SITE: Salt Lake City, Utah | Huntsman Center
RADIO: KSNR 100.3 FM (Mitch Wigness)
WEB AUDIO: UNDSports.com
WEB VIDEO: UtahUtes.com
LIVE STATS: UtahUtes.com
SERIES HISTORY ... UTAH
Overall: First meeting
*Saturday’s game will be the first matchup between the schools.
North Dakota closes out its non-conference schedule with a trip to the University of Utah Saturday. UND is looking to put a stop to a two-game slide before it re-opens Big Sky Conference play at home next week.
LAST TIME OUT
Northern Colorado scored the final six points of the first half and generated a quick start in the second half to secure a 53-41 win Dec. 22 in Greeley, Colo. D’shara Strange poured-in 19 of her game-high 27 points in the second half to lead the Bears to the win. Nicole Smart was the leading UND scorer with a dozen while Madi Buck contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds.
SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah comes into Saturday’s contest with a 9-1 record ... The Utes are receiving votes in the most recent AP Top 25 poll (Dec. 23) ... Utah’s lone loss was a five-point setback against BYU on Dec. 8 ... Utah has three players with 1,000 points in their careers (Taryn Wicijowski- 1,141, Michelle Plouffe- 1,100 and Iwalani Rodrigues- 1,091) ... Plouffe leads the Utes and ranks third in the PAC-12 with 16.9 points per game and is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per contest.
WON’T BACK DOWN
Next Thursday’s matchup with Idaho State will be the eighth against a postseason team from a season ago for UND. Through its first 12 games, UND will have played a pair of teams that made the NCAA Tournament and six more that advanced to the WNIT last year.
NCAA- Iowa State, Idaho State; WNIT- Harvard, Duquesne, South Florida, Drake, Northern Colorado, Utah.
UND got a boost over the semester break, announcing a big addition to its roster. Makailah Dyer will be joining the squad after transferring from the University of Wisconsin. Dyer is the cousin of current UND men’s basketball player Troy Huff. She was a two-time Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association all-state honoree as a prep. She also earned 2011 Second Team All-State honors by the Associated Press for Coach James Adams at Madison East High School, averaging 24.6 points per game as a senior, ranking second in the state. She racked-up 1,517 points (18.7 ppg) in her prep career and was a three-time all-area and all-conference selection.
RUN OF THE MILLS
Sophomore Cy’erra Mills made her first career start at Northern Colorado on Dec. 22. Mills earned the nod after a solid stretch that saw her average 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per contest in her previous four games. She only turned the ball over five times in that stretch in 87 minutes of action.
ABOUT THE START OF THE SCHEDULE...
UND’s first four losses this season all came to teams off to great starts and in the top 87 in RPI in NCAA Division I. Two of those four teams have just one loss on the season and are in the top 37. Saturday’s final non-conference game, Dec. 29 at Utah, also features a one-loss team (9-1, 73 RPI). A look at the records of UND’s first four losses and their RPI (according to RPIratings.com) as of Dec. 28.
|33-7 (.825)||55 (avg. RPI)|
“CENTER” OF ATTENTION
Sophomore center Emily Evers was named co-Big Sky Conference Player of the Week Dec. 10. Evers broke out in the win over Air Force last Tuesday by establishing new career bests with 17 points and 15 rebounds in the blowout victory over the Falcons. She also added two assists and a pair of blocks in just 14 minutes of action. She followed that performance with another 17-point effort in Saturday’s overtime win against Drake. She notched yet another double-double-- her third of her career-- with 10 rebounds as well. Evers chipped-in four blocks and two steals and sealed the win in the final second of overtime with a free throw make.
IN THE “NIC” OF TIME
Senior Nicole Smart had some defining moments of clutch in the overtime win over Drake Dec. 8. In the final possession of regulation, Smart blocked a shot to send the game to an extra frame then nailed a triple with under 10 seconds left in overtime to seal it. Smart leads North Dakota with 12 three-pointers this season, eight of those coming in this three-game UND win streak.
UND’s OVERTIME OVER TIME
Before its Dec. 8 win over Drake, North Dakota had not played in an overtime contest since a 81-79 win at South Dakota back on Jan. 13, 2007. With the win over the Bulldogs, UND extended its overtime winning streak to three straight with its last loss in an overtime game a Mar. 15, 2004 defeat in the NCAA Division II North Central Regional Final against South Dakota State (72-70). All time, UND is now 14-9 in games decided in extra frames, including a perfect 3-0 mark when it goes beyond one extra period.
