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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Bemidji State hangs tough with UND before falling 78-66

Bemidji State’s Kate Warmack, back, and North Dakota’s Allyssa Wall scramble for a loose ball during Tuesday’s exhibition game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks. Eric Hylden | Forum News Service

Tom Miller

Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — For the North Dakota women’s basketball team, Bemidji State didn’t provide quite the comfortable exhibition matchup one might expect from an NCAA Division II foe.

But Megan Lauck’s offense and the overall play of Mia Loyd and Madi Buck overcame a mini-scare from the Beavers in a 78-66 victory on Tuesday night in front of 1,320 fans at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Lauck, a senior from Shoreview, Minn., finished with 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field, while Loyd (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Buck (17 points, 11 rebounds) complemented with double-double performances.

“When we’re able to work through our offense, we get open shots,” said Lauck, who was 4-for-6 from 3-point land. “I was just able to knock them down.”

Bemidji State, which suffered a lopsided loss to South Dakota State in its previous exhibition, led by as many as nine in the first half as the Beavers shot 51.9 percent from the field and 57.1 percent on 3-pointers before the break.

Jessie Althoff’s jumper gave BSU a 33-24 lead about three minutes before intermission.

“We were doing a good job rotating on defense, and we knocked down some shots,” Bemidji State coach Mike Curfman said. “That was the difference. I was real pleased with how we played.”

UND, which ran into foul trouble in the opening half with point guard Leah Szabla (three) and Loyd (two), was fortunate to close within two points during the opening 20 minutes.

“Our slow start started in shoot-around,” UND coach Travis Brewster said.

“We came with a lackadaisical focus and it carried over to the game. But credit Bemidji; they executed and we lost shooters.”

Lauck, who had 13 first-half points, keyed UND’s charge. She hit a long 2-pointer, a 3-pointer and completed a three-point play — all in a short spurt late in the first half — as UND closed to within 39-37 at the break.

“I think in the first half, we were going too fast and rushing things,” Lauck said. “We were losing them defensively, and they’re all good shooters.”

UND, which led by as many as 15 late in the second half, controlled play after halftime, outscoring the Beavers 41-27 the rest of the way.

“They turned it up a notch defensively,” Curfman said. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well and UND hit some key shots. But overall, we got what we wanted out of this — other than a win.”

Bemidji State cooled off from the field, shooting 29 percent in the second half. Meanwhile, UND was 3-for-4 on threes in the second half and shot 50 percent from the floor.

The Beavers were led by Althoff’s 16 points, while Morgan Lee and Hanna Zerr chipped in 14.

UND 78, Bemidji State 66

BSU39    27 — 66

UND37    41 — 78

BSU — Hanna Zerr 5-11 1-3 14, Morgan Lee 6-15 0-0 14, Tatum Sheley 3-6 0-1 7, Kate Warmack 1-5 3-4 5, Jessie Althoff 6-13 4-4 16, Allison Cordes 0-0 1-2 1, Katie Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Melissa Youngblut 0-1 1-4 1, Emily Reichert 2-6 2-2 8. Totals 23-58 12-20 66.

UND — Leah Szabla 0-2 3-4 3, Mia Loyd 4-11 6-9 14, Madi Buck 6-14 4-8 17, Megan Lauck 9-13 3-4 25, Allyssa Wall 3-6 1-3 7, Siri Burck 2-7 2-4 7, Emily Evers 2-8 0-0 4, Ellen Kiser 0-1 1-3 1. Totals 26-62 20-35 78.

3-pointers — UND 6-15 (Buck 1-5, Lauck 4-6, Burck 1-4), BSU 8-19 (Zerr 3-5, Lee 2-7, Sheley 1-3, Althoff 0-1, Reichert 2-3). Rebounds — UND 52 (Loyd 11, Buck 11), BSU 34 (Warmack 9). Assists — UND 15 (Burck 4), BSU 14 (Zerr 3)

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