GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- Sacramento State shrugged-off a furious North Dakota rally in the final minutes to grab a 79-77 road win over UND at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center Thursday night in Big Sky Conference play. Emily Evers scored a layup as the clock wound down but the Hornets hit the front end of a free throw trip to ice it for the Hornets.
Sacramento State used an early 6-0 lead to take control in the opening half and led for most of the contest. UND (7-11, 2-7 BSC) fell behind by as many as 11 but embarked on a gutsy comeback to eventually tie the score at 68-all with just over five minutes to go. The final points in the run came on a Josie Dillon layup that gave UND 10 straight points and put the 1,354 in attendance in full throat.
As they did all night, the Hornets quickly had an answer, however, to quell momentum. Back-to-back threes from Fantasia Hilliard and Alle Moreno gave Sac State a half-dozen lead with 3:33 to go.
Megan Lauck tripled from the top of the key with under 30 seconds left to get it back within a possession at 76-73 and Evers added a layup with 15 to go but Moreno was able to calmly knock down a pair from the charity stripe to regain the three-point advantage.
With the clock expiring, Evers scored a layup but only 1.3 seconds remained and Moreno's miss on the second freebie gave UND no opportunity to get off a final attempt and the Hornets hung on for the road win.
Moreno led all scorers with 25 for Sacramento State (10-7, 5-3 BSC), thanks to five three-pointers in the contest. Kylie Kuhns added 13 points and 11 reboudns while Hilliard had 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Evers added a team-high 18 points and also grabbed nine rebounds for North Dakota, who dropped its fifth straight game. Buck recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Lauck chipped-in 16 points and four assists.
UND will host Northern Arizona Saturday afternoon in the finale of a brief two-game homestand. Tip is slated for 2:00 p.m.
Notes: North Dakota held a 55-38 advantage on the glass in the contest ... Dillon's nine points tied a career high and she's scored nine in each of the last two home games ... Sacramento State-- who leads the Big Sky in steals-- grabbed 13 Thursday, just above their average coming into the game.