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Madi Buck again led North Dakota in scoring with 18 points in Thursday's first-ever Big Sky Conference win.
UND ousts defending champs in first Big Sky win
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Updated: Sunday 01/04/2013 05:48:02 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- Host North Dakota rallied from an eight-point second half deficit to post its first-ever Big Sky Conference win in a 64-59 victory over Idaho State at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center Thursday night. UND's first win in its new conference comes against last season's league champion and preseason favorite.

"All in all a good win, just happy to be part of the first Big Sky win," UND head coach Travis Brewster said to the media following the victory.

UND (6-6, 1-2 Big Sky) held Idaho State's leading scorer Lindsey Reed to just two first-half points and trailed by three at the break, 24-21. The Bengals (6-6, 1-2 Big Sky) ran-off nine straight points to take its largest lead at 35-27 midway through the second stanza.

Just as it did in last Saturday's big win over PAC-12's Utah, North Dakota quickly put together a run of its own to take control and wrestle away momentum.  Five consecutive points from Nicole Smart-- the final three coming from a triple from the right wing-- got UND within three and got the crowd energized.

Later, the 11-0 run continued after a pair of free throw makes from leading scorer Madi Buck (18 points). The play that brought the home crowd to its feet was 6-foot-5 center Emily Evers' athletic steal on the perimeter with a cross-court finish on the other end to give UND the lead. 

After UND made it a five-point lead, the Bengals quickly answered with five straight to re-tie the score at 45-apiece. From there, another Evers bucket and a Smart three regained the UND advantage, a lead that the home team would not relinquish. UND took a seven-point lead and salted the game away from the free throw line, coupled by a big triple by Siri Burck.

Buck-the reigning Big Sky Conference Player of the Week-again notched 18 points in the win.  Smart added 12 points with nine from Evers, eight from Brianna Williams and seven from Katie Houdek.

ISU (6-6, 1-2) had three players in double figures led by Reed's 18 points-16 of those coming after halftime. Kaela Oakes chipped-in 11 and Jessa Jeppesen added 10 for the Bengals.

UND will entertain Weber State Saturday afternoon in the finale of a quick two-game homestand. Tip is set for 2:00 p.m. Central.


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