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: Thursday 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.
North Dakota opens fall season at Roger Knapp Invite
The University of North Dakota men's tennis team began its fall campaign at the 2014 Roger Knapp Invitational at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa this past weekend. MORE
UND wraps up play at Gopher Invitational
The University of North Dakota women's tennis team completed the three-day competition at the Gopher Invitational on Sunday. Senior Kathleen Preston and freshman Aliza Deming made their... MORE
Fan Fest sets stage for season
A steady stream of University of North Dakota hockey fans filled the Ralph Engelstad Arena this afternoon, as UND hosted the sixth annual Hockey Fan Fest, presented by Midco Sports Network. MORE
Defense leads UND past Stony Brook
A 92-yard interception return by Alex Tillman highlighted the defensive effort by the North Dakota football team Saturday night, as UND topped Stony Brook 13-3 at the Alerus Center. MORE
Wysocki paces UND at Nebraska meet
Senior Erin Wysocki paced the University of North Dakota women's cross country team on Saturday at the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational, finishing 24th out of 78 runners. MORE