GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota shot 67.3% and had a commanding 46-24 edge in rebounding while limiting Sacramento State to 28.6% shooting in an 87-57 win on Saturday in Grand Forks.
Sacramento State (16-9, 8-8 Big Sky), which scored 110 points against UND when the teams met in Sacramento last month, never led in the game and was outscored 15-0 in second chance points and 48-14 in points in the paint. The Hornets have lost four of their last five games, while North Dakota (18-8, 13-4 Big Sky) extended its lead atop the Big Sky and improved to 13-1 at home this season.
UND jumped on Sacramento State early and never looked back. The home team scored the first six points of the game and extended to a double-digit lead at 14-4 just over eight minutes into the contest. A brief Hornet run got the squad back within eight points with 10 minutes to play in the half before UND scored four straight and never led by less than 10 points for the remainder of the game.
North Dakota led by as many as 20 points in the first half but a late Hornet run got their deficit down to 15 at halftime. UND went back up by 20 less than four minutes into the second half and its lead grew to 32 with eight minutes to play before ending as a 30-point win.
UND shot an incredible 20-of-24 (83.3%) in the second half, making 15 shots in the paint, and its 67.3% shooting for the game was the highest against the Hornets this season. Sacramento State shot 9-of-45 (20%) from 3-point range in the game, its lowest 3-point percentage of the season. The Hornets also had their lowest rebound and assist totals of the year but did shoot 12-of-16 from the free throw line.
For the first time this season Sacramento State had just one player finish with double-digit points, with junior Fantasia Hilliard scoring 13 points with three assists and three steals. Hilliard, senior Sadie Clements, freshman Hallie Gennett, and redshirt freshman Margaret Huntington each made two 3-pointers. The Hornets forced 19 turnovers and had a 16-8 edge in points off turnovers with 11 steals.
Sacramento State plays its last two home games of the season next week, hosting Weber State at 7 p.m. Thursday and Idaho State at 2 p.m. Saturday in The Nest.