Grand Forks, N.D.-- Portland State used a 30-15 first-quarter to run out to a lead of two-dozen at the break on the way to an 80-61 win in the regular season finale for both teams. The win gave Portland State the six seed in the upcoming Big Sky Conference tournament while UND will be the 10 seed and will play in the first round at 7:35 p.m. Central Monday against Montana State.
Junior Lexi Klabo, fresh off a career-best 31-point effort Wednesday against Sacramento State, tallied another double-double with 29 points and 10 rebounds, including a dozen of those in the third quarter alone as UND mounted a rally. After trailing by 24, North Dakota raced out of the gate in the third and trimmed the deficit to single figures on a few occasions, but turnovers once again proved costly as North Dakota gave up 24 possessions to PSU in the loss.
Portland State had four players in double figures, led by 20 from Ashley Bolston.
The Vikings led throughout, jumping out of the gate with a quick 16-5 lead from the jump and out-scoring UND, 30-15, in the first quarter. PSU would take a commanding 49-25 lead into halftime, seemingly in control.
But, North Dakota ran off 17 of the first 19 points to erase a bulk of that deficit in the third frame. Dooley started the half with a bucket on the first possession, then Klabo had 12 points in that stretch alone on her way to 29 points on the night. Her final jumper in that series came after she swatted a shot on the defensive end, grabbed the rebound and scored on the offensive end as the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center was primed to erupt.
UND had a couple chances to whittle it down further, but could get no closer. The deficit was nine on three different occasions, the final on a triple by Melissa Dailey, her third on the night. But, Ashley Bolston countered with a jumper and Kylie Jimenez beat the buzzer in the third as the Vikings led, 61-48, heading into the final period.
Once there, Jill Morton's three sliced it down to a dozen but again, Bolston answered and Jimenez added a three to stretch the lead. The Vikings put it away to earn their third straight win in the series, all coming in March.
UND will play Monday evening in the opening round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament as the 10 seed. The game is set against the seven seed at 7:35 Central against Montana State. These two teams tied atop the Big Sky Conference regular season standings a season ago.