WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published January 08, 2010, 11:08 PM

Sioux women get home win

UND tops Seattle 66-50

By: Christy Kramer, UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – It was a night for the junior class as Mallory Youngblut and Corey Lof each registered a double-double to help the University of North Dakota to a 66-50 victory over Seattle in front of a Betty Engelstad Sioux Center crowd of 1,676.

The Fighting Sioux win was the first of the New Year and snapped a four-game skid. The loss was Seattle’s sixth in a row and dropped it to 3-16 on the season.

UND (4-12) led much of the first half and at one point held a 20-point advantage over the Redhawks. Seattle staged a comeback late in the opening half and just outside the 15-minute mark of the second stanza had used a 24-0 run to move into a four-point lead.

“Late in the first half we began to stand around,” head coach Gene Roebuck said. “We expected the basket to go in and weren’t going for the ball.”

The Sioux, as well as the Betty Engelstad crowd, picked up the energy in the second half. At 10:42, UND had regained the lead and held on for the rest of the evening.

“In the second half we picked up the energy and started attacking again,” Roebuck said. “I give a lot of credit to our fans, we fell behind and were getting down, but they never gave up on us. They have never given up on us.”

Youngblut, a Davenport, Iowa native, led all players with 21 points and added 10 rebounds to tally her fifth career double-double and the first of the season. She also registered career highs in free throws made (nine) and free throws attempted (11). It was Youngblut’s third double-digit game of the 2009-10 season.

Also doubling-up was Detroit Lakes, Minn., native Corey Lof who boasted her first double-double with a career high 13 points and 11 rebounds. It was just the second time in double-digits for Lof.

Senior Jossy Bergan (G, Valley City, N.D.) added 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the three-point line. She also garnered three steals and a pair of assists. Fellow senior Whitney Ledger (F, Bismarck, N.D.) was credited with a career-best and game-high five steals.

North Dakota took advantage of SeattleU’s 19 turnovers as 29 points were tallied off of the Redhawk mishandlings. The Sioux had 11 turnovers of their own in the first half, but were able to cut it down to just two in the second half.

UND and SU were nearly identical shooting from the field with Seattle winning the battle .382 to .383, but the Sioux won the fight both beyond the three-point line (UND .350, SU .286) and at the free throw line (UND .850, SU .400).

The Redhawks were led by Tatiana Heck who scored 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the line and 5-for-9 shooting at the charity stripe. She had all of SeattleU’s points in the opening seven minutes.

North Dakota now leads the all-time series over Seattle 4-1.

Seattle scored first, but North Dakota quickly used a pair of three-pointers and an outside jumper to move into an 8-2 lead. The Redhawks moved within two, but a trio of Sioux three-pointers moved them into a 26-10 lead with 7:15 remaining in the half.

North Dakota capped a 20-3 run with a three-point conversion by Youngblut. With 3:57 on the clock, Youngblut took the inbounds pass from Alys Seay (G, Grand Forks, N.D.), drove baseline, and was fouled as she kissed the ball off of the glass for the score. With the free throw, the Sioux grabbed a 20-point advantage.

It seemed momentum was on the side of UND, but Youngblut’s basket would prove to be the last for the Sioux until 15:03 in the second half.

Down 33-13 with less than four minutes to go, SeattleU found its rhythm behind the arc as it sank three-straight three-pointers. The late-game run took the game into the break with the Sioux holding onto a 33-22, 11-point lead.

The Redhawks brought their first-half momentum into the second half and extended their run to 24-0. With just over 15 minutes remaining in the contest, Seattle had erased the 20-point deficit and moved into a 37-33 lead.

At 15:03, North Dakota tallied its first point since 3:57 in the opening half as Lof dropped in a pair from the charity stripe. The basket sparked a 12-0 run for the Sioux who were able to regain the lead.

With a mid-court steal and a fast-break layup, Bergan moved the UND back into a double-digit advantage with 6:18 left to go. The baskets kept falling for the Sioux as they held the Redhawks to just four points in the final five minutes.

North Dakota will kick off the 2009-10 Great West Conference schedule on Jan. 14 when it travels first to Utah Valley and then to South Dakota (Jan. 16).

GAME NOTES: Since the transition, UND holds a 3-1 record against Independent opponents … Since its first game was played in 1974, North Dakota has tallied an all-time record of 755-280 and an 84-9 mark at ‘The Betty’ … Under Gene Roebuck the team holds a record of 579-116 … Mallory Youngblut registered her 200th career field goal and her 100th rebound and 150th point of the season … Jossy Bergan and Kayla Bagaason are both just one three-pointer away from reaching UND’s all-time top 10 list … Corey Lof surpassed her 100th career point.