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Women's Basketball Hangs on to Defeat UND

Women's Basketball Hangs on to Defeat UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team knocked down five of its seven free throw attempts in the final 75 seconds and escaped with a 79-77 victory over league newcomer North Dakota on Thursday night at the Betty Engelstad Souix Center.

The Hornets (10-7, 5-3 Big Sky) led by as much as 11 points in the second half but needed to convert at the charity stripe down the stretch to stave off a furious North Dakota (7-11, 2-7) rally.

Sacramento State led by 10 with 7:21 left on the clock but North Dakota went on a 10-0 run to tie it up at 68-68 with 4:21 remaining. Fantasia Hilliard and Alle Moreno knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to go back up by six but UND was able to whittle its deficit down to one, at 76-75, with 10 seconds left.

North Dakota fouled Moreno and the junior hit both free throws. After a North Dakota jumper, Moreno was fouled again and with just one second left, she went 1-of-2 at the line to put the game away.

Overall, Sacramento State went 15-of-19 at the free throw line while North Dakota was 8-of-13.

Moreno finished with a season-best 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting with 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Moreno has scored 49 points combined in the Hornets' last two games while shooting 58.6 percent from the floor and 52.4 percent on 3-pointers.

Hilliard had 11 points and seven assists while Kylie Kuhns posted her eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Sacramento State's starting five combined to score 65 of the Hornets' 79 points.

North Dakota was paced by Emily Evers, who scored 18 points while Madi Buck had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Hornets are 6-1 at home this season but Thursday's win at North Dakota improved their road record to 4-6.

Sacramento State shot 37.7 percent overall on 28-of-75 shooting, including 8-of-31 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 38 rebounds, committed 13 turnovers and tallied 14 assists. They went 15-of-19 at the free throw line.

North Dakota shot 42.5 percent from the field on 31-of-73 shooting, with 7-of-21 coming from beyond the arc. North Dakota grabbed 55 rebounds and were pressured into 22 turnovers with 18 assists. They went 8-of-13 at the free throw line.

The Hornets will stay on the road to meet Northern Colorado at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday.