Streaks end with MSU's 78-67 win
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
North Dakota held a two-point lead at the break and scored the first nine of the second half but the Bobcats responded by shooting 65 percent in the second stanza, including a 5-for-5 mark from three-point range, to pull away.
"We built that 11 point lead and then we gave up some offensive rebounds," said UND head coach Travis Brewster. "Right now we've got to regroup, we don't have a lot of time to think about it as we head to Montana Saturday. I thought Montana State did a nice job tonight."
Following UND's early push to make it a 42-31 lead several minutes into the second frame, MSU would outscore North Dakota 47-25 over the final 17 minutes to hand the visitors just their third league loss.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the early going with seven tie scores and 11 lead changes in the first 20 minutes. Neither team led by more than four points in the opening stanza and North Dakota scored the final four points with buckets from Allyssa Wall and Leah Szabla to take a 33-31 advantage into halftime.
Coming out of the break, it was a quick 9-0 spurt for UND on the strength of four points from Mia Loyd, a basket by Emily Evers and a Madi Buck triple that forced a Bobcat timeout with 17:31 to go and a 42-31 North Dakota lead.
MSU immediately chipped away at the deficit, scoring the next six points in a 19-4 run that erased the margin and gave the home team the lead for good. The Cats turned a slim two-point lead into a 14-point cushion with another 17-5 spurt that put the game out of reach.
After Hommes was held to just three second-half points, Ashley Brumwell scored 12 of her 16 points after halftime to help the Bobcats cling to the seventh and final playoff spot in the league standings. With Southern Utah and Montana each garnering wins Thursday, UND's lead in the conference is now 1.5 games (two in the win column, one in the loss column) heading into Saturday's huge game at Montana.
North Dakota had four different players in double figures with Buck, Evers and Szabla each collecting 11 points.
UND heads to Missoula, Mont. Saturday to battle the Lady Griz of Montana. Tip is slated for 3:00 p.m Central.
Notes: Senior Allyssa Wall tallied three blocked shots to move her into third place all-time at North Dakota for a career, just nine shy of second place ... MSU's earlier win in Grand Forks, N.D. (Jan. 18) was also by 11 points and also snapped a UND five-game winning streak ... UND's bench outscored the Bobcat reserves 30-19 Thursday ... MSU missed its first four shots in the second half, but made 13-of-16 (81.3 percent) the rest of the way, including all five from distance ... UND and Montana (Saturday's opponent) lead the conference with identical 11-1 home records this season.