MISSOULA, Mont.-- North Dakota rallied from down 10 in the fourth qaurter and tied it in the final minute, but Taylor Goligoski's jumper with 2.2 seconds left lifted the host Montana Lady Griz to a 53-51 win Saturday afternoon in Big Sky Conference play at Dalhberg Arena.
"I liked our defensive effort today and our overall effort and attituide was UND basketball," head coach Travis Brewster said. "Fallyn Freije is tough. Period. Fallyn and this team are starting exude toughness and soon success will follow."
With six minutes left, North Dakota trailed by 10, its largest deficit in the game. Jill Morton made the second of her two three-pointers then Klabo added a three-point play to cut the lead to 49-45. Later, it was 51-48 with just over a minute remaining when Freije ripped down the right side of the lane and scored through contact and made the ensuing free throw to tie the score with 24 seconds to go.
From there, Montana salted the clock all the way down to two seconds remaining as Taylor Goligoski hit a jumper to re-claim the lead. UND's last effort was thwarted when the in-bounds pass was stolen underneath the Fighting Hawks' hoop to end the ballgame.
It was a tight battle in the first half as North Dakota claimed the early advantage with Klabo scoring six of UND's first eight points. Freije crashed the glass for seven first-half boards but North Dakota couldn't quite break out offensively and trailed, 21-19, at halftime.
In the third, neither team led by more than four until Goligoski beat the buzzer for a preview of the finish to give Montana (12-10, 8-3) a lead of six heading into the final quarter.
North Dakota (10-12, 3-8 Big Sky) returns home to face Weber State Thursday evening at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Tip time is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Notes: Montana remains a half-game back of Weber State for the lead in the Big Sky Conference (8-3) ... Freije collected her ninth career double-double and sixth of the season ... Klabo's double-double was her 10th of the year and her 16th in her career.