UND women's basketball coach Travis Brewster had only two words for his team Saturday-focused composure.
And that's exactly what it took for UND to take down helter-skelter Sacramento State 94-71 before 1,405 fans at The Betty. UND improved to 2-0 in the Big Sky Conference and 7-6 overall.
Sacramento State plays a style of basketball that few teams play. For 40 minutes, the Hornets run, press, shoot the 3-pointer as much as possible and substitute five players at a time often.
It's a chaotic style, leading to high-scoring games.
"It's a very different style," said UND's Lexi Klabo, who scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. "We had fun but I wouldn't prefer playing that style."
UND led virtually the entire game. The Hawks, led by Makailah Dyer's 21 points, led 26-12 after the first quarter and held a comfortable lead the rest of the way. But the pace never slowed, even after Sacramento State (0-2 Big Sky, 4-9 overall) fell behind by 22 points early in third quarter.
"As a big player, it's hard," said 6-foot-3 senior center Samantha Roscoe, who scored 18 points. "I got a little tired running up and down the court. But we just had to stay focused on both ends of the floor."
Sacramento State shot the ball 74 times to UND's 66. And UND attempted only six 3-point shots, making two as the Hawks preferred better looks at the basket against the Hornets' trapping defense.
"They want to speed you up and make you take quick shots," said Brewster. "They'll trap you all over the floor and they'll try to make you turn it over. If you take a quick 3-pointer or quick shot and you don't make it, they're off and running.
"But our ladies did a heck of a job sticking to the game plan. We got out of whack for a while, but our seniors did a good job of getting us back on track."
UND finished with five players in double figures. In addition to Dyer, Roscoe and Klabo, Fallyn Freije added 12 points and Jill Morton 11.
Sacramento State was led by Emily Easom's 19 points.
The Hawks shot 49 percent compared to Sacramento State's 30 percent. UND had a decided height advantage and ended with a 60-36 edge on the boards.
UND now has won six of its past eight games as the Hawks prepare for road games next weekend at Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
"Discipline was the key today," said Brewster. It's something we've struggled with this year but it's building as we go. This was a good team win."