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UND women's basketball team to play at No. 8 Baylor

During the past few seasons, UND's nonconference schedule in women's basketball overall has been challenging. There haven't been many scheduling layups for the Fighting Hawks as they prepared for the Big Sky Conference season.

Tonight, UND takes its nonconference scheduling to a new level.

The Fighting Hawks will take on No. 8 Baylor in Waco, Texas. Baylor will be the highest-ranked opponent UND has played since the program moved to Division I in 2008.

Baylor is 7-1 after the Bears beat No. 16 Stanford 81-57 on Sunday.

For the sake of comparison, Baylor beat Lamar 121-62 on Nov. 10. UND edged Lamar 73-70 on Nov. 24.

So, why play a national power like Baylor?

"We're playing them for a reason," said UND coach Travis Brewster. "We want to see where we're at. It's going to come down to composure. It's going to come down to the little things, like setting up to make a pass, setting up to meet the pass. Can we do that for 40 minutes?

"It'll be a big task but we'll go down there and see what happens."

UND is 4-2 after rallying to beat Northern Iowa 80-72 on Saturday at The Betty. UND already has played road games at No. 19 Oregon State this season and at South Dakota State, which lost 68-64 to No. 4 Louisville on Sunday.

UND players are looking forward to the experience of going up against one of the top teams in the country. Baylor won the national title in 2012 and the Bears reached the Elite Eight the past three seasons.

All seven of Baylor's wins this season have been by 23 or more points. Its lone loss was an 82-68 setback at No. 7 UCLA

"It's a big game; it's Baylor," said UND junior center Lexi Klabo, who is averaging 19.7 points and 10.2 rebounds. "It will be fun to go there, compete and have some energy."

After tonight's game, UND returns home for three straight—starting Saturday against rival North Dakota State.

First, however, UND wants to learn a few things about its game at Baylor.

"We know it'll be tough," said UND guard Jill Morton. "But it will be a good chance for us to play at a really high level."

UND at No. 8 Baylor

• When: 7 p.m. today.

• Where: Waco, Texas.

• Radio: The Fan, 1440 AM.

• Records: UND 4-2; Baylor 7-1.

• Of note: This will be UND's seventh game against a team ranked in the Top 25 since 2010. Previously, UND has played No. 21 Green Bay, No. 20 Iowa State, No. 21 Iowa, No. 15 Texas A&M, No. 23 Iowa and No. 17 Oregon State.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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