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Sioux capture first DI road victory with 94-71 win over Northern Arizona
Courtesy: UND Athletics Media Relations
Release: 11/29/2008
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Senior Kierah Kimbrough.
Courtesy: Shawna Widdel, UNDsports.com

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. With 24 points by Greenbush, Minn. native Kierah Kimbrough, the North Dakota women’s basketball team came away with its first road victory as a Division I program. In the final game of the Northern Arizona Fairfield/Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Classic, the Fighting Sioux defeated host Lumberjacks, 94-71.

 

UND closed out this week’s action with an overall 2-4 mark while NAU dropped to 1-6.

 

Seniors Kimbrough and Danye Guinn (G, St. Francis, Minn.) were named to the all-tournament team.

 

The first seven minutes of the game was back and forth but a loose ball recovery and a basket by Kimbrough sparked the Sioux offense and led them to a 48-28 lead at the end of the first half.

 

UND continued the momentum out of the locker-room and found themselves with a 29-point lead with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. Still able to hold off NAU, they came away with the 23-point victory.

 

Kimbrough shot 9-for-16 from the field as was a perfect 6-for-6 from the bonus line to lead the Sioux in scoring. She also brought down five rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.

 

The Sioux used an even attack to ward off the Lumberjacks. Mallory Youngblut (G, Davenport, Iowa) and Alys Seay (G, Grand Forks, N.D.) came away with 14 points apiece. Ten of Seay’s bench points came in the first half alone.

 

Another non-starter, Andrea LaFrance (G, Bismarck, N.D.) stepped up for North Dakota to put 10 points on the board. Kayla Bagaason (G, Clearbrook, Minn.) added another nine points.

 

Helping the Sioux to the offense was four steals and three assists by Jossy Bergan (G, Valley City, N.D.) and a team-high five assists by Guinn.

 

The Sioux shot 43.5 percent (30-for-69) from the field and 84.8 percent (28-for-33) from the free throw line. NAU was held under 40 percent shooting from the field and the three-point line, but hit 23-for-31 (74.2 percent) from the bonus line.

 

“In the first half, we came out with a lot of intensity and really attacked the ball,” said head coach Gene Roebuck. “We played good defense knowing that no matter who you are guarding, you have to attack the ball.

 

“Andrea and Alys played real hard from the bench to help us out.

 

“We’re looking forward to our return to Grand Forks because the bottom line is that we need to get home for some quality rest and relaxation before heading on the road again.”

 

It was a back and forth game of baskets in the opening seven minutes, but after a mere 90 more seconds off of the clock, the Lumberjacks found themselves doubled up by the Fighting Sioux.

 

Leading 10-6, Kimbrough picked up a loose ball from under the basket and was fouled as she lobbed it off of the backboard. With the free throw, she completed the three-point play to give the Sioux the 13-6 lead.

 

NAU followed with a basket of their own, but the Sioux answered with yet another three-point play. After she pulled down the defensive board, Yongblut hit Seay as she charged towards the basket. Seay made the layup and the bonus push UND ahead, 18-6 with 11:34 left on the board.

 

North Dakota continued to breakaway from the Lumberjacks with an 11-4 run midway through the first half aided by a pair of baskets by Youngblut and a three-pointer by Guinn.

 

NAU found itself doubled up once again with just under six minutes to play as Kimbrough hit a jump shot to give UND the 30-15 lead.

 

With continued penetration, the Fighting Sioux worked their way towards a 21-point lead. Kimbrough dropped in two baskets and a trio of free throws and both LaFrance and Guinn found Lof on the cut for another four points.

 

The Fighting Sioux never let the margin drop to less than 18 points in the final minutes of the half. They went into the locker-room with a 48-28 lead.

 

Back out of the gates, Northern Arizona scored five points before a Kimbrough basket pushed UND to 50 points.

 

The Sioux used the ensuing minutes and the arc to take a 66-43 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. Youngblut netted a pair of three’s while Bagaason and Ashley Privratsky (G, Devils Lake, N.D.) added one apiece.

 

With 6:34 on the clock, LaFrance cut to the basket and laid in the easy layup to give the Sioux their largest lead of the game, a 76-47 advantage.

 

North Dakota continued to hold off the Lumberjacks. LaFrance had seven points in the final two and half minutes of the game.

 

North Dakota is back at home for the first time since the season opener against Eastern Michigan (Nov. 14) as it hosts Jamestown College on Tues, Dec. 2. Tipoff between the Fighting Sioux and the Jimmies is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

 

- Go Sioux -

 

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