GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota women's basketball team held on for a 45-42 win over Idaho State on Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
UND (5-10, 1-3 BSC) picked up its first Big Sky Conference win of the season while Idaho State remains winless in the league (7-7, 0-3).
The first half saw both schools struggling to shoot the basketball as both ISU and UND shot under 26 percent in the half. In fact, the teams combined for 22 turnovers as well as each squad took their respective punches from the other team.
With the Bengals leading just 17-15 at the halftime break, UND was looking for a spark. It found it when Fallyn Freije hit a 3-pointer on the first possession to spark a 7-0 run for the Fighting Hawks.
That run helped UND outscore the Bengals 19-10 in the third quarter as the home team took an 11-point lead.
Idaho State would climb back into the game in the fourth quarter with some hot shooting from 3-point land. The Bengals closed it to a bucket with a Lindsey Brown triple with just under two minutes remaining. Samantha Roscoe answered with a pair of huge free throw makes before Isabel Vara de Rey nailed a three to trim the lead down to one with 53 seconds to go.
With the score 43-42 in favor of UND, Idaho State had the ball with 30 seconds left and looked to potentially take the last shot. After melting the clock down to under 10 seconds, Apiphany Woods drove the middle of the lane but Leah Szabla poked the ball free from behind and Kelsey Knox dove on the loose ball to force the key turnover, the 20th of the afternoon for the Bengals.
Szabla would help ice the game seconds later by grabbing the in-bounds pass and quickly getting fouled. Once to the free throw line, she would make both attempts for her only points of the night and a 45-42 UND win.
Makailah Dyer led all scorers with 15 while Stephanie Smith added nine points and 11 rebounds in the win.
North Dakota now heads to Montana in search of its first win in that state since joing the laegue in 2012-13. UND starts the trip with a Thursday evening battle with Montana State before a Saturday afternoon affair with the defending league champion Montana Lady Griz.