GRAND FORKS, N.D.— Sophomore Mia Loyd scored 17 second-half points en route to a team-high and career-tying 20 points to lift North Dakota to a 63-51 win over Northern Colorado Saturday afternoon at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND remains perfect in Big Sky Conference play, moving to 3-0 in the league and sweeping the season series with the Bears.
North Dakota dominated the glass in the win, out-rebounding the visitors, 49-23, including 23 offensive rebounds. That eye-popping total helped UND garner several different second-chance opportunities helping UND overcome a sluggish start from the floor (9-of-32 in the first half).
UNC (6-6, 0-3 Big Sky) got out to a nine-point lead at 20-11 with seven minutes to play in the opening half before North Dakota rallied. From there, a Kelsey Knox triple sparked an 11-0 run that put UND in front, 22-20. North Dakota would end the frame with a 10-0 edge in second-chance points and held a huge 27-11 edge in rebounding, 14 of those on the offensive end. UND would take a 26-23 lead into halftime.
After scoring just three in the first 20 minutes, Loyd went to work in the second stanza. The sophomore scored North Dakota's first nine points in the second half, but the Bears would not relent. A three from Jamie Derrieux put the deficit at just one, 37-36, but sophomore transfer Makailah Dyer scored her first collegiate hoop and followed with a three-pointer on back-to-back trips to force a UNC timeout.
The Bears immediately countered with six straight points to retie the score. However, UND also had a counter, holding Northern Colorado to just one field goal for the next nine-and-a-half minutes to rack up a nine-point cushion. Big Sky Conference leading scorer Stephanie Lee finally broke the spell, hitting a jumper and Lindsay Mallon scored on a layup to cut the lead to 56-51 with 1:23.
North Dakota hit seven of its final eight free throw attempts down the stretch to salt the game away, 63-51, and earn its eighth win in its last 10 contests. UND is the lone Big Sky school at 3-0 in league play and one of only two unbeatens in the very early going (Sacramento State 2-0).
Lee led all scorers with 23 points for Northern Colorado. Loyd added eight rebounds to her 20-point output and Emily Evers chipped in 11 points and six rebounds. Madi Buck tallied eight points, 11 rebounds two assist, two blocks and two steals.
North Dakota (8-4, 3-0) heads to Idaho State and Weber State on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Notes: UND is now 33-4 all-time against Northern Colorado ... Mia Loyd scored 20 points in each of her games against UNC this season ... UND owned a 21-2 edge in second chance points in Saturday's win ... North Dakota remained perfect at home this season (6-0) ... UND is 8-2 in its last 10 with its only two losses coming against Big Ten teams (at Minnesota, at Iowa) ... UND's +26 rebounding margin was its third of at least 20 this season (+30 vs. Mayville State, vs. Jamestown) ... UND is averaging a +15.5 rebounding margin at home this year.