*Lexi Klabo has 15 games of 20+ pts this season (19 career).
*Klabo became the 36th UND player to reach 1,000 career points and just the 14th to do so before her senior season.
*She was named to the All-Big Sky Conference First Team Sunday.
*Klabo went into Friday 6th in the NCAA with 173 free throws made this season. She added 11 more makes Friday. *UND notched its 900th win in its program’s history with the Dec. 18 win over SMSU.
*Klabo’s 17 rebounds against UNC Jan. 20 tied a career high. She becomes just the sixth UND player to notch at least 17 rebounds in a game twice in a career (Ashley Langen- 5, Jenny Crouse- 4, Mia Loyd- 3, Pam Solseth- 2, Kami Winger- 2).
*UND has appeared in the postseason in four straight seasons (2014- NCAA, 2015, 2016- WBI, 2017- WNIT) (most in Big Sky).
North Dakota enters its final foray in the Big Sky Conference Tournament as the No. 10 seed, playing its first round game against Montana State Monday at 7:35 p.m. The winner of that game will take on Idaho Wednesday at 7:35 p.m. Central in the quarterfinals.
LAST TIME OUT
Portland State raced out to a 30-15 first-quarter lead and never looked back, taking out North Dakota at the Betty, 80-61 in the regular season finale. UND trailed by 24 at halftime but sliced the deficit down to nine on several occasions in the third but could get no closer. Lexi Klabo scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to pace UND.
LEADING LADY LEXI
Lexi Klabo became the 36th UND player to reach 1,000 career points Saturday at Northern Colorado. She was just the 14th player to reach that plateau before her senior season. Entering the conference tournament, Klabo is just 42 points away from cracking the top 25 at the school. UND has now had at least one 1,000-point scorer on each of the last five teams, adding seven players to the all-time list in that span (Madi Buck, Megan Lauck, Emily Evers, Mia Loyd, Makailah Dyer, Leah Szabla, Lexi Klabo).
ROUND OF APPLAUSE
Lexi Klabo was named to the All-Big Sky Conference First Team Sunday, her second all-league honor of her career. Klabo was a second teamer last season and was one of five named to the first team this year after averaging 18.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game through the regular season. UND has now had a first team member in each of the last five seasons.
Klabo ended the regular season with 60 points in the final week. She poured in a career-best 31 against Sacramento State and followed that up with 29 more against Portland State. She was 20-for-33 from the floor for the week.
ALL-TIME VS. MONTANA STATE
The Bobcats own the advantage in the all-time series, winning 10 of the 16 meetings. In the Big Sky era, MSU is 7-4 against UND. The teams split the two games this season with the home team winning on each occasion. This will be their first postseason meeting.
ALL-TIME VS. IDAHO
Idaho has won five straight in the all-time series and has taken six of the nine meetings total. This season, UND dropped a tight 80-75 decision on Dec. 28 in Moscow, Idaho before a 78-64 home loss on Jan. 27.
MORE TO MORTON
Noted more as a defensive guru early in her career, junior Jill Morton has shown a knack for carrying much more of the scoring load. She averages just under 11 points per game and has four 20-point games this season, including a 25-point outburst on Feb. 8 vs. Weber State in which she knocked down five triples.
ONE, SINGLUAR SENSATION
North Dakota held Weber State to one field goal for the entire fourth quarter to roar back for an 80-67 win Feb. 8 at the Betty. WSU was just 1-for-16 in that quarter (6.3 percent) after shooting an incredible 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) in the first quarter.
BLOCK IT OUT
Junior Lexi Klabo is inching among the leaders in blocked shots all-time at UND. She has 63 blocks this season, which puts her into the top 10 in that category at the school. Her 127 career blocks also place her in the top 10 at North Dakota.
True freshman Melissa Leet was a spark Jan. 27 vs. Idaho. Leet knocked down both of her three-point attempts, the first threes of her career. She added two more baskets on the way to a career-best 11 points, doubling her season output in the process.
