USF trio combines to down UND, 85-58
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
"To be 0-4 with the schedule we have is not good on the surface, but the key is it has made us better," UND head coach Travis Brewster said. (Each of UND's first four opponents qualified for a postseason tournament last season, either NCAA or WNIT). "We're recognizing our pace of play is picking up with our competition. We played about 28 to 30 minutes of basketball tonight, but we have to play a full 40 and that's what's hurting us. We just can't have those lulls."
North Dakota led as late as 3:04 left in the opening half before the home team embarked on a 17-4 run to close the half and took a 10-point lead into the locker room. Up to that point, the game had been closely contested with eight lead changes and five ties in a back-and-forth affair until the final media stoppage of the first frame. Junior Madi Buck hit a triple for UND's first points as North Dakota finally broke free from deep with seven three-pointers Friday, easily the most in a game this season.
Buck later added a bucket and pair of free throws to account for seven of UND's first nine points and a 9-7 lead at the 13:45 mark. UND stretched its lead to as many as three on several different occasions, the final on a Carly Rothfusz trey with 4:04 to go in the half for a 22-19 score. From there, however, a triple for Orekhova for three of her game-high 23 and back-to-back makes from deep from Andrea Smith helped spark the late run for USF as it took control for good.
UND would close within single digits nearly three minutes into the second half on a Nicole Smart jumper but Orekhova immediately answered with a three-pointer-- one of her five from distance-- in the win. UND went almost eight minutes with just one field goal and the Bulls opened a 27-point advantage and went on to post the win.
All 11 suited players saw at least seven minutes of action Friday and 10 found the score sheet. Junior Megan Lauck scored a team-best 17 points for UND on the strength of a season-high three triples. Buck added 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks for North Dakota.
UND (0-4) will re-kindle the rivalry with North Dakota State next Friday. Tip is slated for 7:00 p.m. from the Bison Sports Arena.