Jacks stop UND's home win streak

Feb. 2—GRAND FORKS — Before UND met South Dakota State on Thursday night, the Fighting Hawks had won all 10 of their games at The Betty this season.

The venue was starting to become a house of horrors for opponents.

That didn't matter to South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits — in the past decade or so — have faced bigger challenges. And most of the time, met those challenges.

The Jacks showed streaks are meant to be broken, evidenced by their convincing 75-57 women's basketball win over UND on Thursday night before 1,381 fans at The Betty. UND dropped to 5-6 in the Summit League and 12-8 overall while the Jacks improved to 12-0 and 18-5.

UND's home win streak was crushed by SDSU's dominating third quarter. The Jacks led 35-31 at the break but outscored UND 25-13 in the third. The Betty and its fans had no answer for the Jacks in that 10-minute stretch.

"That was one of the tougher crowds we've played in front of," said SDSU coach Aaron Johnston. "It was a good atmosphere. Our start was a little sluggish. We were a little inconsistent shooting the ball in the first half. But then we started making some shots and we defended a little better."

However, SDSU rebounded well all night. The Jacks outrebounded UND 47-40 but SDSU grabbed a whopping 20 offensive rebounds — leading to 17 second-chance points.

"For three of the quarters, it was a ballgame," said UND coach Mallory Bernhard. "They put us in some situations we quite couldn't figure out. And that's when they hit those three pointers, which ended up being backbreakers."

Leading 40-33, SDSU went on a 13-2 run, backed by two three-pointers from Haleigh Timmer, who led the Jacks with 16 points. UND was 2 of 13 from the field in the third quarter.

SDSU beat UND 105-72 last month in Brookings. The Jacks, before their game against UND, had been beating Summit opponents by an average of 25 points. So, there was a bit of a silver lining for UND in the loss.

"I think we can compete with the best in the league for at least those first 20 minutes," said Bernhard. "And if you look at the score in the fourth it says we were there. But we've got to find a way to dig deeper in those other 10 minutes. We're not as far off as maybe the score might look."

Nakiyah Hurst led UND with 16 points while Kacie Borowicz and Sammiya Hoskin each added 10.

SDSU is a long, athletic team that can run the floor. And they got to the line as well, making 24 of 33 from the stripe against UND.

But their rebounding — especially in the third quarter — was the difference.

"We had some good boxouts," said Hurst. "But we just couldn't go get them. It was like we were a second late."

UND will host South Dakota on Saturday.

"We're coming out with a lot of energy to make sure we get a win Saturday," said Hurst.