OGDEN, Utah-- Weber State went on a quarter-ending 14-2 run and never looked back, defeating North Dakota for the first time at home, 80-69, Saturday afternoon in Big Sky Conference play. UND was led by junior Jill Morton's career-high 22 points but it was not enough as the Wildcats won for just the third time in 11 all-time meetings between the schools.
True freshman Melissa Leet scored the first points of her career, going 4-for-8 for eight points, adding seven rebounds for North Dakota. Junior Fallyn Freije recorded a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds), despite playing through foul trouble for the duration.
"We were on our heels the whole game," UND head coach Travis Brewster said. "We went away from our game plan. The other part about it is shooting 26-for-69, so being able to identify the correct shot better. Every time we cut the lead down, we weren't able to execute after a run."
North Dakota (8-9, 1-5) held the lead at 5-4 on a Morton three, but the Wildcats responded with 12 straight points and closed the quarter on a 14-2 run to claim an 18-7 advantage through 10 minutes. From there, the teams each scored 62 points over the final three quarters, but North Dakota found itself trying to dig out of that early hole throughout the contest.
UND immediately went on a 10-3 run to start the second quarter, holding WSU to just one field goal over the first seven-plus minutes but an Emily Drake jumper followed by 10 more WSU points rebuilt the edge to 16 in the final minute of the half. Melissa Leet, who would earn more minutes off the bench, finished the half with one of her four field goals on the way to a career-high eight points.
In the third, again, North Dakota whittled the deficit down to just five on another Leet bucket but WSU answered with 10 straight and entered the final period with a 14-point cushion. Once there, WSU made 13-of-15 free throws to keep the Fighting Hawks at arm's length, improving to 4-1 in the conference and one of just three remaining Big Sky teams with just one loss (Montana, Northern Colorado both 5-1).
Weber State had four players score in double figures, led by Larryn Brooks' 19. Emily Drake added 18 while Jai'moni Welch-Coleman chipped in 17 and Kallie Quinn recorded 12 in the win.
North Dakota has played four of its first six conference games on the road and will return to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center for a three-game homestand beginning Saturday against pre-season favorite Northern Colorado. Tip time is 2:00 p.m. Central.
NOTES: Jill Morton's previous career high was a 21-point effort vs. Mary last season ... It was Morton's second 20-point effort of her career ... UND has had 13 different occurances of players scoring 20 points (Lexi Klabo 8, Fallyn Freije 4, Morton 1) ... Freije's double-double was the sixth of the season and the ninth of her career ... Leet's previous high in minutes was 12 (at Baylor, Dec. 5, 2017) ... She was 0-for-7 from the floor coming in and finished 4-for-8 from the floor Saturday.