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North Dakota has won 11 of its last 14 and sits atop the Big Sky Conference.
First-place UND off to California, Arizona
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Updated: Monday 01/21/2014 16:34:12 (ET)
by Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
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North Dakota (11-5, 6-1 Big Sky) at Sacramento State (11-4, 3-3)
DATE: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 | 9:00 p.m. CT
SITE: Sacramento, Calif. (The Nest)
RADIO:  KSNR 100.3 FM
WEB AUDIO: UNDsports.com
WEB VIDEO: WatchBigSky.com
LIVE STATS: hornetsports.com
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

North Dakota (11-5, 6-1) at Northern Arizona (5-10, 2-4)
DATE: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 | 7:30 p.m. CT
SITE: Flagstaff, Ariz. (Walkup Skydome)
RADIO:  KSNR 100.3 FM
WEB AUDIO: UNDsports.com
WEB VIDEO: WatchBigSky.com
LIVE STATS: NAUathletics.com
TWITTER: @UNDWBasketball

ON TAP
North Dakota heads to California and Arizona this week with first place still intact in the Big Sky Conference. UND sits at 6-1 in the league, a half-game ahead of Montana State. North Dakota will play upstart Sacramento State Thursday and tangle with Northern Arizona Saturday before returning home for four straight.

QUICK JUMPERS
*UND is 4th in the NCAA in blocks (6.3 bpg)
*North Dakota’s impressive +10.6 rebounding margin leads the Big Sky and is 9th nationally.
*Mia Loyd and Madi Buck each recorded back-to-back double-doubles Jan. 11 and Jan. 16. Loyd is tied for the league lead with six while Buck is third with five.
*Buck currently sits at 970 career points.
*Makailah Dyer’s 20 points on Jan. 18 beat her previous career best by 13 (7- Jan. 16).

SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE
The run-and-gun Hornets easily lead the Big Sky Conference in points per game with a whopping 90.3 per-game average ... Sac State has already attempted 598 three-pointers (40 per game) this season and has turned its opponents over to the tune of 24.3 per game, most in the conference ... The Hornets create havoc with steals, generating 15.3 per contest with four of the top eight individuals in steals in the league playing for Sac State ... Alle Moreno paces the offense with a 14.7 scoring clip ... Fantasia Hilliard is a midseason Nancy Lieberman Award watch list member, given to the nation’s top point guard.

ALL-TIME SERIES WITH THE HORNETS
Sacramento State took both games last season to grab a 2-0 lead in the all-time series. The Hornets escaped with a 79-77 win at the Betty on Jan. 24 before an 80-64 victory at the Nest on Feb. 14.

SCOUTING NORTHERN ARIZONA
NAU’s Amanda Frost currently leads the conference in scoring with her 21.8 points per game average ... Frost is tied for the league mark with 10 20-point games this season ... Her 39 triples rank second in the league ... Erikka Banks is second on the team with a 13.1 ppg average ... Banks is also third in the Big Sky in rebounding at 8.5 per game.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES WITH THE LUMBERJACKS
The teams split the season series last year to give North Dakota a 3-1 all-time lead. All four meetings have come in the NCAA Division I era for UND. North Dakota earned a decisive 70-50 home win Jan. 26 last year before a heart-breaking overtime loss at NAU on Feb. 16 (64-60).

BIG MACK
Sophomore transfer Makailah Dyer had a coming out party in Saturday’s loss vs. Montana State. Coming in, Dyer had scored just 14 combined points in the handful of games she’d played since becoming eligible at semester break after sitting out a year per NCAA transfer rules. She announced her presence loudly Saturday, scoring 17 first-half points en route to a career-best and game-high 20 points.

FIVE SCORE
Five different current UND players have now reached the 20-point plateau in a game in their careers after Dyer’s 20-point effort Saturday. A look at the top scoring games for each player.

Madi Buck    37    vs. NDSU (12/14/13)
Megan Lauck    36    at SUU (3/9/13)
Allyssa Wall    29    vs. Houston Baptist (2/2/12)
Mia Loyd        27    at Weber State (1/11/14)
Makailah Dyer    20    vs. Montana State (1/18/14)

TRAVIS-THREE
UND head coach Travis Brewster already has five three-game winning streaks in his young head coaching career. North Dakota’s most-recent five-game streak (snapped Saturday) was the longest under the second-year coach.

20/20 VISION
Senior Madi Buck and sophomore 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.  

AMERICAN TOP 40
North Dakota checks in at 97 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, released Monday. That mark is the highest in the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State is close behind at 101 while some key non-conference opponents appear in the top 40.

School    RPI
Iowa State    28
Iowa    37
Minnesota    39
North Dakota    97
Sacramento St    101

ROAD WARRIORS
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.

BACKCOURT BUDDIES
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.

BOARD EDUCATION
North Dakota crashes the boards better than its opponents, a +10.6 margin. That rate tops the Big Sky Conference and is 9th in the NCAA. UND averages 45.8 rebounds per game (1st in Big Sky), but also allows just 35.2 (1st) to its opponent on average.

FORT KNOX
Since Kelsey Knox has been inserted into the starting lineup, North Dakota is 8-2. She’s played both the point and two-guard positions and has posted 39 assists to just 22 turnovers in her starts and has added nine steals.

WALL DAY
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 840 for her career.

LOYD CHRISTMAS
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.

BLOCK WALL
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 167 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    167
6. Nadine VanDeKerckhove    152

BUCK WILD
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.

CRASHING THE BOARDS
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).

TOP OF THE SUMMIT
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.

MY OH MIA
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.)
 
A BIT ABOUT LAST SEASON (11-18)
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.
 
RECORD REWIND
The University of North Dakota women’s basketball program holds an 826-332 (.713) record all-time since the first game was played in 1974.
 
HOME COOKIN’
All-time, North Dakota is 452-94 (.828) 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.

YOU BETTY-CHA!
North Dakota is 115-25 (.821) 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 -------------------- 7-1

UND EIGHTH, NINTH IN BIG SKY POLLS
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.

WATCH BIG SKY
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 watchbigsky.com and clicking on the Big Sky TV button.
 
FOLLOW UND ON MOBILE
Take North Dakota women’s basketball with you wherever you go with UNDsports.com’s mobile app. . Download it to your computer or your smart phone for free and follow your team wherever they go.
 
CAN I GET A WIGNESS?
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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