WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Hawks fall 96-79 to Cal Baptist in first round of WBI

Mar. 17—LEXINGTON, Ky. — Cal Baptist got off to a quick start and kept the pedal to the metal the rest of the way, cruising past North Dakota 96-79 on Friday afternoon in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational.

The Hawks dropped to 18-12 while Cal Baptist improved to 20-13 as the three-day, eight-team tournament continues through Sunday.

UND will play Northern Illinois in a consolation-bracket game Saturday at 4 p.m. while Cal Baptist moves on to a semifinal game against Georgia Southern.

The Lancers put up 29 points in the first quarter and didn't let up as they shot 51 percent from the field and scored in transition early and often in the first quarter.

UND eventually cut the gap to 81-76 late in the fourth quarter but another spurt in the closing two minutes iced the game for the Western Athletic Conference member.

Kacie Borowicz led UND with 20 points while Juliet Gordon added 11 points and 12 rebounds. However, Gordon went down with an injury late in the game and her status for the game against Northern Illinois was unknown late Friday night.

UND's concern was Cal Baptist's uptempo style of play. The Hawks, however, struggled defensively to contain the Lancers.

"Unfortunately, when you give up 96 points, you can probably point to a lot of different directions where the defense was failing," UND coach Mallory Bernhard told the Fighting Hawks Radio Network after the game. "At the start of the game it was our transition defense. I would say they probably had 10 points in transition the first five minutes of the game.

"When we say we need to get back on defense and match up, you actually have to do it. And they shot really well from the three-point line.

"It was all defense. When you score 79 points, you should win games."

The Lancers were 11 of 30 on three-pointers. Coming into the game, they shot the third-most three-pointers per game in Division I basketball

Nakiyah Hurst also was in double figures with 16 points while Jolene Daninger was the fourth UND player in double figures with 10. Maggie Manson finished with nine as the Hawks were 7 of 30 from beyond the arc.

The Lancers placed five players in double figures, led by Grace Scmidt's 26 points.

Northern Illinois, UND opponent on Saturday, dropped to 16-14 after losing 69-58 to Georgia Southern in the final game of the WBI on Friday.