Klabo explodes again for 30 in road win at UMass

AMHERST, Mass.(UND Athletics) - Senior Lexi Klabo recorded her second consecutive 30-point game and notched her fourth straight double-double, leading North Dakota to a 59-52 road win at Massachusetts Wednesday afternoon in non-conference play. Klabo followed up a 30-point, 10-rebound effort Tuesday at Rhode Island with 30 more points and 14 rebounds in Wednesday's win to give her 86 points in the last three games combined.

"Lexi took it upon herself tonight and was highly efficient, but I think our team has great resolve and we had some players step into a role," UND head coach Travis Brewster said. "Jill Morton had 13 and Faith Dooley has just been solid for us with what we expect out of her to rebound and defend. It wasn't the prettiest of games but you'll take a road win any way you can get it."

Most of Klabo's damage came in the second half as she powered through double teams to collect 23 points after halftime. After a quiet first half by both teams, Klabo came on when North Dakota needed her most. She scored eight in the third quarter, then poured in 15 in the final frame alone to notch her third 30-point game in her standout career.

UND trailed early, 7-2, but locked in on defense to hold the home team without a point for more than 10 minutes and without a field goal for more than 12 minutes, building a lead that reached as many as seven. UMass (5-3) would rally before the break, however, and tied it at 18-all in a first 20 minutes that saw just 15 field goals combined by both teams.

The offenses got going in the third as each squad shot over 50 percent from the floor and the lead changed hands on numerous occasions on the way to a 38-38 tie heading into the fourth.

Near the end of the third, UND forced UMass' leading scorer Bre Hampton-Bey into her fourth personal foul, rendering her to the bench for a good chunk of the third and a bulk of the fourth quarter. The Fighting Hawks took advantage with Klabo going wild with 15 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks in that final stanza alone.

Klabo scored the first five points of that fourth quarter but had to fend off a pesky Minutewomen squad that was out to avenge an 82-52 loss at the Betty last season. Klabo had a pair of blocked shots on the defensive end and then made four straight free throws to help North Dakota build a five-point lead at 51-46 with just under four minutes to play.

Her jumper in the paint through traffic kept it at five points with 2:18 left until Destiney Philoxy's triple sliced it back to a single bucket with two minutes to go. The Fighting Hawk defense re-tooled and stiffened to not allow UMass to score again the rest of the way and UND salted the game away from the free throw line for its second road win of the season.

Klabo's double-double was the fourth consecutive for the senior and the 24th of her career. She now averages a double-double on the season with 22.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

North Dakota plays its final of a seven-game road stretch to start the season Dec. 4 at Northern Iowa. Tip is slated for 7:00 p.m.

Notes:
*Klabo leads UND with 6 three-pointers on the season (6-12).
*Dating back to last season, Klabo has scored in double figures in 15 consecutive games (9 double-doubles in that span).
*She's scored 30 points or more in three of her last nine games and has 20-poiint performances in 10 of her last 14 games.
*UND's 52 points allowed marked a season low and the least amount of points given up since allowing 51 at Northern Colorado on Feb. 24 last year.
*Klabo has led UND in scoring in every game and has paced UND in rebounds in each of the last five.