PHOENIX, Ariz. (UND Athletics) – With a +15 rebounding margin and opportunistic stops – including a steal by Megan Zander that led to the go-ahead basket in overtime – the University of North Dakota earned its first win of the season on the road as it defeated Grand Canyon in overtime, 78-76.
The tandem of Julia Fleecs and Jaclyn Jarnot combined for 43 points as Fleecs recorded her first career double-double with 23 points and 10 boards. Claire Orth also scored in double figures as she scored 10 points with four assists and two steals.
“It’s about defense. We didn’t play stellar D (today), but we played D when we needed to and tried to give everyone a heart attack, but that’s just the way it goes,” laughed Head Coach Travis Brewster in the postgame radio show. “This group is young, and we have to be able to work through our stuff, but we’re going to keep trying to improve.
“I like this group and their spunk,” Brewster added. “They’re very selfless, and that’s allowing us to grow as a team quicker than usual. We’ve seen a lot of young players develop quickly, and our returning players grow as well, so I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface with this group.”
The Fighting Hawks had two opportunities to win the game with under 12 seconds to play in regulation, but the Antelopes stuffed both attempts and recorded a steal with 5.3 seconds left to try and seal the victory. UND forced an errant GCU shot and extra time, as the Fighting Hawks took command of the free basketball period.
While North Dakota was 3-of-9 from the field, the aggressive UND front court attacked the basket as it made four of its six free throw attempts and drained its lone three-pointer attempt. Jaclyn scored seven of her 20 points in the overtime period.
The University of North Dakota posted 49 rebounds in the contest, including a staggering 19-6 advantage on the offensive glass to outscore the Lopes 15-2 in second-chance opportunities.
North Dakota will open its home schedule on Friday, Nov. 15, when it hosts Rhode Island at The Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Tipoff is slated for Noon Central on Fox Sports North.