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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: UND falls to Southern Utah; will host Big Sky tournament

CEDAR CITY, Utah — UND didn’t have its best game of the season Thursday night, falling to Southern Utah 73-53 in the Big Sky Conference regular-season finale for the Green and White.

However, it wasn’t a lost night.

UND learned it will host next week’s Big Sky Conference women’s basketball tournament at The Betty.

UND has already wrapped up a share of the regular-season title, finishing league play at 15-5 and 20-9 overall. SUU improved to 14-5 and 20-8 and can earn a share of the league title by beating Northern Colorado on Saturday.

However, UND holds the tiebreak and will host the seven-team tournament, which begins Thursday. UND will receive a first-round bye.

SUU, Montana, Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, Idaho State and Montana State will join UND in the tournament. The winner of next Saturday’s championship game advances to the NCAA tournament.

Tickets and game times for the tournament will announced today.

UND earned a share of the regular-season title in its second season in the league. Last season, UND finished 6-14 in the league.

Against SUU on Thursday night, UND struggled from the field — making only 9 of 42 shots (21 percent). UND’s points came at the free-throw line as North Dakota made 32 of 44 attempts.

Madi Buck led UND with 12 points but no other player had more than seven. Kelsey Knox finished with seven points.

SUU was led by Lori Parkinson’s 19 points. Hailey Mandelko finished with 15.

The Thunderbirds led 33-24 at halftime.