Hawks stay hot at the Betty

The UND women’s basketball team was back in action Thursday and Saturday, winning both of their games.

Thursday, the Fighting Hawks defeated conference foe Northern Arizona University 63-56 after a shaky start.

“The defensive intensity has to be there,” UND coach Travis Brewster said. “We blew some assignments, we blew some techniques, so we’ll come back tomorrow and review that.”

Turnovers and sloppy ball movement hurt the team early, but they got better as the game wore on. The good news for the Hawks was the Lumberjacks were struggling just as much, which allowed UND to overcome their own faults and pull out the win.

“A win is a win. We were happy to get the win in front of our home crowd,” Mia Loyd said. “One thing that we have to do is be focused when we come back Saturday.”

Junior Samantha Roscoe had a career night, tallying 14 rebounds. She was dominant down low and a key factor in the win. UND ended the night with 44 rebounds as a team, 14 more than NAU.

Fellow junior Stephanie Smith caused major trouble for NAU as well when they had the ball. The Big Sky leader in blocks added four more in Thursday’s action. She made NAU alter their approach because of her defense down low.

NAU was led by Taylor Leyva. Leyva came into the matchup averaging six points a game. She made her first nine shots she attempted en route to a career-high 23 points. The Fighting Hawks adjusted and shut her out in the fourth quarter.

Saturday, the Fighting Hawks took on another conference opponent in Southern Utah. A big fourth quarter surge led UND to a 68-56 victory, which brings them to a three-game winning streak.

“We figured out a way in the end to pull it out,” junior Makailah Dyer said. “But we’ve been talking about that all year, we have to start games better.”

Dyer had a team-high 16 points and Loyd added 15 points and 10 rebounds to record her sixth double-double of the season.

“We got an offensive lift from our upperclassmen,” Brewster  said. “They took it upon themselves and really executed to find a way to contribute if something wasn’t going their way.”

Southern Utah came to Grand Forks seeking their first conference win of the season. They kept with the Hawks until the fourth quarter when UND pulled away.

After giving up the ball 18 times in their last game against NAU, the Fighting Hawks only coughed the ball up 10 times Saturday, which is tied for the least amount all season. They did not record a single turnover in the first quarter.

Something out of the ordinary happened before the game even started. One of the glass backboards broke, forcing UND to replace it. The replacement did not have the proper LED lights, which caused an administrative technical foul awarding NAU two points before tip off.

UND’s next game is 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Arena. The team looks to get to four wins in a row against Northern Colorado.

Adam Gunderman is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]