GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) -- Junior Lexi Klabo recorded her ninth career double-double on the way to a personal-best 29 points while adding 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots as host North Dakota dispatched Northern Iowa, 80-72, Saturday afternoon in nonconference play at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Fallyn Freije also chipped-in with her fifth career double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) as the Fighting Hawks etched their fourth consecutive win.
UNI built a lead of 15-8 but the Fighting Hawks stormed right back with buckets by Lexi Klabo book-ending a Fallyn Freije three to knot the score at 15-all with two minutes and change remaining in the first.
The Panthers would lead by as many as nine in the first half, but North Dakota surged back again. UND went on a 10-2 run halfway through that second quarter to make it a manageable deficit but UNI led by four at the break after Garrison-Nickerson's buzzer-beating bucket before halftime.
In the third quarter, North Dakota was still in a seven-point hole until Morton and Klabo got things going again as the pair combined for the next nine UND points, trimming the margin to just a deuce. Later, Morton would strike again from deep to push North Dakota in front, 55-54.
The lead changed hands just one more time when Nicole Kroeger tripled to start the fourth for a 62-61 Panther edge. Morton answered on the next trip then Freije added a bucket as UND would stretch the lead to seven with 3:44 to go.
UNI had one final push, whittling the deficit down to a single point at 72-71 on Riley Wheatcraft's three but that would be UNI's final field goal and North Dakota was able to salt the game away from the free throw line and record an 80-72 win for its fourth straight.
North Dakota heads to ninth-ranked Baylor for a Tuesday contest. The game is set for a 7:00 p.m. start from Waco, Texas.