UND falls to Gophers

Women’s basketball team unable to claim victory over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

Despite a 16-point deficit, Minnesota climbed back to claim a 46-44 lead over North Dakota Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis thanks to a jumper from Shayne Mullaney with 3.5 seconds left on the clock.

Despite the loss, North Dakota is learning what it will take to improve.

“As far as holding them, I thought we did a nice job,” UND coach Travis Brewster said. “There’s still some room to improve. I think we’re going in the right direction defensively. We’re starting to understand some assignments. I think we’re also doing a very good job of just playing fundamental defense.”

UND held the 31-18 lead at halftime, but the Gophers’ Amanda Zahui notched nine-straight points in part of her game-high 25 to assist Minnesota in claiming the lead.

With a 5-1 disadvantage, UND saw it’s largest setback of the afternoon, but countered the disadvantage with a basket from senior Katie Houdek and a three-pointer from freshman Leah Szabla to tie the score at 6-all.

When a 14-14 tie set the teams even once again, North Dakota tallied 10 straight points with triples by sophomore Kelsey Knox and senior Madi Buck.

Coming out of halftime with the 31-18 lead, Buck scored on a layup right away in the second half, but Minnesota stayed in the game until UND forced a 41-40 lead with 7:47 left to play.

“We started out a little slow in the second half,” Brewster said. “I thought we were running on ‘E’ a little bit. Credit to Minnesota, they did a great job. We kind of found our groove again and they pressured us again.”

As the clock read four minutes left with the score tied 44-44, Buck split a pair at the free throw line.

With 3.5 seconds left, Minnesota scored on a jumper to take the win.

North Dakota is back in action Saturday when it will host North Dakota State at 2 p.m. in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center — an anticipated rivalry game

“We talked about that,” Brewster said. “We’ll get off the bus here and we’ve got to shift gears. It’s a rivalry game, there’s no question about it. We’ve got to lick our wounds and be ready to go.”