Team Play Lifts Hawks on the Road, 74-58

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (UND Athletics) -- Dishing 21 assists on 30 total field goals, North Dakota’s team play put the Fighting Hawks in the driver’s seat at Purdue Fort Wayne Thursday evening as they defeated the Mastodons, 74-58. Senior Melissa Dailey led all scorers with 20 points as the Hawks closed with three 10-point scorers.

UND finished the night 7-of-14 from behind the arc, led by Julia Fleecs’ flawless three-point shooting (4-of-4) en route to 19 points. North Dakota played well in transition, outscoring the Dons on the break, 10-2 while limiting PFW to 31-percent shooting in the first three periods. Lexi Klabo paced the Hawks on the glass with seven rebounds and added 10 points.

With the win and as a result of North Dakota State’s loss at South Dakota, UND clinched the No. 6 seed in the Summit League Tournament. They’ll play the No. 3 seed Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m. Central.

“I’m really proud of the way our team played on the road. Julia came in early and gave us a great lift offensively, we were a little stagnant to start, but I thought we did a good job of stretching the floor vertically,” said Head Coach Travis Brewster. “We have to continue to get better on the defensive side. I think what you saw from us today was a culmination of players coming in and working together.”

The first period was all Fleecs as she scored almost half of UND’s points in the period (10) as it led, 22-12, going 4-for-6 behind the arc, including two by Fleecs.

North Dakota’s offensive aggression continued the rest of the half, leading by as much as 20 points as eight different players scored in the opening 20 minutes. The Fighting Hawks finished the half with a 48.4-percent clip at the line on 15-of-31 shooting.

The baseline offense was North Dakota’s best friend in the third quarter as four of its seven baskets in the quarter came from that end of the floor, led by Melissa Leet’s three baskets from the spot to close the night with nine points.

The Fighting Hawks will close the regular season at South Dakota on Saturday, March 2, tipping off against the Coyotes at 1 p.m. Central.