GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) -- In a contest that saw 16 lead changes and 10 ties, a pair of defensive stops with under 10 seconds left in regulation, the University of North Dakota (3-1) defeated Valparaiso (1-2) as it shot 76-percent from the free-throw line on 25 attempts, 65-63.
Claire Orth recorded a steal with 9.9 seconds left in regulation while Jaclyn Jarnot, who recorded her first career double-double, scored the go-ahead basket and pulled down the game-sealing rebound as she led the Fighting Hawks with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Alaina Jarnot recorded 10 points and five assists. Valpo's Addison Stoller led all scorers with 23 points.
"I like the resolve this team has," said Head Coach Travis Brewster. "The key was that we improved at the free-throw line today, and it allowed us to make some points. Shooting 76-percent today was good and the biggest difference in the game for us."
Though North Dakota led by eight points early in the second quarter, Valparaiso rallied in the period to take 36-34 lead into the halftime locker room. The Fighting Hawks opened the third period with fire as they went on an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead early in the period and force Valpo to take its first timeout of the half.
After the Crusaders closed the gap, the teams traded baskets the rest of the way as they exchanged nine leads in the final half alone.
The North Dakota defense forced Valparaiso to make individual plays as it only recorded six assists on the day.
The Crusaders took its final lead with 4:46 left in regulation as Ilysse Pitts made a pair of free throws, but the Fighting Hawks held Valparaiso scoreless the remainder of the night.
After North Dakota got the ball back with 55 seconds after a Crusaders turnover, an offensive board by Mikayla Reinke with 29 seconds left proved vital as she slipped the ball to Jaclyn under the basket. Jaclyn kissed the ball off the glass and into the basket as UND went ahead, 64-63.
Reinke made the Hawks final point of the night, going 1-for-2 at the free-throw line with 8.9 seconds left. Jaclyn, Alaina, and Reinke forced Grace White to miss the game-winning shot with their defense in the paint, allowing Jaclyn to pull down the rebound as time expired.
North Dakota will return to action Wednesday, Nov. 20, when it plays at Georgia Southern. Tip-off in Statesboro, Ga., is set for 10 a.m., Central time as the Eagles will host its kids day.
NOTES: North Dakota has won three-straight games ... The Fighting Hawks have won two games by two points this season ... UND's largest win of the season was a six-point triumph over Rhode Island on Friday, Nov. 15 (67-61).