WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: UND closes out WBI play with 76-73 loss to Florida International
LEXINGTON, Ky. – UND came up a play or two short at the end, which was the difference in reaching the 20-win mark for the season.
Florida International, a C-USA program, scored with 11 seconds to go and then added two free throws in the final three seconds to down UND 76-73 on Sunday during the final day of the Women’s Basketball Invitational, an eight-team, three-day tournament on the campus of Transylvania University in Lexington
UND finished sixth in the tournament, finishing the weekend at 1-2.
UND’s goal heading into the tournament was at least two wins, which would have given the Hawks 20 for the season – quite the turnaround from two years ago when the program finished 2-19.
“We wanted 20 wins bad,” UND coach Mallory Bernhard told the Fighting Hawks Radio Network. “But to be playing in the postseason is a big deal for us. We’re incredibly happy we had this opportunity. We’ve got a group that I hope remains incredibly hungry for more.”
UND finished the season at 19-13. It finished third in the Summit League after it was picked fourth in the preseason poll.
UND, which led for just over two minutes, took a 73-72 lead on a Kacie Borowicz basket with just over a minute to play. But FIU scored at the 11-second mark and then capitalized on a UND turnover with four seconds to play.
The Panthers then hit two free throws for a 76-73 advantage. Maggie Manson’s attempt to tie the game with a 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Borowicz led UND with 19 points. Claire Orth added 17 while Juliet Gordon ended with 15.
Orth hit a milestone in her final UND game, reaching the 1,000-point mark for her career during the third quarter.
One negative for UND was its free-throw shooting. The Hawks were 14-for-22 from the line. “We were so uncharacteristically poor from the line,” said the UND coach. “We practice them a ton and that kind of bit us today.”
The Hawks shot 45 percent while the Panthers, led by Kaliah Henderson’s 18 points, shot 43 percent.
UND will graduate five players from this season’s team – Orth, Manson, Jolene Daninger, Gordon and Tara Bieniewicz.
“Our senior group, our leadership group, they’ve really set the standard for what this program expects and how we want to conduct ourselves,” said Bernhard.