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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Langen, Seay lead Sioux

UND's win earlier this season at Minnesota State-Mankato didn't earn many style points. The Sioux believed they could have played better. The Sioux weren't exactly stylin' Thursday night in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. But the overall perfor...

UND's win earlier this season at Minnesota State-Mankato didn't earn many style points. The Sioux believed they could have played better.

The Sioux weren't exactly stylin' Thursday night in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. But the overall performance was somewhat better the second time around during UND's 84-69 North Central Conference win against the scrappy Mavericks before 1,925 fans.

The win improved UND to 4-1 in the league and 19-1 overall, while the Mavericks one of the most improved teams in the NCC dropped to 2-3 and 16-4.

Still, the Sioux left their locker room disappointed, knowing they should have cruised to an easy win. Instead, the Sioux had a few anxious moments in the final 10 minutes after building a 25-point lead.

"It's not a good feeling," said UND sophomore Alys Seay, who finished with a career-high 18 points. "We want to play better, especially at home. It feels like we escaped with a win instead of earning a win."

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UND won despite committing 24 turnovers, a handful coming against Mankato's full-court press in the final 10 minutes. The Sioux led 66-41 with 10:15 to go before the Mavericks fought their way back into contention.

The Mavericks, led by Tiffany Moe's 20 points, managed to pull within 13 points behind their pressure defense, but didn't have enough to make a serious charge at the Sioux down the stretch.

"Schizophrenia. That's the name of this game," UND coach Gene Roebuck said. "We had two different personalities out there. When they put pressure on us, our perimeter players didn't handle it.

"The turnovers we made were bad passes. We had players throwing the ball and not seeing the floor.

"But Alys came to our rescue."

Seay's biggest points came in the final five minutes. Moe's basket at 4:25 cut UND's lead to 71-58. But Seay responded with a basket on UND's next possession and hit the first of two free throw attempts at 3:49 for a 74-58 lead.

Ashley Langen, who reached another milestone in her career, grabbed the rebound of Seay's missed free throw and scored for a 76-58 Sioux advantage. Langen finished with 18 points and tied her career mark of 18 rebounds. She also went over the 1,000 mark in career rebounds, trailing only Jenny Crouse.

"Alys did a great job," Langen said. "She's a silent, but deadly player."

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Seay's steady play helped the Sioux gain control early.

A 15-3 UND run gave the Sioux a 20-8 advantage midway through the first half. UND's 54 percent shooting in the first half resulted in a 42-28 halftime lead. As usual, the Sioux dominated the boards, too, outrebounding the Mavericks 25-14 in the opening 20 minutes.

It appeared UND was on the verge of another blowout win.

But the Mavericks didn't quit, eventually coming up with an 11-0 run that cut UND's lead to 66-52 with 7:32 to go.

"We jumped out and got the lead, but they kept fighting," said Seay, who also had four rebounds. "They kept fighting to the end."

Mankato, however, again was plagued by poor shooting. The Mavericks, who have lost 24 straight games against the Sioux, shot just over 30 percent in their first loss against the Sioux. They improved to 37 percent in the rematch.

"Our shooting woes continue," Mankato coach Lori Fish said. "We competed hard for 10 minutes. But we need that kind of energy for 40 minutes."

In addition to Langen and Seay, Kierah Kimbrough and Danye Guinn also scored in double figures, finishing with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

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The Sioux shot 53 percent and outrebounded the Mavericks 48-32. But UND's turnovers spoiled the finish.

"This is a game we can't be satisfied with," Langen said. "When we get pressure, we seem to buckle. We want to be the aggressive team."

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