UND women's basketball: Bergan gets the ball rolling

At a postgame press conference, UND guard Jossy Bergan misspoke in talking about UND's standing in the Great West Conference, referring to it instead as the Northwest Conference.

At a postgame press conference, UND guard Jossy Bergan misspoke in talking about UND's standing in the Great West Conference, referring to it instead as the Northwest Conference.

Bergan might have gotten the wrong name of the league, but the senior played a big role in extending UND's lead in it.

Bergan had 13 points, five assists, five steals and just one turnover as point guard to lead UND to a 69-44 win over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Tuesday afternoon at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in a matchup of the top two teams in the conference.

The Sioux improved to 12-13 overall and 7-1 in the Great West. NJIT dropped to 10-13 and 4-2 in the Great West.

"To me, Jossy was the player of the game hands down," UND coach Gene Roebuck said. "She handled the ball well, and they were pressuring her up and down the floor. That was huge for us, but then again I expect that. She's that type of player. She likes those challenges."


Bergan ignited UND's 22-11 run to open the game. The 5-foot-3 Bergan had 10 of UND's first 12 points, and she also had the assist on the other Sioux basket in the stretch.

Bergan hit two early 3-pointers and also scored twice on the fastbreak after steals as the Sioux jumped to a 12-5 start.

"We talked about wanting to come out aggressive," Bergan said. "We wanted to come out with intensity and send a message."

Bergan didn't do much scoring the rest of the way, but her ability to single-handedly break NJIT's fullcourt defensive pressure allowed the Sioux to pull away for the 25-point win.

"They reminded me a lot of Houston Baptist," Bergan said of NJIT. "They rebound tough and they're all over you. But we've gotten use to playing teams like that."

After Bergan's hot start, UND senior Kayla Bagaason got going, as well. Bagaason scored eight points in a 47-second stretch late in the first half as the Sioux pulled away. Bagaason nailed 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, then converted on the fastbreak after a Bergan steal.

UND led 32-21 at halftime and its lead was never under 12 in the second half.

The Sioux had four players finish in double figures, led by Bagaason's 20 points. Bergan had 13, Whitney Ledger had 10 and Corey Lof also had 10.


The Sioux also received a boost from reserve guard Nicole Smart, who had eight points. Smart had eight straight points for the Sioux during a three-minute stretch in the second half.

NJIT, meanwhile, didn't have a single player in double figures. Jessica Gerald led the Highlanders with nine points. Taiwo Oyelola added eight points and 14 rebounds.

The Sioux also had an advantage in shooting percentage, which reflects the success of UND's zone defense.

UND was 25-for-45 from the field, including 11-for-22 from the 3-point line. NJIT, on the other hand, was 15-for-50 from the field and 3-for-13 from three.

UND's active defense forced NJIT into 19 turnovers, which the Sioux turned into 23 points.

"(We) came out today with a lot of energy," Roebuck said. "That energy was for 40 minutes."

UND 69,



Key play: Corey Lof's jumper for a 32-19 lead late in the first half.

Key player: Jossy Bergan, 13 points, 5 steals, 5 assists.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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