Courtesy: Russell Hons for
Iowa native Julia Fleecs (Glidden, Iowa) and the Fighting Hawks welcome Northern Iowa to the Betty Saturday.
WBB Notes: UND opens December with home tilt
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Release: 11/29/2017
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Dec 2
Northern Iowa Betty Engelstad Sioux Center 2:00 p.m. FOX Sports North, FCS Atlantic  100.3 FM, 740 AM  Live Audio  Pluto TV ch. 240  Live Stats

The Fighting Hawks head home for a stretch that will see three home games over the next four scheduled. UND gets Northern Iowa at the Betty Saturday then heads to Baylor for a quick Tuesday trip before three straight at home (vs. NDSU, Mayville State and Southwest Minnesota State).

UND squandered just 14 first-half points to UTSA in the Nov. 25 win. That total was the fewest allowed in a half for North Dakota since an 88-40 win over Dickinson State on Dec. 2, 2014 that saw just 13 second-half points for DSU.

North Dakota held UTSA scoreless for a whopping 10:42 in the Nov. 25 win. The Roadrunners scored with just under seven minutes to go to make it 19-14, didn’t see the scoreboard move until near four minutes were gone in the third quarter and the Hawks had piled up a 36-14 lead.

The Fighting Hawks trailed by 15 with 8:15 left in the third quarter vs. Lamar on Nov. 24 but rallied to win, 73-70. UND was down 13 at the break with 21 turnovers but managed to right the ship and out-score the Cardinals, 23-11 in the third quarter on the way to the win.

Junior forward Lexi Klabo has fought through contact down low and has already gone to the line 43 times through five games. She’s made the most of her opportunities, making 39 of those free tosses for an impressive .907 clip. Her 39 makes are already just five shy of her entire freshman season (62 attempts).

Klabo was named the Big Sky Conference’s Player of the Week for her performances in week two of the season. She was also the league player of the week honoree after a pair of double-doubles. She averaged 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks in games at South Dakota State and against UMass.

Klabo blocked a career-high eight shots in the win over UMass Nov. 19. That total was the highest single-game total since Jenny Crouse blocked eight shots at North Dakota State Jan. 30, 1999. Crouse is the school’s leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker all-time, leading UND to three NCAA Division II championships (1997-99).

Junior Jill Morton tied a career best with four three-point baskets in the win over UMass on Nov. 19. Morton made those four triple on just six attempts and is now leads the team in three-point percentage at .438 (7-for-16).

True freshman Mikayla Reinke corralled a career best six rebounds in the win over UMass Nov. 19. She has worked her way into a regular spot in the rotation, averaging over 15 minutes per game early in the season.

UND’s 82-52 win over UMass was its first on a Sunday in over four years (Nov. 17, 2013 vs. South Dakota). North Dakota had dropped eight straight Sunday tilts until the Nov. 19 win.

A-10 WIN
The Nov. 19 win over UMass was the first over an Atlantic-10 team for head coach Travis Brewster. The 30-point blowout gave UND its first win over an A-10 team since the 2011-12 season. North Dakota has played just three games against the A-10 since making the Division I transition in 2008-09.

Melissa Dailey, who led UND in scoring in the opener at Oregon State, got going quickly in that game. She took the opening tip to the three-point line and connected just seven seconds after the tip for a fast start to her UND career. It was one of three triples for the junior transfer on the afternoon.

The Panthers are 2-3 with a Thursday game at South Dakota State preceding Saturday’s tilt at the Betty. UNI has wins over Iowa State (Nov. 14) and Wyoming (Nov. 25) on the season. Kennedy Kirkpatrick is the team’s leading scorer at 13.2 points per game while Megan Maahs adds 10.6 points and a team-best 12.8 boards per contest. The Panthers are averaging just 56.2 points per game as a team, only scoring above 60 once, a double-overtime loss at Creighton. UNI out-boards its opponents by nearly six rebounds a game (41.2 - 35.4).

UNI leads the all-time series between the schools, 4-2. UNI was a 74-53 winner last season in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Both UND wins have come at the Betty.

