A balanced scoring attack that saw five different North Dakota players score in double figures led host UND to an 82-60 win over Eastern Washington Thursday evening at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Big Sky Conference play. EWU (8-10, 4-5) came into the season's as the preseason favorite by both the league's coaches and media.
Sophomore Mia Loyd led the way with 16 points in her first game back after a two-game absence due to injury. Senior Madi Buck had 15 points and 11 rebounds while Leah Szabla, Emily Evers andAllyssa Wall each contributed 11 points in the win.
A 25-9 North Dakota stretch in second part of the opening half helped the home team open a lead of 15. The final points in that run coming from sophomore Makailah Dyer, who tripled from the left wing and UND put it in cruise control. It was a 15-point lead at the break on Buck's three for a 48-33 lead at intermission.
In that first frame, UND outrebounded the Eagles 25-10 and finished the game with a +27 rebounding edge (52-25). North Dakota improved to 13-3 when it grabs more rebounds than its opponents.
In the second stanza, UND's advantage never dipped below 15 points and was as large as 25 in a dominating performance by North Dakota. The home team held EWU's leading scorer Lexie Nelson to just nine points.
North Dakota (13-6, 8-2) handed out 17 assists on 26 field goals Thursday. Sophomore Kelsey Knox had five helpers to go along with four points. Dyer collected four assits and added five rebounds. Szabla recorded 11 points, five steals, three rebounds and two assists.
EWU was led by Laura Hughes' 13 points off the bench while Hayley Hodgins and Aubrey Ashenfelter each chipped in 10.
North Dakota continues its four-game homestand Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. tip against Portland State.