UND and SDSU will meet in women's basketball tonight for the first time sinec 2004
The distance between Grand Forks and Brookings, S.D., is 266 miles. When it comes to college basketball, that's a short road trip. However, it appears the distance between Grand Forks--home to UND women's basketball--and Brookings--home to South ...
The distance between Grand Forks and Brookings, S.D., is 266 miles. When it comes to college basketball, that's a short road trip.
However, it appears the distance between Grand Forks-home to UND women's basketball-and Brookings-home to South Dakota State women's basketball-has been a lot farther than 266 miles.
Surprisingly, UND and SDSU have not met in women's basketball since March, 15, 2004.
At the time, the two were Division II powers. The last meeting was a 72-70 overtime win by SDSU in the North Central Region final in St. Paul.
After that season, SDSU went Division I; UND remained Division II until moving up in 2008. But the teams never agreed to play each other until Tuesday night when the Jackrabbits take on UND at The Betty.
SDSU-a mid-major power-is 6-1 and owns a two-point win at Iowa. UND, meanwhile, lost by 15 points at home to Iowa. The Jacks' only loss was to No. 17 Oklahoma.
Tonight's game will be another in a string of difficult nonconference opponents for UND. The Fighting Hawks have played three Power 5 opponents; the favorite to win the Missouri Valley; a West Coast Conference team that reached the NCAA Tournament last season and now SDSU-a team that finished 27-7 last season that included a win in the NCAA Tournament.
"You have to play people; that's why you're going to get better," said UND coach Travis Brewster. "Sometimes, you have to take your lumps. That's the way it is."
SDSU's starting five-led by Macy Miller-all average double figures in scoring and all five shoot better than 50 percent from the field.
The Jackrabbits also are No. 1 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll.
UND, meanwhile, comes in with some momentum. The Hawks downed San Francisco of the West Coast Conference 71-63 on Saturday thanks to a furious fourth-quarter rally. UND overcame a 13-point third-quarter deficit by hitting from the perimeter.
The Hawks hit 11 three-pointers against San Francisco, the most for UND in a game in the past six years. Behind that perimeter shooting, the Hawks outscored the Dons 28-11 in the final quarter.
After Tuesday's game, UND will take on North Dakota State on Saturday in Fargo. It's back-to-back games against former-and heated-North Central Conference rivals.
It's a scheduling flavor that appeals to UND.
"Those will be fun games; we're looking forward to them," said UND sophomore Fallyn Freije.