Hawks empty the bench early, stroll past Wisconsin-Superior
GRAND FORKS — Each season, UND plays one or two non-Division I opponents — games usually known as the no pressure, name-your-score contest.
Those decisive name-your-score games, however, do serve a purpose. They allow Division I teams — like UND — to empty the bench early to evaluate players and perhaps build more depth..
Fourteen UND players saw the court in the first quarter during UND's 77-30 women's basketball win over Division III Wisconsin-Superior on Friday night at The Betty.
The Hawks scored the game's first 18 points and came up with 10 steals in the first 10 minutes. By that time reserves were beginning to flood the floor.
And that's what UND coach Mallory Bernhard wanted to see as the Hawks improved to 4-3.
"We definitely wanted to use this game to get a lot of people some minutes," said Bernhard, who gave birth to her second child — daughter Lizzie — earlier this week.
True freshman Mikayla Aumer scored nine points in her first collegiate game. And freshman Nakiyah Hurst also added nine, playing both the point guard and center positions during her 13 minutes.
"I'm excited what I think Aumer is going to be able to do, said Bernhard. "She showed a lot of good things for us throughout the summer."
Aumer suffered a hamstring injury just before the season started. But now she's ready to play.
"It was good to play with my teammates again and feel that atmosphere again," said Aumer, a 5-foot-9 guard from Mora, Minn. "When I hurt may hamstring before the season started, it showed me you can't take anything for granted."
Twelve UND players were on the floor for 10 or minutes.
Kacie Borowicz led UND with 12 points while Juliet Gordon added 10.
The Hawks' attention now returns to Division I competition. UND hits the road for a Sunday game at Eastern Michigan, a program that beat previously unbeaten North Dakota State earlier this week.
"Eastern is really big inside and they can get up and down the floor.," said Bernhard. "They're also very athletic. This is going to be a tough team for us to play."