GRAND FORKS, N.D.— Idaho State used a third-quarter effort to propel the Bengals to an 68-55 win at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Big Sky Conference play Saturday afternoon. The win was the first for ISU in Grand Forks in six tries.
ISU out-scored UND by 10 in that stanza, building on a three-point halftime lead. The Fighting Hawks were only able to muster six field goals in the second half, four of them from junior Lexi Klabo who paced North Dakota with 22 points and nine rebounds. Klabo, though, was forced to play the majority of the fourth quarter in foul trouble as the comeback attempt fell short. UND trailed by as many as 15 in the third quarter until the Fighting Hawks stormed out of the gate in the final frame, scoring the first seven points and whittling the deficit down to just a half-dozen.
Idaho State (15-8, 7-5) responded and didn't let North Dakota get any closer in picking up its ninth road win of the season already.
UND claimed an early 11-6 lead with Melissa Dailey scoring the first five points of the ballgame. However, Idaho State went on a 17-4 run that spanned the first and second quarters to seize control. It was a three-point game at the break, 33-30 with Idaho State in front.
In the third, the Bengals stretched their lead to nine in the early stages. Following Bailey Strand's bucket with just under six minutes remaining in the quarter, UND got just one more field goal the rest of that period as the Bengals piled up a lead as large as 15.
UND would stage a comeback, though. Melissa Leet hit two free throws in the final second of the third quarter then UND ripped off the first seven of the quarter to trim the margin down to a half dozen quickly. Grace Kenyon tripled before Klabo had a three-point play to again make it a six-point game at 54-48. Dora Goles answered with another Bengal three and North Dakota didn't score another field goal in the game as ISU came out on top, 68-55.
ISU was led by Brooke Blair's 19 points while Dora Goles added 14 and Grace Kenyon had 11 for the Bengals.
North Dakota (11-13, 4-9) heads to Southern Utah Thursday evening.
Notes: Idaho State picked up its first-ever win in Grand Forks (1-5) and its first season series sweep over UND ... North Dakota leads the all-time series, 8-5 ... The Bengals hit 10-of-12 shots in that pivotal third quarter (83.3 percent) ... Klabo now has 12 games with 20 points or more this season and she now has 941 career points.