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UND women's basketball wants to finish with a flurry

The Big Sky Conference women's basketball postseason tournament is right around the corner. UND, however, has a little bit of a luxury entering the event in Reno, Nev. The Fighting Hawks already have earned a first-round bye in the 12-team tournament.

Idaho's loss Thursday night locked up a top-four seed for UND, meaning UND won't play until March 8.

The Hawks, however, still have some unfinished business to accomplish, starting with today's game against Northern Colorado at The Betty. A regular-season league title still is a possibility.

UND enters the game in first place at 13-2 in the Big Sky and 18-8 overall while UNC is 12-3 and 20-6. UND downed the Bears 57-51 earlier this month in Greeley.

"We can't change the way we look at things," said UND senior Makailah Dyer, the team's leading scorer (15.2 ppg). "We have to keep this momentum going."

Dyer will be one of four players honored at Senior Day. Seniors Leah Szabla and Samantha Roscoe also will be honored as will junior Ellie Ripplinger, who will graduate. Those players all were on UND's 2014 Big Sky title team.

UND will finish the regular season next week on the road at Sacramento State and Portland State. After the March 3 game in Portland, the Hawks will travel directly to Reno, which likely will make for a lengthy road trip.

"There will be a lot of bonding time," said UND coach Travis Brewster. "It'll be a challenge academically, too. Our players take their academics seriously. We have to be sure we put them in a position to be successful in the classroom, too."

On the court, it's UND, UNC and Montana State all fighting for the No. 1 seed in the tournament. UNC and Montana State both are 12-3 and a game behind UND.

UND will end a three-game homestand with today's game. In its previous two, UND had to rally in the second half to defeat both Idaho State and Weber State.

"The past two games, we focused on our defense and rebounding and that allowed us to come back and play really well in the second half," said Dyer.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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