POCATELLO, Idaho-- North Dakota made just 12 field goals and host Idaho State was able to pull out a 57-46 win Thursday evening in Big Sky Conference play at Reed Gym. UND had six three-pointers but only six two-point baskets in the loss, suffering just its third defeat in 11 chances on the Pocatello, Idaho/Ogden, Utah road trip all-time.
ISU's Brooke Blair scored a game-high 21, including a bulk in the fourth quarter from the free throw line as ISU hit 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in the final quarter to pull away. Prior to all the free throws (25 combined attempts by both teams in the fourth), North Dakota (8-8, 1-4) had whittled the deficit down to three on a Jill Morton triple at 42-39 midway through the fourth, but drew no closer.
"I thought we really didn't trust our offense tonight," UND head coach Travis Brewster said. "We went away from it. Sometimes you can't circumvent it when it doesn't work, you have to stick with it. I'm disappointed in the loss but you have to get knocked down to get together and get up when no one thought you could. It's a blue-collar process."
UND's leading scorer coming in, Lexi Klabo, picked up a couple of quick fouls and was in foul trouble all night, finishing with seven points in just 16 minutes. Morton and Melissa Dailey paced UND with nine points apiece while Chastity Franklin added eight points and five rebounds.
Historically, these games between these schools have been low-scoring affairs and right throughout. Thursday lived up to that billing as North Dakota connected on just 12 field goals for the contest. UND controlled the game early, getting out to a five-point lead at 11-6 on a Fallyn Freije three. However, the Fighting Hawks collected just seven field goals-- with only three two-point buckets-- over the final three quarters.
Idaho State (10-5, 2-2) was able to claim a slim lead at the break and then built an advantage in the third. UND, despite an off night shooting, hung in there by rebounding the basketball and limiting turnovers but 14 free throw misses helped waste an opportunity to keep it close in the waning minutes.
The Bengals held the edge down low, out-scoring UND, 32-8, in the paint. North Dakota closed off the perimeter, allowing just one three-point field goal in 14 attempts (7.1 percent) but Idaho State continually made from the free throw line in the final quarter to keep the Fighting Hawks at bay.
North Dakota remains on the road to face Weber State Saturday. Tip is slated for 3:00 p.m. Central from Dee Events Center, a place where UND is 5-0 all-time.
Notes: Two players fouled out and six others finished with four fouls as the teams combined for 52 personals ... Idaho State collected just its fourth win over UND in 12 tries ... The series is tied, 3-3, all-time in Reed Gym.