BROOKINGS, S.D. (UND Athletics) – The University of North Dakota women’s basketball team fell to South Dakota State, 99-64, on Thursday evening from Frost Arena.
UND (12-6, 3-2 Summit League) dropped its sixth straight game to the Jackrabbits (14-6, 6-0 Summit League) and second league game overall, but still remain in a tie for third with Western Illinois and Oral Roberts.
Making the first start of her career, Kacie Borowicz tallied double figures with 11 points, two assists, a steal, and a rebound while Julia Fleecs led the Hawks with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting.
South Dakota State shot exactly the same as its men’s team did the night prior, hitting 30-of-60 (50%) from the field and holding UND to 23-of-72 (32%).
It was the shots from beyond-the-arc and the charity stripe that proved to be the difference, as SDSU earned 41 trips to the free throw line and hit six triples. The 41 free throw attempts are the most allowed by the Fighting Hawks in a regulation game since Jan. 24, 2015 against Eastern Washington.
UND hit a season-low one three, missing its first 21 from the field before Megan Zander knocked one down, and sunk 17-of-21 free throws.
South Dakota State won the rebounding battle, 48-36, but UND tallied 15 offensive rebounds to score 19 second-chance points.
Both teams got off to fast-paced starts, with the score being knotted at 12 at the game’s first media timeout. The shooting was there on the offensive side for the Hawks, hitting six of their first 11 shots, but four early offensive rebounds by the Jacks gave the hosts extra possessions and a tied game.
With the game tied at 14, South Dakota State took off with a run late in the first quarter. The Jacks struck for 12 straight points over the final four minutes of the frame to take a 26-14 advantage after 10 minutes of play. UND had done a nice job taking care of the basketball through the first six minutes of the frame, but turned it over four times leading to six SDSU points to help spur the run.
The hosts kept up its hot shooting through the opening minutes of the second quarter, extending the lead to 17, 35-18, less than four minutes into the stanza. After starting 6-of-11, UND struggled to a 2-for-11 stretch while SDSU hit at a 50% clip to build the lead.
The lead jumped to as high as 19 near the midway portion of the stanza, but a three-minute scoring drought by the Jacks allowed UND to climb back into the game. Back-to-back jumpers by Lilly Keplin and Oliva Lane put the Hawks back within striking distance, but the visitors started to get in foul trouble.
Four-different players finished the half with at least two fouls for UND, allowing South Dakota State to head to the charity stripe 17 times. Three-point shooting was also the difference in the first half, with SDSU hitting three triples while UND came up empty on its nine attempts.
Fleecs took over in the third quarter for the Hawks, striking for nine points over the frame to help whittle the deficit down to 18 with just over three minutes remaining in the stanza, after it was stretched to 24 by the Jacks, but SDSU bounced back from a three-minute scoring drought to extend its advantage to 29, 74-45, heading to the final 10 minutes of action.
Foul trouble caught up to North Dakota in the final quarter, with Fleecs and Lane picking up their fifth personals to end their nights. The Jacks continued to make their shots from the charity stripe to extend the lead to a game-high 36, 93-57, with just over three minutes to play.
The youth of UND saw a lot of action towards the final minutes of action and fought until the final buzzer, with the Hawks ending the contest with four true freshman and a redshirt rookie on the floor, but the visitors fell, 99-64.
North Dakota returns to action on Sunday afternoon with a showdown against North Dakota State at 2 p.m. from Fargo.