WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Eastern Washington downs UND, Big Sky playoff picture out of the question
Coach Travis Brewster's day didn't end with Eastern Washington's 67-58 win against UND on Saturday at The Betty. Shortly after UND was eliminated from the Big Sky Conference postseason playoff picture, Brewster hit the recruiting trail. "We have ...
Coach Travis Brewster's day didn't end with Eastern Washington's 67-58 win against UND on Saturday at The Betty.
Shortly after UND was eliminated from the Big Sky Conference postseason playoff picture, Brewster hit the recruiting trail.
"We have to prepare and get better for next year," he said. "We've got to get out and do some recruiting."
UND dropped to 6-13 in the Big Sky and 11-17 overall. North Dakota has one game remaining -- next Saturday at Southern Utah. After that, UND goes on a full-court press to get better in its new basketball home.
"The Big Sky playoff picture is out but it would be nice to end the season with a win," Brewster said.
UND will have at least three scholarships to give next year, with the recruiting emphasis likely on guards that can score.
Points were tough to come by for UND against Eastern Washington, which improved to 12-6 and 16-11. UND shot just 28 percent against the Eagles' zone defense and North Dakota didn't mount a serious charge until the final four minutes.
Megan Lauck's three-point play on an Eagles' turnover cut Eastern Washington's lead to 59-54 with 3:42 to play.
Carrie Ojeda, who scored a game-high 21 points, hit one of two free throws on Eastern Washington's ensuing possession. But UND turned it over on its next possession. North Dakota turned it over two more times in the next two minutes to end any comeback hope.
"You have to make shots," Brewster said. "It was a tough shooting day for us. But they're a good club. They did a good job of mixing up their defenses. They did a good job of hiding their matchup zone."
UND also committed 20 turnovers, resulting in 23 Eastern Washington points.
The Eagles shot 38 percent, but hit five 3-pointers in the first half to gain separation. Guard Kylie Huerta, generously listed at 5-foot-1, hit three of the 3-pointers.
Eastern led 37-22 with 2:10 left in the half, but Madi Buck and Josie Dillon scored the final five points of the half to cut the lead to 10 at the break.
UND, however, couldn't mount a surge until the final minutes.
Lauck led UND with 14 points, while Dillon added 11 and Katie Houdek 10.
It also was the final home game for UND seniors Nicole Smart and Carly Rothfusz.
"It would have been nice to go out with a win," Smart said. "But we played hard."