SignUp
Freshman Mia Loyd had a career-high 10 points off the bench, but UND's rally fell short in the team's Big Sky debut.
Southern Utah holds off UND in Big Sky debut
Text smallerText larger
Updated: Saturday 12/20/2012 23:53:28 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
Send this article to a friend Print RSS Shop
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Southern Utah withstood a late rally by North Dakota to pick up a 60-54 victory in the Big Sky debut for both teams on Thursday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND trimmed a 10-point second-half advantage to a single point in the final minute but SUU escaped with the road win for its fourth straight victory.

Cy'erra Mills' first career triple put UND (4-5, 0-1 Big Sky) within a point with two minutes remaining, capping an 11-2 UND run that brought the home crowd into it. Mills drained the three on the right wing to make it 55-54, but a putback by Carli Moreland on the next Thunderbird possession and three SUU free throws put the game out of reach.

"Too many turnovers," UND head coach Travis Brewster told the media following the game, "Southern Utah did a good job pressuring us. We've got to re-focus for a game Saturday. It was a tough flow of the game."

It was a back-and-forth, scrappy affair that saw the lead change hands 11 times with eight more ties scores as the two Big Sky rookies battled for its first win in league play. Southern Utah (6-4, 1-0) benefitted from a nearly six-minute stretch without a UND field goal in scoring 11 straight points for a nine-point cushion at 47-38 with 9:14 left.

That T'bird lead eventually got to 10 points with just over five minutes to go before UND embarked on a stretch to pull back into it. Emily Evers and Nicole Smart each made buckets and Mia Loyd had four points to set-up the Mills three.

The teams were tied 31-31 at the half and Evers would put the team ahead 38-36 with an old-fashioned, 3-point play early in the stanza, but that would be the final lead of the game for UND. SUU matched its win total from last season with its sixth victory of the year.

Evers and Smart each had 13 points to pace UND, while Loyd added a career-high 10 points off the bench. North Dakota outscored its opponent 22-10 in the paint, but Madi Buck picked up three personal fouls in as many possessions in the second half to further deplete an already thin roster at the post position. Buck finished with a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with five points, five steals and four assists.

Southern Utah was led by Hailey Mandelko's 11 points while Kimie Hawkins chipped-in seven points and nine rebounds.

UND will make a quick trip to Northern Colorado for its first Big Sky road clash on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.

Notes: Mills three was the first of her career after an 0-16 start from deep to start her career ... Loyd has scored career highs in each of her last two games ... Her 10-point effort Thursday more than doubled her season total ... Megan Lauck was held out of the starting lineup due to an injury sustained in last Saturday's win over Jamestown ... She managed to play 14 minutes, scoring four points Thursday ... Siri Burck earned her second career start ... Evers has now led UND in scoring in each of the past four games, averaging 15 points per contest in that stretch.
UND Insider Weekly - 205
This week on UND Insider Weekly: Football and volleyball both get big sky conference play underway......women's hockey goes on a scoring frenzy in their exhibition game....head women's hockey... MORE
Hockey Media Day Round-Up 2014
UND welcomed media to the Ralph Engelstad Arena for Hockey Media Day 2014, as the men's and women's teams kick off the season. MORE
Bengals and Wildcats up next for UND
North Dakota finishes its three-week road stretch with a pair of Big Sky Conference games against Idaho State on Friday, Oct. 3, and Weber State on Sunday, Oct. 5. MORE
Game Notes: RPI and Vermont visit UND
North Dakota begins the 2014-15 regular season with a pair of nonconference matchups this weekend, Oct. 3-4, at Ralph Engelstad Arena. On Friday, UND hosts Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)... MORE
Quartet of guests set for UND Coaches Show tonight
North Dakota head football coach Bubba Schweigert, head volleyball coach Mark Pryor and head women's hockey coach Brian Idalski will appear as guests tonight on the UND Coaches Show live from the... MORE