Hawks Hot Shooting Not Enough as ORU Finishes +25 at the Free Throw Line
TULSA, Okla. (UND Athletics) – The University of North Dakota recorded its best shooting performance of 2021, knocking down over 43-percent of their shots from the field and 40-percent behind the three-point line with 11 makes. However, Oral Roberts University (4-6, 2-0 Summit) clawed its way to the free-throw line to outscore UND (0-9, 0-3 Summit) at the stripe 37-13 and win the night, 90-82.
Maggie Manson led a quartet of scorers in double figures, knocking down four three-pointers to finish with 17, while bench mate Jaclyn Jarnot contributed 14 as well. Megan Zander and Julia Fleecs led the starters with 12 points. ORU’s Gem Summers scored 31 points off the bench to lead all scorers.
“The girls fought hard, and that’s all you can ask for,” said Interim Head Coach Mallory Bernhard. “In the first quarter, we got ourselves some good looks, and we knocked them down. It was the best we shot in a quarter in a long, long time. They made that run in the second quarter but it wasn’t a huge run,” Bernhard continued. “They chipped the lead away, yes, but Gem Summers had a career night. We knew she was athletic; we knew she could shoot, but we hadn’t seen her do that.”
The Fighting Hawks soared in the opening period, knocking down 50-percent of their shots with four three-pointers to take a 21-19 lead in the quarter. A 9-0 run by the Fighting Hawks on three treys to open the second quarter gave UND an 11-point lead, 30-19. The hot start was made without Fleecs, who only played six minutes in the half due to foul trouble. ORU closed the gap in the final six and half minutes with a 15-4 as the two teams tied at halftime, 34-34.
Olivia Lane broke UND’s scoring drought while Mikayla Reinke tied it up with 23 seconds remaining on a long jumper outside the key. Zander and Manson led UND with 10 and 7 points, respectively, while Lane carried the team’s weight on the glass with a game-high six rebounds. Lane also added four points.
North Dakota found its stroke again in the third quarter as it finished 9-of-17 from the field (.529) to account for 21 points in the period, but ORU’s 26 points gave them a five point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Golden Eagles went on to control the fourth quarter as three Fighting Hawks fouled out in the period, sending Oral Roberts to the free-throw line 24 times in the quarter and 45 times on the night. ORU made 24 more trips to the stripe than North Dakota on the night. Lane led all rebounders with 10 in 19 minutes of action, her highest total in just her third game in the lineup.
Before walking back to the locker room to talk to the team, Bernhard spoke plainly with radio announcer Jack Michaels.
“When it comes down to it, we know we just need to get better every single day. We were picked to finish eighth in the league, so it’s not as though anyone expected us to win besides us,” she said.
”Eventually, we will break through it. Of course, there’s a lot on the physical side, putting the ball in the net in the hole, and obviously we have to get better defensively so we’re not putting teams to the line 45 times but we gotta work the mental side of it as well,” she continued. “We got to break through that mental barrier of keeping that lead. If a team battles back, we have to maintain that confidence that got us there, get back on the run and push.”
The Fighting Hawks will return home to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center next weekend when it hosts North Dakota State on Jan. 15 and 16. UND and the Bison will tipoff at 5 p.m. on MidcoSN and 100.3 FM The Cat.
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