Coming into a new conference, Coach Travis Brewster’s Fighting Hawks Women’s Basketball team has something to prove. They started off their season in exhibition play with two wins over division two foes, Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston. In game one, the Fighting Hawks took down the Beavers 88-39. That game produced a lot of strong offense from multiple players and gave UND a good first look at a lot of their newcomers and returners playing bigger roles. The Fighting Hawks controlled the pace of that game and limited their mistakes throughout.
On Tuesday night against Minnesota-Crookston, UND experienced something a little bit different. The Golden Eagles played them a bit closer keeping the lead under 20 throughout the game,The Fighting Hawks won their exhibition finale 74-58. One thing that was nice to see in this one was UND utilizing all of its depth. Of the 12 players that played for UND on Tuesday, 11 of them scored. The deep depth of this team will be something to watch as they play a tough power conference schedule on the road in November to open up the season.
Last night, one of the most fun aspects to watch was the play of Jill Morton. The senior guard lead the way for UND and keyed their 27 point first quarter. Of UND’s first 12 points, she contributed to nine of the first 12 points. Her leadership from the guard position has been fun to watch and will be a big part of how far this team goes this season.Head Coach Travis Brewster routinely compares Morton’s ability to heat up and score points in bunches to heating up like a microwave. In addition, another leader that will determine how well this team does this season is Faith Dooley. Her game has consistently improved and evolved since she joined the basketball team full time after her stellar volleyball career ended last November. She lead the Fighting Hawks offense with 13 points on Tuesday, and her ability to defend the paint and allow Lexi Klabo more time and space to utilize her skills is another thing that will be fun to watch this season.
Overall, UND has a strong senior class, and a freshman class with a lot of depth that will be fun to watch develop this season. How UND does will be a function of getting everyone to mesh, and for new leaders to compliment the work of players like Morton and Dooley. The season starts next week for UND as they face a tough non-conference schedule including zero home games in the month of November.