A BIT ABOUT LAST SEASON (21-11)
The University of North Dakota women’s basketball team picked up the Great West Conference regular-season and postseason tournament titles, winning nine straight games to finish 9-1 in league play ... Center Allyssa Wall (North Sioux City, S.D.) was named to the GWC All-Tournament team and was voted the tournament’s most valuable player ... Also named to the all-tournament team was center Emily Evers (Grand Forks, N.D.), who averaged a team-high 13.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and shot 74.4 percent from the field ... UND advanced to its first-ever NCAA Division I postseason play, heading to Seattle University for the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
The University of North Dakota women’s basketball program holds an 808-315 (.720) record all-time since the first game was played in 1974.
The season-opening loss to Harvard pushed UND’s record in season openers to 29-8 all-time. North Dakota is now 19-5 in season openers at home, including losses each of the past two seasons.
The home opener is the start of a very challenging part of UND’s schedule. Each of the first four opponents qualified for a postseason tournament a season ago. In addition, only one of those games is at home for UND (vs. Harvard). Iowa State went to the NCAA Tournament while Harvard, Duquesne and South Florida all competed in the WNIT.
PROTECT AND SERVE
All-time, North Dakota is 440-89 (.832) when it comes to defending its own court. The team played at the UND Fieldhouse/Hyslop Sports Center before moving into its current home at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in 2004-05.
YOU BETTY, YOU BETTY, YOU BET!
North Dakota is 106-20 (.841) all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, which opened prior to the 2004-05 season.
Season records at ‘The Betty’
2004-05 -------------------- 13-2
2005-06 -------------------- 19-1
2006-07 -------------------- 17-2
2007-08 -------------------- 14-1
2008-09 -------------------- 13-0
2009-10 -------------------- 8-4
2010-11 -------------------- 9-5
2011-12 -------------------- 10-3
2012-13 -------------------- 3-2
UND FIFTH, SIXTH IN BIG SKY POLLS
UND was picked to finish fifth by the media and sixth by the coaches in the 2012-13 Big Sky Conference preseason polls. After three seasons in the Great West Conference following its move to NCAA Division I, UND enters its first season in the league.
The top four spots were identical in both polls with Idaho State, the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champion, grabbing the top position. Northern Colorado was the runner-up with Montana and Montana State slotted third and fourth, respectively, in both polls.
BIG SKY TV
Catch all home games and all conference road games live for FREE on the internet, thanks to Big Sky TV. The free video webstream is available by logging onto bigskyconf.com and clicking on the Big Sky TV button.
FOLLOW UND ON IHEART RADIO
Take North Dakota women’s basketball with you wherever you go with KSNR 100.3 FM (CatCountry) on the iheartradio app. Download it to your computer or your smart phone.
UND ON THE INTERNET
UNDSports.com is the official online home of University of North Dakota athletics. UNDSports.com is a veritable one-stop shop for the most hardcore fan, featuring breaking news, feature stories, game notes, live and archived video webcasts, FREE audio, FREE live stats, podcasts, blogs, player profiles, merchandise, photo galleries, news feeds, camp registration and much, much more.
CATCH THE LIVE ACTION
Select North Dakota women’s basketball games — home and away — can be heard live on CatCountry 100.3 FM with Mitch Wigness handling the play-by-play ... The radio broadcast can also be accessed via a live audiocast on UNDSports.com (Check the website for schedule changes and updates) ... Links for live stats, a live radio audiocast, live chat, and streaming video can be found on the official site of North Dakota athletics, UNDSports.com.
UND GONE MOBILE
The University of North Dakota athletics department and leading technology service provider NeuLion, Inc. (TSX: NLN) have launched UND’s official athletics mobile website, UNDSports.com. The new UND athletics destination offers a mobile device-enabled version of the site, amplifying the user experience on the go. The mobile website will deliver a condensed version of the official athletics site to provide latest news and quick updates to handheld devices. North Dakota’s official athletics website is available on all web-enabled devices by opening a browser and entering the UNDSports.com URL. Users can get the latest news, scores, upcoming schedule, photo galleries and more.