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Game notes: Final regular season home games on tap
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Updated: Friday 02/19/2014 10:34:51 (ET)
by Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
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Northern Arizona (8-15, 5-9 Big Sky) at North Dakota (16-8, 11-4)
DATE: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 7:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Grand Forks, N.D. (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center)
WEB VIDEO: & UND Insider
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

Sacramento State (16-7, 8-6 Big Sky) at North Dakota (16-8, 11-4)
DATE: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Grand Forks, N.D. (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center)
TV: Midco Sports Net/Fox College Sports
WEB VIDEO: & UND Insider
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

North Dakota closes out the home portion of its regular season schedule, hosting Northern Arizona and Sacramento State on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. UND remains in first place by a half-game over Montana and Southern Utah heading into the week’s action.

UND will be honoring its three seniors playing in front of the home fans for the final time in the regular season. Madi Buck, Allyssa Wall and Katie Houdek will all be recognized BEFORE the game tips Saturday against Sacramento State.

*North Dakota had its streak of out-rebounding opponents snapped at 13 with Saturday’s loss at Montana (38-37).
*UND came into the week 11th in the NCAA in blocks (5.8 bpg)
*North Dakota’s impressive +10.5 rebounding margin leads the Big Sky and is 8th nationally.
*Madi Buck leads the Big Sky Conference with eight double-doubles this season.
*Mia Loyd’s six double-doubles rank second.
*North Dakota has out-rebounded an opponent by 20 or more four different times.
*UND can clinch a postseason spot in the seven-team league tournament with a win or a Northern Colorado loss.

The Lumberjacks are the top shooting team (by percentage) in the Big Sky Conference, hitting 44.9 percent of their shots from the floor entering the week ... Amanda Frost is the top scorer in the league, pouring in 21.9 points per game ... Erikka Banks shoots 61.3 percent from the floor, tops in the conference ... NAU has won two straight, routing Portland State, 84-61, and ousting Eastern Washington, 86-78.

North Dakota owns a 4-1 edge all-time between the schools. UND was a 91-83 winner earlier this season in Flagstaff, Ariz. The teams split the season series last year: North Dakota earned a decisive 70-50 home win Jan. 26 before a heart-breaking overtime loss at NAU on Feb. 16 (64-60). All five meetings have come in UND’s Division I era.

The Hornets come into the week trailing UND by 2.5 games at 8-6 in Big Sky play ... Sac State’s Grinnell-style offense easily leads the league in scoring at 88.4 points per game ... The Hornets have scored over 100 points five times this season and have broken the conference record for points on two different occasions (currently 111 points) ... Sac State leads the league in steals (14.3), assists (17.7) and turnover margin (+9.96) ... Five different Hornets are in the top 30 in scoring, led by Alle Moreno’s 14.5 ppg average ... Fantasia Hilliard’s 6.6 assists per game are tops in the conference.

Sacramento State has won all three games in the all-time series. The Hornets were 110-104 winners earlier this season in Sacramento, Calif. Sac State took both games last season: a 79-77 win at the Betty on Jan. 24 before an 80-64 victory at the Nest on Feb. 14.

North Dakota has racked up an impressive 7-3 mark in games decided by five points or less this season. The only two losses in that scenario have come in road contests at Northern Iowa (61-56), at Minnesota (46-44) and at Montana (52-49).

North Dakota is nearing its 100th win in its NCAA Division I era (98-78, .557). UND has already secured its fourth winning season in its six years playing at the D-I level. North Dakota's 21-11 record in its final season in the Great West Conference (2011-12) ranks as the best record in that span.

North Dakota allowed just 13 first-half points to Portland State in a Feb. 1 win in Grand Forks. It marked the lowest point total for a UND opponent in a half since Mayville State scored just 11 in a half on Dec. 17, 2008.

The top two rebounders in the Big Sky Conference are each UND players. Mia Loyd (9.2 rpg) tops the league while Madi Buck (8.2) gives North Dakota a formidable duo on the glass.

Five different current UND players have now reached the 20-point plateau in a game in their career with four reaching at least 29. A look at the top scoring games for each player.