UND has four wins against teams that appear in the CollegeInsider.com poll. North Dakota beat No. 21 Northern Colorado back on Jan. 20 and has wins against three teams receiving votes in the poll: Lamar, Weber State and Northern Iowa.
Coach Brewster picked up his 100th career win Feb. 8 against Weber State. Brewster has a pair of 20-win seasons to his credit already with four straight winning seasons coming into this year (all postseason berths).
January 20’s win over Northern Colorado marked the 500th home win for the University of North Dakota women’s basketball team. UND has called the UND Fieldhouse, Hyslop Sports Center, Ralph Engelstad Arena and the Betty Engelstad Arena as home venues in its 44 seasons. UND is 167-38 all-time at the Betty.
MAMBO NO. 5
Melissa Leet stormed onto the scene Jan. 13 at Weber State, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds. She logged a career-best 18 minutes and was 4-for-8, after starting the season 0-for-7 in eight games.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH
North Dakota recorded just eight turnovers as a team in the 79-68 win over North Dakota State Dec. 9. That total is tied for the fewest in head coach Travis Brewster’s tenure at UND. North Dakota would duplicate twice more, etching just eight in both games against Idaho (Dec. 28 and Jan. 27).
North Dakota has now won eight straight over North Dakota State, including all six in the Division I series. The teams will next meet in the regular season next season in The Summit League.
Juniors Fallyn Freije and Lexi Klabo each recorded double-doubles in the 79-68 win over North Dakota State Dec. 9. The pair also each went over 20+ points with Klabo scoring 23 and Freije etching a new career best with 26 in the win.
THAT’S PRETTY, PRETTY GOOD
Baylor’s Dec. 5th was pretty run of the mill. In fact, the Lady Bears extended their streak of wins over unranked non-conference teams at home to 182 straight. That stretch dates all the way back to 2003.
ONLY GAVE UP TWO TOUCHDOWNS
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.
PICKIN’ ON THE PANTHERS
Lexi Klabo scored a career-high 29 points in the win over Northern Iowa Dec. 2. She added 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the win for her ninth career double-double.
HONORS ROLL IN
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 CollegeSportsMadness.com 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.
REJECTION IS ROUGH
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).
REMEMBER THE SABBATH
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.
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.
TAKING ON ALL COMERS
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.
UND had 17 different 20-point performances last season, led by eight by senior Makailah Dyer. North Dakota has 22 this season, paced by Lexi Klabo, with a team-high 15. Jill Morton poured in 22 on back-to-back games on Jan. 13 at Weber State and Jan. 20 against Northern Colorado for her first 20-point efforts of the season and added a career-high 25 in a win over Weber State Feb. 8.
Lexi Klabo 19 15
Fallyn Freije 6 4
Jill Morton 4 3
CAN I GET A WIGNESS?
All University of North Dakota basketball games can be heard live on the UND sports Home of Economy Radio Network. The flagship for UND basketball is 100.3 The Cat with 1440 AM The Fan running games when men’s and women’s games are simultaneous. Mitch Wigness returns for his sixth season behind the mic providing the play-by-play for the UND women. All Big Sky Tournament games will air on 100.3 FM. Check UNDsports.com for more stations with coverage.
The University of North Dakota women’s basketball program holds a 905-394 (.695) record all-time since the first game was played in 1974.
All-time, North Dakota is 502-110 (.820) 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.
ONE LAST ROAD TO RENO
The Big Sky Conference is in the final year of a three-year agreement that sees its basketball championships held in Reno, Nev.
The Big Sky Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be played downtown at the Reno Events Center. The REC was constructed in 2005 and can accommodate roughly 5,000 fans in a basketball configuration.
All 12 men’s and women’s teams from the conference will participate in the championship. The tournament starts Mar. 5 and runs through Mar. 12. The league will move its postseason tournament to Boise, Idaho next season while North Dakota moves to The Summit League, which hosts its postseason tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.
HOW TO FOLLOW?
You can follow UND women’s basketball on twitter @UNDWbasketball for in-game scores, notes and links to live stats and how to watch.
FIGHTING HAWKS 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.