First quarter haunts UND in 66-48 defeat vs. SDSU

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) -- South Dakota State used a 29-6 first quarter to vault past North Dakota, 66-48, on Friday evening at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in the first conference meeting between the foes since 2004.

Lexi Klabo was strong against Summit League opponents once again, scoring 17 points and adding nine rebounds for the Fighting Hawks (8-11, 3-3 Summit League). The senior became UND’s all-time leader in three throws made on Friday, passing Ashley Langen’s mark of 468 with a 5-for-6 night at the charity stripe.

North Dakota either outscored or matched the number of points by the Jackrabbits (13-6, 5-1 Summit League) in three of the game’s four periods, but the 29-6 advantage by the visitors in the first quarter proved to be the difference.

“Slow start,” said UND head coach Travis Brewster. “We came out and scored the first two points, but after that it was all she wrote. They [SDSU] did a good job of attacking us, but I thought we woke up after that. We won the second quarter, tied the third quarter, and won the third quarter, but the problem was the first quarter. There’s a reason they [SDSU] are at the top of the league.”

Macy Miller finished with a game-high 24 points for the Jacks while Madison Guebert and Tagyn Larson joined their teammate in double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

South Dakota State started the contest strong, converting 9-of-12 shots in the opening frame while holding UND to just 2-for-10 from the field to build a 29-6 advantage after 10 minutes. Following the first quarter, UND held the Jacks to just 11 made shots on 45 attempts (24.4%) while converting at a 37.2% clip (16-of-43) over the final three stanzas.

After SDSU built the lead to 23, UND started to gain some momentum late in the second quarter with a 6-0 run thanks to Klabo, Faith Dooley, and Julia Fleecs trimmed the deficit down to 41-23 before a pair of makes from the charity stipe by the visitors pushed the lead up to 43-23 at the end of the half.

The Jacks built their largest lead of the game, 27, in the third quarter, but UND answered the bell to match SDSU’s 13 points to trail 56-36 at the end of three. SDSU maintained its advantage over the final 10 minutes to capture a 66-48 victory.

North Dakota returns to action on Sunday afternoon with a visit to in-state rival North Dakota State at 1 p.m. on MidcoSN.