One step closer to the top

UND women’s basketball team prepares for weekend

Junior Mia Loyd dribbles the ball at the Betty Engelsad Sioux Center. Loyd garnered Big Sky honors earlier this week for the fourth time this season. Photo by Nicholas Nelson/The Dakota Student.

After taking on a Montana team that sat one game ahead of North Dakota, the UND women’s basketball team will continue its road series tomorrow against Montana State.

The Bobcats were the only team to take down UND at home last season, but this weekend offers a chance for redemption.

“It’s February, so you look at it from the standpoint of positioning yourself for the tournament, possibly even hosting the tournament,” UND coach Travis Bewster said. “It’s going to take a lot of work and it’s exciting for our young people.”

That excitement continues to resonate as UND will take on the challenge of clinching a road win.

The team is only one of five league schools with multiple road conferences wins in the 2014-15 season.

While the battle may be a test of where North Dakota stands, it’s also a way of measuring how far the team has come from the beginning of the season.

“You want to know where you’re at compared to what’s going to happen outside of the conference too,” Brewster said. “I think we did that very well in the beginning of the year, so we got to see where we’re at. And now at this time of the year we can improve upon ourselves where we were at to start the season. Obviously, playing the preseason WNIT helped us, being able to get a measuring stick to start the Big Sky.”

The last time UND saw Montana State was Jan. 1 when the Bobcats fell to UND 82-74 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Weekly honors

North Dakota will look to continue its success with the help of Mia Loyd, who was named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the fourth time. Her performance last weekend led UND to two conference wins over Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, when she notched an average of 19.5 and 9.5 rebounds.

Loyd’s 23 points last Saturday marked the eighth time the junior recorded a 20-point game.

A Minneapolis native, Loyd surpassed the 900-point mark to put her name alongside three other active UND players to notch the mark.

Staff report