Fleecs and Zander Score 18 but Fast Breaks Lift Golden Eagles Over Fighting Hawks

Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 3:48 PM CST
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TULSA, Okla. (UND Athletics) – The University of North Dakota showed a spirited effort as it attacked the basket and went 24-of-30 at the free-throw line. However, turnovers and ensuing three-point baskets on the Oral Roberts  (3-6, 1-0 Summit) end of the floor created momentum swings that North Dakota (0-8, 0-2 Summit League) could not overcome as it fell to the Golden Eagles, 84-70.

The Fighting Hawks opened the game aggressively, attacking the basket on the offensive and defensive end, outscoring the Golden Eagles in the paint 18-8 in the first half. The physicality led to 27 free throw attempts and 25 fouls, however, ORU separated themselves from the Hawks with six three-pointers in the first and second periods.

The UND defense held Oral Roberts scoreless for almost three minutes in the middle part of the second quarter, erasing an 11-point Golden Eagle lead and tying the contest with 1:50 remaining. Oral Roberts closed that final stretch on a 4-0 run to take a four-point lead at halftime, 38-34. The UND bench proved vital in the half with the Fighting Hawks foul trouble as Olivia Lane scored six points and pulled down five rebounds while Juliet Gordon went to the free-throw line six times and converted four chances.

After a near even third quarter that saw UND within five points entering the final period, 62-57, the points off of turnovers proved to be a backbreaker for the Hawks as it found itself trailing by double-digits.

The fight remained in North Dakota as it countered with a spirited 5-0 run with 3:06 remaining on a Jaclyn Jarnot trey and a Fleecs steal and fast-break layup. However, Oral Roberts’ Keni Jo Lippe drained a three-pointer to quickly make it a three-possession game on the ensuing possession, 77-68.

”I’m not sure I want to see the final box score and how many turnovers we had, and how many turnovers that directly led to breakouts,” said Interim Head Coach Mallory Bernhard on the postgame show with Jack Michaels. “We’re going to continue to work on that but it comes down to that toughness. We get down and I want to quit getting down. We battle our way back, we close those deficits, but right when we get it in reach, we give up that big three.”

While the two teams finished with 50 personal fouls, Coach Bernhard was pleased with UND’s attack. “We wanted to get ourselves to the free-throw line, trying to attack to get ourselves there,” she said after finishing with UND’s second 30 free-throw game. “We talked a lot about this in pregame; we shot a lot of free throws this week. We think we’re 80-85 percent free-throw shooting so we want to get ourselves there.”

The Fighting Hawks and Golden Eagles will close their series tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s program at the Mabee enter.

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