Bobcats defend home court with 64-49 win
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
UND (7-8, 2-4) got a career-high 11 rebounds from freshman Mia Loyd, who played 24 minutes in the stead of Allyssa Wall and Katie Houdek-- a pair of North Dakota post players unavailable due to injury. Junior Madi Buck hit two triples en route to a team-best 11 points for UND while senior Nicole Smart added 10.
North Dakota definitely wanted to get off to a good start-- especially after an 11-1 run to start the game at Montana Thursday set the tone for the road trip. UND got buckets from Emily Evers and Buck to take a 4-2 advantage through three minutes but the Bobcats stymied UND for the next 5:49 and scored nine straight points for an 11-4 lead.
They would not relinquish that lead, however, they did have to stave off several UND efforts to slice into that margin. After trailing 34-21 at the break, UND quickly found itself down 17 just two minutes into the second period. Unfazed, an 11-3 North Dakota run whittled the deficit down to single digits at 42-33 with 13:10 left.
Key in the run were five quick points from Buck on a layup and a triple followed by a putback by Siri Burck near the end of the stretch. A Lindsay Stockton triple put it back at a dozen and after UND got it back to nine, again, MSU answered with a basket from deep as Kalli Durham put the lead back in double figures.
Loyd's free throws at the 3:26 mark inched UND back within 11 until Durham again responded with a three from the corner to help ice it. MSU had only three makes from downtown in the win, but all three stopped UND momentum and kept the home team in control.
North Dakota's four-game road trip continues Thursday when it heads to Eastern Washington. Tip time is slated for 9:00 p.m. Central.
Notes: Loyd's previous high in rebounds was a seven-board output in the win over Jamestown (Dec. 15) ... Loyd, in her last three games, is averaging 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game ... She averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest in the previous 12 games ... Montana State remained in a tie for first place in the Big Sky Conference with Montana, who defeated Northern Colorado, 56-42 on Saturday.