Grand Forks, N.D. - The North Dakota women's basketball team overcame a shaky start to post a 71-62 victory over Mayville State in the final non-conference tuneup for the squad on Wednesday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
The Comets (11-2) jumped out to a 9-2 lead and were within a point midway through the first half, but UND regrouped and held onto the lead for good thanks to sophomore Mia Loyd.
Loyd came off the bench in this one after starting the first seven games of the season and responded with career-highs of 19 points and 22 rebounds. She scored three straight baskets in a 9-3 stretch to put her squad up by seven with just under five minutes to play in the opening half.
UND would extend its lead to double figures by the end of the half thanks to a closing 8-2 stretch. Loyd had a double-double by halftime and outrebounded the Comets by herself 13-12. She had 12 first-half points, while teammate Allyssa Wall had 10 of her season-high 16 points in the first half as well.
Loyd and company would build their advantage to 20 points just over the halfway point of the second half at 60-40, but a barage of 3-pointers by the Comets made things interesting down the stretch.
After head coach Travis Brewster emptied his bench, the Comets cut the deficit to 10 points with just over two minutes to play, but with the starters back in, UND would not let the game get any closer until a late field goal put the final margin of victory at nine.
Senior Madi Buck had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and added five blocked shots for North Dakota, who won its fifth game in its last six outings.
The combination of Loyd and Buck accounted for 33 of UND's 60 rebounds as the home team dominated the glass by doubling up the Comets on the boards.
The Comets made things uncomfortable for UND thanks in large part to 10 3-pointers. UND could manage only three makes from deep on 19 attempts, while MSU hoisted 32 for the contest.
Marcisa McMillan led the visitors with 20 points, while Sabrina Rude added 15 off the bench on a quintet of treys. had a double-double for MSU with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
UND will open Big Sky play on the road Saturday at Northern Colorado. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
Notes: Loyd's 22 rebounds were tied for second in a single game by a UND player ... Jenny Crouse had 26 in a win over Augustana on Jan. 23, 1999 and managed 22 in an NCAA win over Northern Michigan on March 19, 1998 ... Both UND's 60 rebounds and its +30 rebound margin were easily the most since the NCAA Division I transition ... Katie Klapprodt scored her first collegiate points with a three-pointer late in the second half ... All 12 UND players that dressed played ... Josie Dillon scored her first points of the season on a pair of triples.