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Published December 09, 2009, 04:46 PM

Sioux women fall to No. 14 Arizona State

Bagaason leads UND with 15 points

By: Christy Kramer, UND

TEMPE, Ariz. — Against its first nationally-ranked opponent, the University of North Dakota women’s basketball team fell on the wrong side of a 67-43 decision after giving its all against No. 14 Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena.

Senior captain Kayla Bagaason (G, Clearbrook, Minn.) led UND (2-7) with 15 points and seven rebounds. The Sun Devils (7-1) extended its four-game win streak and finished with a trio of players in double-digits. Kayli Murphy scored 15 points, Danielle Orsillo came away with 12 points and Kali Bennett rounded out the top three with 11 points.

The Fighting Sioux were out-shot from the field (.371-.286) and .308-.278 from beyond the three-point line, but bettered the Sun Devils at the charity stripe, .833-647. UND turned much of ASU’s 24 turnovers into points and grabbed eight steals, including a career-high five by junior Corey Lof (G, Detroit Lakes, Minn.).

“We out-worked them [Arizona State] today,” head coach Gene Roebuck said. “There wasn’t a point in the game that the team got down and they played well together.”

North Dakota will take to the floor once again on Sunday, Dec. 13 when it heads to Des Moines, Iowa to take on Drake. Tipoff between the Fighting Sioux and the Bulldogs will begin at 2:05 p.m.

Arizona State scored first on a pair of free throws by Becca Tobin, but the Fighting Sioux quickly answered back as Mallory Yougblut hit from three-point range at the top of the key to give UND the 3-2 lead.

North Dakota kept ASU in check through the opening 12 minutes causing 11 turnovers and turning them into seven points, but with a scattering of small runs, the Sun Devils worked their way into a 25-13 lead with 7:53 left in the half.

ASU maintained its momentum and with less than three minutes before the break it took its biggest lead of the half, a 31-13 advantage. The teams closed out the first stanza with four-straight baskets from beyond the three-point line.

On the other side of the break, Jossy Bergan grabbed a defensive rebound and took the ball coast-to-coast for the score, but ASU quickly went on a 13-2 run to take a 30-point lead inside the 12-minute mark.

After Arizona State worked its way to a 55-23, 32-point lead, the Fighting Sioux scored 13 unanswered points to cut the Sun Devil advantage down to 57-38 with just over three minutes left on the clock.

GAME NOTES: After going two games without a point, Mallory Youngblut scored the opening five points for the Fighting Sioux … Arizona State is the first Pac-10 opponent for the Sioux since making the transition to NCAA Division I.

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