UND's freshman class continues to improve as Hawks down Mayville State 83-52 in women's basketball

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Fighting Hawks forward Olivia Lane (34) fights for the ball on a rebound Wednesday night against the Mayville State Comets at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Olivia Lane, another member of the talented UND freshman class, was asked what impresses her the most about the Fighting Hawks’ women’s basketball team.

“We definitely share the ball well and we communicate,” said Lane after UND defeated Mayville State 83-52 on Wednesday night at The Betty. “We know how each of us play and that definitely has helped.”

UND definitely shared the ball, evidenced by 23 assists on 32 baskets as the Hawks improved to 8-3. And UND continued to see improvement with its seven-member freshman class, one that combined for 45 points against the Comets.

Lane was the latest freshmen to turn in quality minutes for UND as she led the Hawks with 17 points and eight rebounds. The 6-foot-2 center from Pequot Lakes, Minn., was a presence in the lane as she made 8 of 9 from the field.

“Olivia was behind the 8-ball a little bit because she was injured at the start of the year,” said UND coach Travis Brewster. “Now she’s bounced back and starting to get some minutes. We need her out on the floor to take up some of the minutes in the post with her size and athleticism.


“She does some things that are very athletic out there. And what I mean by that is that she has different ways to finish. She’s got a level of strength about her that a lot of people don’t know about.”

UND led throughout but Mayville made for a few interesting moments in the second quarter when the Comets hit three straight 3-pointers, two coming from 6-0 freshman guard Jordan Zrust. That cut UND’s lead to 21-18 but the Hawks rebounded and led 42-30 at the break and a spurt to start the third quarter pushed the lead to 57-34 on a Julia Fleecs basket at the 6:29 mark.

Kylee Heurung led Mayville with 16 points. The Comets, 9-2, were picked to win the North Star Athletic Association title this season and are ranked No. 21 in the latest NAIA Division II poll. Mayville also is in the midst of a rugged schedule as the Comet played North Dakota State last week and will take on No. 7 Morningside before hitting the heart of the conference season. Against NDSU, the Comets led by four at halftime before the Bison pulled away in the second half for a 97-59 win.

UND’s midweek game came during finals week, a concern for every college coach.

“I thought we were lackluster in the first half with our intensity but we came out in the second half and picked it up,” said Brewster.

In addition to Lane’s 17 points, freshman Maggie Manson added 14 points, hitting 4 of 10 three-pointers. Fleecs finished with 10 points.

Mayville placed three players in double figures, with Claire Blascziek and Zrust each adding 10.

UND will finish its nonconference season with games at Milwaukee on Saturday and at New Orleans on Dec. 28.


The Hawks open Summit League play Jan. 1 at Denver.

Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.

He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.

He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.

Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or
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