Hawks hope to shoot their way out of losing streak against NDSU
Bison have won eight straight over UND women's basketball team
GRAND FORKS – UND’s performance during the final three minutes against Oral Roberts last week didn’t produce a win. But it opened a few eyes around the Summit League.
The Fighting Hawks scored 21 points in the final three minutes at ORU, but still lost 96-91.
“We were down 17 points with 3:08 to go,” said UND coach Mallory Bernhard. “We had to let it fly. That’s a ton of points in three minutes. Give us another minute and that game might have been ours.”
For the Hawks, it was good to know they could score quickly but it would be even better if they weren’t in that situation in the first place.
Still, UND now hopes for another scoring explosion – this time at the start of the game.
The Hawks will get that chance Saturday afternoon at The Betty where they will host rival North Dakota State. A quick UND start could be the spark the Hawks need to break their eight-game losing streak against the Bison.
UND also will be playing at The Betty, where it is 9-0 this season.
“We know The Betty is a special place because of our fans,” said the UND coach. “We want to make them proud. I’d love to see The Betty packed and fans getting after it a little bit. Our players feed off that.”
UND also will hope to feed off of Maggie Manson’s outside shooting. The perimeter threat came off the bench to score 20 points at ORU, hitting 6 of 9 three-pointers.
“Our mindset this week is toughness,” said Manson. “We know this game will be a battle; we’re always in close games with NDSU. We’re ready to get after it and bring all that encompasses the rivalry into this game.”
There was a twist in Manson’s game at ORU. She was not wearing long sleeves, like she usually does.
“I’m not putting on the long sleeves again for a game,” she said.
UND’s challenge against NDSU will be its defense – a point of emphasis driven home each practice by Bernhard.
“They really hurt us in transition last time,” said Bernhard. "They really hurt us in getting after rebounds. So those are the things we’re really stressing. And there is no secret Heaven Hamling has been our Achilles heel.”
Hamling scored 28 points in NDSU’s win over UND in late December. Last season, Hamlin averaged 19 points per game in two Bison wins over the Hawks. She also ranks fourth all time in NDSU 3-pointers.
UND dropped two road games last week, contests that dropped the Hawks (4-5, 11-8) into a fifth-place tie in the Summit. UND has nine league games remaining. After the Bison game, the Hawks host South Dakota and South Dakota State – the toughest back-to-back weekend in the league.
“We have to take every game seriously,” said Manson. “That’s evident by looking at the standings every week.”
N.D. State at UND
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Betty Engelstad Sioux Center
Records: UND 4-5, 11-8; NDSU 7-2, 13-6
TV/Radio: MidcoSN, 100.3 FM
Series: UND leads the all-time series 48-46; NDSU has won the last eight games