Team banks exhibition win

UND claims 85-66 victory over Minnesota-Crookston on Saturday afternoon.

Redshirt freshman Ellen Kiser handles the ball in Saturday’s game against the University of Minnesota-Crookston at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.  Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

In its first action this season, the UND women’s basketball team downed the University of Minnesota-Crookston 85-66 in Saturday’s exhibition game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

“We played incredibly well for the first game of the season,” sophomore Josie Dillon said. “We dominated all over the boards.”

Five different UND players notched double-digit point totals. Dillon led for UND scorers, with 12 points off the bench. Siri Burch chipped in 11 points along with nine rebounds, while Madi Burck had 11 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Emily Evers and Megan Lauck also added 11 points to the board.

UND out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 53-26, including 19-8 on the offensive glass — giving the Green and White more scoring opportunities.

The balanced scoring for UND was due in part by the distribution of the basketball with 27 assists on 34 made baskets. Ten of those assists came from freshman starting point guard Leah Szabla, who added six points and three steals in her first collegiate game.

“We are all together and on the same page.” Dillon said.

North Dakota scored on its first two trips down the floor, but UMC hit back-to-back threes to take a brief lead. This lead would be short-lived, however, as UMC did not have a lead at any point the remainder of the game after UND went on a 10-point run and took the lead back.

Although the Green and White kept the lead and momentum, the Golden Eagles were relentless — bringing the score within a few points multiple times in the first half. Buck connected on threes in consecutive trips to drive the lead to eight as UND took a 45-37 edge into halftime.

Coming out of halftime, UND went on a 14-0 stretch that help clutch the 85-66 win.

Dillon said exhibition games at the beginning of the season are essentially a way to shake off the dust from the off-season.

“Playing smaller teams in exhibition games helps us get more prepared, because it is hard to get ready for a big game by just scrimmaging ourselves,” Dillon said.

UND has one more exhibition game before the season officially starts and it travels to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State.

“The intensity level is very different between small schools and the big schools,” Dillon said.

The Green and White will take on Bemidji State on Tuesday in an exhibition game before going to take on Iowa State on Nov. 10.

Allison Moore is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].