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UND's Lexi Klabo looks to continue dominant stretch at home for the first time this season

Northern Iowa forward Taylor Hagen attempts to block the Fighting Hawks' Lexi Klabo as she goes to the basket in a game last season. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

UND senior Lexi Klabo is riding one of the most dominant stretches in program history.

On Friday morning, fans in Grand Forks will actually have a chance to witness it.

After spending the entire month of November on the road, UND's eighth game of the season will be its first at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

The Fighting Hawks (2-5) play Horizon League member Milwaukee (3-5) at 11:30 a.m.

Klabo, a 6-foot-2 Fargo native, ranks No. 14 in all of NCAA Division I women's basketball with a scoring average of 22.1 points per game.

Klabo, who had 30 points in back-to-back games against Rhode Island (Nov. 27 loss) and UMass (Nov. 28 win), has a Summit League-best four double-doubles this year.

"The biggest thing is she's playing the power forward, so she's not at center, so she's getting different touches," UND coach Travis Brewster said. "We're working on different things with our offense to curtail to her strengths."

Brewster, who said her and Klabo have talked about the versatility of NBA players like Charles Barkley, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant, said her ability to drive and shoot from the outside—to match her post skills—is what separates the former Fargo Davies High School athlete from others.

Klabo is shooting better than 57 percent from the field and ranks No. 9 in the country in free throws made with 44. She's also 7-for-14 from the 3-point line this year.

"I think the big thing for me is playing aggressive from the beginning to the end," Klabo said. "I think that's something I haven't always done, so that was a goal of mine this year—to do that every game."

Despite Klabo often attracting double and triple teams, UND's struggles this season have been tied to outside shooting.

The Hawks rank No. 340 out of 349 Division I programs in 3-point shooting percentage at 21.4 percent on the year.

If you take away Klabo's 50 percent mark from beyond the arc, UND's other 3-point shooters are hitting 17.5 percent of their shots (18-for-103).

Even from inside the arc, Klabo is one of only two UND players shooting above 40 percent from the field (rookie point guard Alaina Jarnot, .458).

"A lot of that is confidence," Brewster said following a Thursday practice in which the Fighting Hawks shot extensively from the 3-point line. "We're talking to the team about keeping it in the flow. Lexi is a good passer out of the post, so I'm confident our outside presence will be there."

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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