Kacie Borowicz puts up 40 points, but UND women's basketball swept by NDSU in 107-80 loss

Feb. 24—FARGO — North Dakota State women's basketball coach Jory Collins summed up his Bison defensive philosophy simply: No threes, no layups and tough twos.

He then tipped his cap to UND star guard Kacie Borowicz for getting through that defense.

"She made a lot of tough twos today on pull-ups, mid-range, 17, 18 foot with a hand in her face," Collins said. "Just a very, very good performance by her."

Borowicz dropped a career-high 40 points in Saturday's game at Sanford Health Athletic Complex in Fargo, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Bison, the second-best team in the Summit League, who came away with a 107-80 win.

"We knew we were up for an incredibly difficult challenge," UND coach Mallory Bernhard said, "but it was made exponentially more difficult with their shooting today. They were absolutely lights out. It was a long night."

Borowicz has historically scored well in Fargo. She said it doesn't have to do with the place or atmosphere so much as it does the importance of the game.

"Everything just feels elevated in this game," Borowicz said. "Your stars are going to shine. I think it's just the nature of the game, the rivalry. If there was a day you're going to show up, it's going to be this one."

Borowicz ended the game 16-for-26 from the floor, 3-for-5 from three and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Her 40 points led all scorers.

Her three 3-pointers all came in the second half. UND didn't convert a single 3-pointer in the first half, but the Bison went 8-for-12 from beyond the arc.

That set up a 56-43 halftime lead that UND couldn't overcome.

The Hawks didn't have an answer on defense for the Bison, who were led by Elle Evans with 21 points, Heaven Hamling with 17 and Abby Schulte and Miriley Simon with 15 each.

"We tried to make a couple adjustments," Bernhard said, "and they just were able to find new wrinkles and new ways to get to us. Not an easy night. They obviously are a very confident team against us, and rightfully so."

NDSU ended with 15 three-pointers and shot just under 60% from the field. UND ended under 50% shooting and were just 3-for-10 from three.

Fatima Ibrahim scored 12 points off the bench, and starters Kiyah Hurst and Kiera Pemberton ended with 11 and 10, respectively. Ibrahim and Hurst both fouled out in the second half.

UND gave themselves plenty of second opportunities — the Hawks grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and had 17 second-chance points. UND also had 30 points in the paint to NDSU's 28.

"We scored a lot of points," Bernhard said. "We'd like to be in a position where 80 points is enough to win you a game, or keep you incredibly competitive in a game. I think the focus and emphasis for our team moving forward is going to be that defensive intensity."

This was the second time this season UND has given up over 100 points to the Bison. Part of the reason for that is NDSU knows how to exploit the Hawks and score quickly, Schulte said.

"There's ways that we can score on them," she said, "and we really execute out there."

UND ends the regular season on the road at South Dakota State, the only undefeated team in the Summit League, and at South Dakota.