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UND hits road with unblemished league mark
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Updated: Monday 01/08/2014 10:42:35 (ET)
by Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
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DATE: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 | 8:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Pocatello, Idaho (Reed Gym)
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

DATE: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Ogden, Utah (Dee Events Center)
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

North Dakota puts its undefeated league record on the line this week with a trip to Idaho State and Weber State on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. UND is the early leader in the Big Sky Conference as the only team with three league wins and just one of two squads with an unblemished conference mark.

*UND is fifth in the NCAA in blocks (6.3 bpg)
*Allyssa Wall’s 2.4 bpg are 31st in the NCAA.
*Loyd’s 22 rebounds vs. Mayville State are 5th-most by a DI player this season.
*UND’s 75.5 free throw percentage checks in at 21st in the nation.
*North Dakota’s impressive +9.6 rebounding margin leads the Big Sky and is 22nd nationally.

The Bengals are coming off a grueling nine-game road swing, going 1-8 in that span ... ISU is a young squad returning two starters with eight newcomers on the roster ... Idaho State played in its second consecutive postseason tournament a year ago, playing in the WNIT a season after winning the league and going to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 ... The Bengals check-in at five in both the coaches and media preseason polls in the Big Sky Conference ... Lindsey Reed paces the ISU offense with a 14.6 points per game average while Jessica Tingey (6.3 rpg) and Kara Jenkins (6.2 rpg) are the top rebounders.

UND and Idaho State split the season series last year and the all-time series is square at one apiece. Both home teams won a season ago with North Dakota winning 64-59 on Jan. 3 for its first-ever Big Sky Conference win and the Bengals taking a 60-43 win Feb. 2 in Pocatello, Idaho.

A season after going 0-29, Weber State already has four wins in the early portion of this year ... The Wildcats are a very young team, fielding just a pair of seniors and having three sophomores in the starting five ... Leading their offense is Desiree Ramos, who puts in 13.1 points per contests and hands out nearly five assists per game ... Jalen Carpenter contributes 9.9 ppg and a team-best 6.7 rpg ... WSU defeated a pair of non-DI teams in the early season but have also charted wins against Air Force and Utah Valley.

North Dakota won both games last season and are 2-0 all-time against Weber State. UND took a dominating 73-49 win at home Jan. 5 before a 56-51 Jan. 31st win in Ogden, Utah.

North Dakota boasts seven different free throw shooters at or above 80 percent for the season. Starters Madi Buck (.836), Allyssa Wall (.821) and Mia Loyd (.800) are all in that mix. The starting five (Loyd, Buck, Wall, Leah Szabla and Kelsey Knox) are all above 69 percent and shoot .787 (170-of-216) combined from the charity stripe.

Sophomore Mia Loyd not only leads the conference with four double-doubles this season, she is averging a double-double for the season. Heading into Thursday’s tilt, the Minneapolis, Minn., native is averaging 13.2 points (tied 10th in the Big Sky) and 10.0 rebounds (1st in league) per contest.

Sophomore transfer Kelsey Knox handed out nine assists in UND’s thrilling 68-65 win at Northern Colorado Dec. 21. She matched the nine put up by fellow backcourt-mate Leah Szabla, who recorded nine dimes in the win over NDSU on Dec. 14. No UND player had previously reached that mark since current assistant coach Mallory Youngblut’s nine-assist effort on March 4, 2010 against Houston Baptist. The last UND player to reach double figures in that category was Danye Guinn, who dished out 11 dimes in a March 7, 2009 win over Houston Baptist.

UND ranks fifth in NCAA Division I in blocked shots coming into the weekend. North Dakota averages 6.3 blocks per contest, second-most in the Big Sky Conference. North Dakota has tallied 10 blocks in a game three times this season.

North Dakota crashes the boards better than its opponents, a +9.6 margin. That rate tops the Big Sky Conference. UND averages 44.6 rebounds per game (1st in Big Sky), but also allows just 35.0 (1st) to its opponent on average.

Since Kelsey Knox has been inserted into the starting lineup, North Dakota is 5-1. She’s played both the point and two-guard positions and has posted 30 assists to just 16 turnovers in her starts and has added eight steals.

When senior Allyssa Wall scores in double figures this season, UND is a perfect 5-0. Last week at Northern Colorado, the senior surpassed the 800 career point mark and she sits at 831 for her career.

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 163 rejections, fifth-best at the school.

Career blocks
1. Jenny Crouse    494
2. Sandi Walford    187
3. Kierah Kimbrough    181
4. Sheri Kleinsasser    175
5. Allyssa Wall    163
6. Nadine VanDeKerckhove    152

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.

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).

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.

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.

Sophomore forward Mia Loyd has already quadrupled her production from last year from distance, making 4-of-11 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.

THREE TO 1,000?
Seniors Allyssa Wall (734), Madi Buck (714) and Megan Lauck (692) all entered the season with a shot at surpassing the 1,000-point plateau this season and would look to become just the third UND trio of teammates to be in four figures in the same season. (1999 (4)- Jenny Crouse, Jaime Pudenz, Tiffany Pudenz, Katie Richards; 1997 (3)- Kelli Britz, Jenny Crouse, Tiffany Pudenz.)
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 823-331 (.713) record all-time since the first game was played in 1974.
All-time, North Dakota is 451-93 (.827) 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 114-24 (.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 -------------------- 6-0

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.
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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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