Madi Buck    37    vs. NDSU (12/14/13)
Megan Lauck    36    at SUU (3/9/13)
Makailah Dyer    29    at Sac State (1/23/14)
Allyssa Wall    29    vs. Houston Baptist (2/2/12)
Mia Loyd    27    at Weber State (1/11/14)

Madi Buck became the 29th UND player to eclipse 1,000 career points in a Jan. 25 win at Northern Arizona. She hit a three from the left wing in the first half to catapult her into quadruple digits. For her career, she has 1,101 points and would need to score 206 points in the final five regular season games and postseason to move in to 15th place at the school (Mallory Youngblut- 1,307).

Senior Allyssa Wall is the next closest UND player to 1,000 in her career with 882 entering the week. When she scores in double figures this season, UND is a perfect 6-0.

UND owns two five-game winning streaks this seaso. North Dakota rattled off five straight wins from Jan. 2 to Jan. 16 and again from Jan. 25 to Feb. 8 with Montana State proving to be the spoiler both times.

Sophomore Makailah Dyer started the season on a rough note from the free throw line, missing six of her first eight attempts (.250). Since then, however, she has gone 47-for-58 (.810).

With eight votes (33rd) in the CollegeInsider. com Mid-Major poll, UND sees itself receiving votes for the sixth straight week. North Dakota opponents Sacramento State (25th) and Northern Iowa (36th) also appear in the poll.

North Dakota checks in at 113 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, released Monday. That mark is the second-highest in the Big Sky Conference. Three UND opponents appear in the top 50 in the rankings this week:

School    RPI
Iowa    29
Minnesota    30
Iowa State    50
North Dakota    113
Sacramento St    121
North Dakota swept its first Big Sky Conference road trip with wins over Idaho State and Weber State on Jan. 9 and 11, respectively. UND is now 5-7 on the road this season, already surpassing last season’s win total in away contests.

North Dakota secured its 300th program road win Saturday at Northern Arizona. In its 39 seasons, UND owns a 300-182 (.622) mark in true road contests, including a 5-7 record this season.

North Dakota crashes the boards better than its opponents, a +10.5 margin. That rate tops the Big Sky Conference and is 8th in the NCAA. UND averages 44.3 rebounds per game (1st in Big Sky), but also allows just 33.8 (1st) to its opponent on average.

Since Kelsey Knox has been inserted into the starting lineup, North Dakota is 13-5. She’s played both the point and two-guard positions and has posted 72 assists to just 44 turnovers in her starts and has added 19 steals.

Sophomore Mia Loyd was named the Big Sky Conference’s Player of the Week Dec. 23 for her efforts in career-setting games. She corralled 22 rebounds in a win over Mayville State and countered with 20 points in the win at Northern Colorado. For the week, she averaged 19.5 points and 18 boards.

Senior Allyssa Wall swatted away five shots in the win over South Dakota, Nov. 17, a season best. That mark is one that she has hit six times in her four seasons at UND. For her career, Wall has 178 rejections, passing Sheri Kleinsasser for fourth-most at the school. She needs just nine more to lay claim to second place in program history.

Career blocks
1. Jenny Crouse    494
2. Sandi Walford    187
3. Kierah Kimbrough    181
4. Allyssa Wall    178
5. Sheri Kleinsasser    175

UND corralled 60 rebounds in the win over Mayville State, Dec. 18. That total is the most for North Dakota in the Division I era for the school. UND also out-rebounded the Comets by 30, also the largest rebounding margin since North Dakota transitioned in 2008-09.

Sophomore forward Mia Loyd has already quadrupled her production from last year from distance, making 4-of-13 from three this season. Last year, her only make was in the season finale at Southern Utah, a huge hit that helped UND erase a 21-point deficit to send the game to overtime.

22 FOR 2
Sophomore forward Mia Loyd gathered a whopping 22 rebounds in the win over Mayville State, Dec. 18. She had already tied her career high in the first half with 13 rebounds before halftime. Here are some notes from that performance:
*22 rebounds tied for second-most by a UND player in a single game.
*She out-rebounded Mayville State in the first half (13-12).
*22 boards most-ever by a UND player at home.
*That total is tied for fourth-most by a DI player this season (as of Dec. 20).

