Courtesy: Matt Schill,
Second-year head coach Travis Brewster's team is 5-0 in the Big Sky and 6-0 overall at home this season.
Game notes: Perfect 5-0 mark on the line at home
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Release: 01/15/2014
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DATE: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 | 7:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Grand Forks, N.D. (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center)
RADIO:  1440-AM, 790-AM
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

DATE: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Grand Forks, N.D. (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center)
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

North Dakota sits all alone atop the Big Sky Conference standings, the lone unbeaten remaining in the 11-team league through two full weeks of league action. UND welcomes Montana and Montana State this week to the Betty, a pair of teams tied for second place in the early league race.

*UND’s 6.4 bpg ranks 4th in the NCAA.
*North Dakota’s impressive +10.7 rebounding margin leads the Big Sky and is 10th nationally.
*North Dakota is a perfect 6-0 at home this season.
*Mia Loyd and Madi Buck each recorded double-doubles in Saturday’s win at Weber State. Loyd is second in the league with five this season while Buck has four (third).

The Lady Griz are averaging 85.8 points through four Big Sky games and shooting 52.1 percent, that after shooting 37.4 percent in their nine nonconference games. ... The Lady Griz made quick work of preseason favorite Eastern Washington and Portland State at home last week, defeating the Eagles 81-64 and the Vikings 94-58. ... Montana faced a deficit for a total of 16 seconds in those two games ... Kellie Cole is the reigning Big Sky Conference Player of the Wekk after averaging 22.5 points per game in last week’s wins over Eastern Washington and Portland State ... She’s made 13 of her last 16 three-point shots ... She leads the Griz at 14.4 points per game this season ... Montana allows the fewest points in the league (62.2).

Montana owns a 5-1 lead in the all-time series including four straight wins. UM won both games last season, taking a 77-45 win in Missoula, Mont., and a 61-42 victory in Grand Forks ... North Dakota’s lone win came on a neutral site in 1984 (49-46).

After losing to Sacramento State in its Big Sky opener, MSU has rattled off three straight wins to sit 3-1 and in a three-way ties for second place ... MSU is the third highest-scoring team in the Big Sky heading into this week (73.8 ppg) ... Senior Ashley Brumwell sets the pace offensively with her 13.4 points per game, part of three Bobcat starters averaging double figures (Jasmine Hommes- 11.6 and Jackie Elliott- 11.4) ... MSU has four players in the top 15 in the conference in blocks, led by Brumwell’s 1.6 bpg.

MSU leads the all-time series, 4-3, after the team’s split the series last season ... Montana State won at home, 64-49, and North Dakota defended its home court, 62-55, on Feb. 7 ... That win snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bobcats that dated back to  the 2008-09 season ... UND is 2-1 against MSU at home.

All three teams on the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center court this weekend are in the top three in blocked shots in the league and all are in the top 10 nationally in that statistic. North Dakota leads the group with 6.4 rejections per game and Montana State (6.2) and Montana (6.1) close behind.

Team        BPG    Conf.    NCAA rank
North Dakota    6.4    1st    4th
Montana    State    6.2    2nd    6th
Montana         6.1    3rd    7th

North Dakota reaches the quarter pole of the Big Sky Conference race all alone in front with five wins without a loss. UND already has a 1.5 game lead on the field, but will be playing the three teams that are currently tied for second in succession: Montana, Montana State, Sacramento State.

UND head coach Travis Brewster already has five three-game winning streaks in his young head coaching career. North Dakota is currently on a four-game streak, tied for the longest under the second-year coach.

20/20 VISION
Senior Madi Buck and sophmore Mia Loyd became the first UND duo to each score 20 points in a game in the win at Weber State Jan. 11. Loyd turned in a career-high 27 points while Buck added 22 points to combine for 49 of North Dakota’s 83 points.

North Dakota checks in at 61 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, released Monday. That mark is the highest in the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State is close behind at 66 while some key non-conference opponents appear in the top 40.

School    RPI
Iowa State    13
Iowa    30
Minnesota    34
North Dakota    61
Sacramento St    66

North Dakota swept its first Big Sky Conference road trip with wins over Idaho State and Weber State on Jan. 9 and 11, respectively. UND is now 4-4 on the road this season, already surpassing last season’s win total in away contests.

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.

North Dakota crashes the boards better than its opponents, a +10.7 margin. That rate tops the Big Sky Conference and is 10th in the NCAA. UND averages 45.4 rebounds per game (1st in Big Sky), but also allows just 34.7 (1st) to its opponent on average.

Since Kelsey Knox has been inserted into the starting lineup, North Dakota is 7-1. She’s played both the point and two-guard positions and has posted 33 assists to just 19 turnovers in her starts and has added  nine steals.

When senior Allyssa Wall scores in double figures this season, UND is a perfect 5-0. The senior has surpassed the 800 career point mark and she sits at 836 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 165 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    165
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.

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.

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 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-12 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 825-331 (.714) 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.

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