UND thwacks Hornets in regular season home finale
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Four different UND players scored in double figures, led by senior Madi Buck's 20 points. North Dakota also had a pair of players notch double-doubles as Mia Loyd scored 18 and had 12 rebounds while senior Allyssa Wall added 11 points and 10 boards in the win.
"We stuck with our game plan and slowed them down," said UND head coach Travis Brewster. "Our fans are great, what a way to send out our seniors. Give Sac State credit, they've got everybody playing a different style to try and slow them down with the unconventional things they do. I'm really proud with how our ladies executed our game plan.
"I'd like to thank everyone for the support of these ladies-- but we're not done yet. It's good to put ourselves in position where we're at and much of that is our senior leadership."
UND (18-8, 13-4) raced out to quick 10-2 lead by the first media stoppage with a controlled, calculated attack that kept it a half-court game. Sacramento State (16-9, 8-8) normally likes to create turnovers and push the pace to obscene levels forcing opponents out of their normal rhythm. UND turned the tables, waiting until the final seconds of the shot clock on many occasions, playing keep away from the Hornet pressure and finishing consistently to mount a lead in the first.
That UND margin would grow to as many as 20 in the opening frame with the game plan executed to perfection, holding Sac State to just four three-pointers made and trailing 38-23 at the break.
The second half was more of the same with the home team continuing to work its plan. It created open baskets with patience. In fact, UND made 17 of its first 19 shots from the floor (89.5 percent) and finished the half missing just four shots the entire stanza (20-of-24). North Dakota shot a blistering 67.3 percent from the floor for the game in earning its second straight 30-point win (NAU, 71-41 Thursday).
Fantasia Hilliard scored 13 to lead the Hornets, adding three assists and three steals but also committing four turnovers. The Hornets' leading scorer coming in, Alle Moreno, was held to just seven points.
North Dakota maintains a game-and-a-half lead in the Big Sky Conference standings after second-place Montana and Southern Utah each earned road wins Thursday. UND will play its final three contests on the road, beginning with a Thursday night tilt at Portland State. Tip is slated for 9:00 p.m. Central.
Notes: North Dakota did not attempt a three-pointer the entire game ... UND finishes the regular season with a 13-1 home record ... Wall's double-double was the fifth of her career ... Loyd has seven double-doubles on the season, second in the Big Sky only to Buck's eight ... It was Buck's seventh 20+ point game of the season and her 10th straight game in double figures ... UND is 7-0 when Wall scores in double digits this season ... North Dakota won the rebounding battle, 46-24, the sixth time UND has had a 20+ margin in rebounding in a game this season ... Buck, Katie Houdek and Wall were all honored pre-game for a senior celebration in their final regular season home game .