Senior Madi Buck enjoyed a game for the ages in the win over the Bison Dec. 14. She poured in 37 points and added nine rebounds, three steals, three assists and a block to help UND rally from down seven in the final minutes. Some notes from that win:
*Buck was named the Big Sky Conference co-Player of the Week.
*Her 37 points were tied for seventh-most in UND history.
*Those 37 are the most by a Big Sky player this season to date.
*It was the most points by a UND player since Becky Moen scored 37 vs. Minnesota Crookston on Dec. 20, 2002.
*She racked up 26 of her point total in the second half.
*In the final 2:05 of the game (final four UND possessions), Buck tallied eight points, a rebound and a steal.

UND has gotten the best of the Summit League, winning all four of its contests over the league in the past three seasons. In 2011-12, North Dakota defeated then-Summit member Southern Utah. Last season, UND bested North Dakota State and this year UND has picked up wins over South Dakota and North Dakota State.

The University of North Dakota women’s basketball team became the first program at UND to defeat a PAC-12 team with a 62-56 win at Utah on Dec. 29, 2012 ... Madi Buck led North Dakota in scoring (10.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg) ... Megan Lauck was second in the Big Sky Conference in free throw shooting (.835) ... UND renewed the rivalry with in-state foe North Dakota State, defeating the Bison in Fargo, N.D., 73-63 on Nov. 30 in the first game in the series since 2004 ... North Dakota scored a season-high 94 points in the season finale double-overtime loss at Southern Utah (Mar. 7) ... Lauck scored 36 points in that game, tied for 10th-most by a UND player in a single game.
The University of North Dakota women’s basketball program holds an 831-335 (.713) record all-time since the first game was played in 1974.
All-time, North Dakota is 456-94 (.829) when it comes to defending its own court. The team played at the  UND Fieldhouse/Hyslop Sports Center before moving into its current home at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in 2004-05.

North Dakota is 119-25 (.826) all-time at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, which opened prior to the 2004-05 season.
Season records at ‘The Betty’
2004-05 -------------------- 13-2
2005-06 -------------------- 19-1
2006-07 -------------------- 17-2
2007-08 -------------------- 14-1
2008-09 -------------------- 13-0
2009-10 -------------------- 8-4
2010-11 -------------------- 9-5
2011-12 -------------------- 10-3
2012-13 -------------------- 8-6
2013-14 -------------------- 11-1

Eastern Washington was selected as the team to beat in the 2013-14 Big Sky Conference Preseason Women’s Basketball Polls. The Eagles garnered six of the 11 first-place votes in the coaches poll and 20 of 30 top nods in a poll of the media. North Dakota was picked eighth by its fellow coaches and ninth by the media that cover the league.
2013-14 SCHEDULE
Regional rivalry games highlight the 2013-14 University of North Dakota women’s basketball schedule. Home tilts against North Dakota State and South Dakota coupled with the first of a three-year series against Minnesota precede the second season of Big Sky Conference play for UND.
2013-14 schedule by the numbers
*75th all-time meeting between UND and NDSU (UND leads, 41-33)
*20 Big Sky Conference games
*16 home games total (2 exhibitions)
*Nov. 10 date of first regular season game
*Nov. 17- regular season home opener (vs. South Dakota)
*13 games against postseason teams (NCAA- Iowa State, Iowa, Montana (2); WNIT- Eastern Washington (2), Idaho State (2), No. Colorado (2), Northern Iowa, Minnesota; WBI- South Dakota.

Catch all home games and all conference road games live for FREE on the internet, thanks to Big Sky TV. The free video webstream is available by logging onto and clicking on the Big Sky TV button. You can also get the new Watch Big Sky app for mobile devices and follow along with the cation live or catch on demand archives of recent games.
Take North Dakota women’s basketball with you wherever you go with’s mobile app. Download it to your computer or your smart phone for free and follow your team wherever they go.
UND women’s basketball home games can be heard live on KSNR 100.3 FM or KKXL 1440 AM in Grand Forks. Cat Country is the home for UND basketball-- be sure to tune to 1440AM for all UND basketball home games in conference action with Mitch Wigness providing women’s basketball play-by-play and Paul Ralston handling the home men’s games.


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