alexis Bentz knocked down a 13-foot jumper for the Vikings to stem the tide, and VCSU pushed the lead up to 10 points again. Concordia’s Amber Lingen responded with back-to-back 3-pointers late in the game as Concordia inched back to within four points at 71-67. Mira Ellefson scored on a breakaway layup with 27 seconds left to close to within 71-69, but the Vikings hung on for the win thanks to Vandal’s late steal and layup.

Mackenzie Huber had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead three Vikings in double figures. Kate Williams led the team with 10 first-half points and finished with 16 points, six assists and three steals. Vandal posted 12 points and seven rebounds. Five other Vikings finished with at least five points in the game.

Valley City shot 52 percent from the field (26-50), 42 percent from 3-point range (8-19) and 74 percent at the line (14-19). Williams made three 3-pointers for the Vikings, while Dierra Diegel and Hannah Schlecht each knocked down two 3’s. Concordia finished at 43 percent overall (23-54), 39 percent on 3’s (11-28) and was a perfect 12-for-12 at the free throw line.

Mira Ellefson and Amber Lingen both poured in 22 points to lead the Cobbers. Lingen went 6-for-9 on 3-pointers, helping to pull the Cobbers close in the final seconds.

Thursday night’s game was VCSU’s seventh straight road contest. The start of the game was delayed about 45 minutes after an afternoon snowstorm led to slick roads and slowed VCSU’s travel. Valley City State’s original charter bus went in the ditch on its way to pick up the team in Valley City, delaying the team’s departure from Valley City and causing the later start time.

The Vikings will be back home Tuesday night when they host Bemidji State University.

Up next: Valley City State hosts Bemidji State University on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. at The Bubble. Valley City State University will be conducting a food drive for the local food bank that night. Every donation of a non-perishable food item is good for $1 off your admission.

VCSU 74 Concordia 69