All-time vs. Northern Iowa
UND trails 2-4
Home: 2-0, Away: 0-3, Neutral: 0-1
2/4/78         L                    50-68 (N)
12/18/10     L                    54-78 (A)
12/17/11     W                   74-70 (H)
11/12/13      L                    56-61 (A)
12/5/15       W                   64-59 (H)
12/18/16     L                      53-74 (A

Junior forward Lexi Klabo was named to the Big Sky Conference Preseason Team while her team was picked second by both the media and the coaches in the preseason polls. North Dakota has now been picked in the top two by the coaches in each of the last five preseason prognostications.

UND in the Big Sky preseason coach’s poll
Year                 Pick      Finish
2012-13          6th        T9th
2013-14          8th        T1st
2014-15          1st         T5th
2015-16          2nd       T2nd
2016-17          2nd       T1st
2017-18          2nd       --

Two different schools that finished in the top 10 of the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) last season appear on UND’s formidable non-conference slate. Oregon State (Nov. 10) was a 31-5 team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 while national power Baylor (Dec. 5), a seven-time defending Big 12 champion, highlight the non-league lineup. Three future Summit League foes dot the schedule as South Dakota State (Nov. 15) and South Dakota (Dec. 21), both of whom were WNIT qualifiers in 2016-17, join North Dakota State (Dec. 9) in key regional matchups. 

All told, nearly half of North Dakota’s non-conference schedule is against teams that were in the top 100 (5 of 11). Add Montana State once the league schedule gets underway and UND will have seven total games against top 100 teams and a total of 12 games against teams that made the postseason a year ago.

Bailey Strand (24 to 22) and Kaila Burroughs (32 to 23) are each wearing new numbers this season.

North Dakota will face a pair of nationally-ranked teams, according to the first WBCA poll. North Dakota matched up with 17-ranked Oregon State in the regular season opener then gets third-ranked Baylor on Dec. 5.

*12 total games vs. postseason teams from last season (5 NCAA, 2 WNIT, 5 WBI)
*7 games against Top 100 RPI and two in the Top 10 (Oregon State- 6, Baylor- 7, South Dakota State- 45, Montana State (2)- 59, Northern Iowa- 60, South Dakota- 80).
*UND’s nine Division I non-conference opponents combined for a 185-105 (.638) record last season, averaging 21 wins each.
*UND is playing its sixth and final season in the Big Sky Conference before moving to The Summit League in 2018-19.
*North Dakota (4) is the only Big Sky team with an active postseason streak longer than two.
*From 2013-17, UND had the most overall wins (78), Big Sky wins (52), league road wins (21) and tied for most Big Sky regular season titles (2).

Junior Lexi Klabo knocked down all eight of her free throw attempts in the opener at Oregon State. It marked the second-highest number of free throws she’s made without a miss in her career (10-10 vs. Weber State, Feb. 18, 2017).

The University of North Dakota women’s basketball program holds an 896-379 (.703) record all-time since the first game was played in 1974. All-time, North Dakota is 494-105 (.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.

You can follow UND women’s basketball on twitter @UNDWbasketball for in-game scores, notes and links to live stats and how to watch.

Take North Dakota women’s basketball with you wherever you go with’s mobile app. Download it to your computer or your smart phone for free and follow your team wherever they go.

All UND games can be heard live on the UND sports Home of Economy Radio Network, the flagship for UND basketball. Mitch Wigness returns for his fifth season behind the mic providing the play-by-play. Follow for affiliates and stations covering the postseason.

North Dakota will have at least nine games televised nationally, including seven home games. MidcoSN will produce five home games, highlighted by in-state rival North Dakota State on Saturday, Dec. 9. Alex Heinert returns as the play-by-play voice, while former UND women’s basketball player and assistant coach Val (Sannes) Sussex will serve as the analyst.

FSN’s two contests will be produced by UND Athletics staff, professional freelancers and UND students. UND Athletics’ Video Production Coordinator David Folske will produce the broadcasts and Assistant Media Relations Director Mitch Wigness will provide the play-by-play with Sussex handling analyst duties.

All nine games will air nationally on FOX College Sports.


North Dakota Basketball

3 NCAA titles, 16 conference championships
2014 Big Sky Conference regular season & tournament champions
2017 Big Sky Conference regular season champions
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