The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student


What are your plans for the summer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

UND Picks Up Summit League Victory

Unsplash Images

For freshman Kiera Pemberton, Saturday’s win over the University of Missouri, Kansas City was more than just a Summit League victory; it was her highest-scoring collegiate game.  

“I was just driving hard and was so happy I hit a three,” Pemberton said. “So that was exciting.”  

Pemberton shot a three-point shot for the first time in her NCAA career, and as part of her career, she tallied a high of 27 points.  

The University of North Dakota defeated the University of Missouri, Kansas City, 76-62 on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. It was their second straight Summit League victory and their last home game before facing Oral Roberts and Denver on the road.  

It was a strong finish for the Fighting Hawks, who have struggled to find consistency and success this season with a very young team, Pemberton being one of the new young additions.  

She had a successful high school career in British Columbia, and the UND women’s basketball coaching staff is already impressed by what she had produced in her first year.  

Head coach Mallory Bernhard had a lot of praise for Pemberton.  

“She just never stops. Kiera never stops. A shot goes up, you’re going to find Kiera around the rim trying to get that rebound,” Bernhard said. “She just works and finds her way. In the right spots which happens when you constantly have effort. And then of course she has incredible athleticism and so she’s tough to guard off the bounce… She’s an incredibly special player.”  

Beyond Pemberton’s outstanding performance, the whole team showed up with nine players registering on the score sheet and four players scoring in double digits.  Destinee Oberg, a transfer fifth-year center from the University of Minnesota, had six points in the game, which were the most points she has had in a game for UND.  

Bernhard was impressed with how the team stood up against the physicality and toughness of Kansas City and played together past just individual player highs.  

“I thought our team competed incredibly hard. Kansas City is a tough team; we saw in the first half that they rebound. They crashed the glass hard, they put a ton of pressure on, and they can force some turnovers,” Bernhard said. “But I thought we were really tough today. You know, handled, obviously, some pressure. I would have liked to have handled it a little bit better, and we started rebounding a heck of a lot better in the second half. And mentally, we were pretty tough.”  

UND’s defensive performance in this game also stands out. UND held Kansas City’s top scorer to zero points for the entire game.  

While Bernhard admits that the player did get into foul trouble, she was still pleased with the team’s defensive ability to shut down a team’s leading scorer.  

“We were locked into what each player had to do,” Bernhard said. “And we spent a lot of time on player tendencies and how we needed to defend each individual.”  

The Fighting Hawks are hoping to keep this win streak going into their road stretch and improve their record to hopefully get a favorable opponent in the Summit League tournament at the end of the season.  

Pemberton says the key to continued success starts in practice. “Keep on bringing the energy in practice, and it transfers over to our games,” she said.  

Bernhard hopes the team will continue to learn and develop through the next two road games.  

“This road trip we have coming up is difficult, incredibly difficult, and so we just need to keep learning,” Bernhard said. “We need to keep our heads down and understand that everything we’re doing is a process… We just don’t want to get too high on wins. We don’t want to get too low on losses and just kind of work on things every single day to get a little bit better.” 


Maeve Hushman is a Dakota Student Sports Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] 

More to Discover