GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Sophomore Emily Evers’ career night led her North Dakota squad to its first home win of the season with a 76-42 victory over Air Force on Tuesday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Evers, who finished with career-highs of 17 points and 15 rebounds, led a dominant effort in the paint by the home team as the Green and White outscored the Falcons 28-10 down low.
“Our staple has got to be the defensive end of the floor,” UND head coach Travis Brewster said of his team’s 30 points off Air Force turnovers. “Offensively, we were working pretty hard in the first half and we talked about it at halftime to make sure we moved the ball around and made sure we got everybody involved offensively.”
UND-- as was the case in last Friday’s win at North Dakota State—raced out of the gate early and got a huge lead. North Dakota (2-4) scored the first seven points of the game and led 14-2 after junior Madi Buck connected on a 3-pointer for part of her 13-point effort Tuesday. The home team’s advantage never fell below single digits after that. The junior had seven points during that opening spurt and senior Nicole Smart added three first-half triples as UND took a 36-19 lead into halftime.
The Falcons turned the ball over 15 times in the opening 20 minutes to contribute to their woes and UND made them pay by scoring 16 points off those miscues.
Evers, after missing on four of her first five shots, finished the game 7-of-14 for a game-high 17 points in just 14 minutes. She also added nine offensive rebounds to her stat line as well as a pair of assists and two blocks.
Her career night, coupled with a career best from Cy'erra Mills, powered UND past the Falcons as North Dakota kept the intensity cranked up after its emotional win over its arch-rival Friday. Mills registered a personal-best seven points and racked-up six steals to lead the defensive effort.
North Dakota had three players in double figures scoring with Buck chipping-in 13 and Smart collecting 11 in the victory.
Air Force (0-8) was led by Simone Potts’ 13 points with Katie Hilbig adding nine points and eight rebounds.
UND will continue its four-game homestand Saturday when it entertains Drake at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center at 2:00 p.m.
Notes: All UND 11 players that dressed Tuesday scored … Katie Houdek was unavailable due to injury (day-to-day) … Allyssa Wall played her second game of the season, scoring five points, grabbing five rebounds and adding three blocked shots in 13 minutes off the bench … Evers other career double-double came in a win last season at Chicago State (13 pts, 13 rbs) … UND avenged last season’s loss at Air Force (65-54, 1/5/12).