BISMARCK, N.D. — Northern Iowa had no answer for North Dakota’s Lexi Klabo Saturday as the Panthers dropped an 80-72 women’s basketball decision.

Klabo, a 6-foot-2 junior forward, poured in 29 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked seven shots as the Fighting Hawks (4-2) sent the Panthers (2-5) to their third straight defeat.

North Dakota, last year’s Big Sky regular-season champions, led for much of the game, but never by more than the final margin of eight points. The Fighting Hawks used a 24-9 advantage in made free throws and a 22-9 edge in points off turnovers to pull out the win.

Kennedy Kirkpatrick led UNI with a career-best 21 points while Heidi Hillyard and Abby Gerrits added 10 each.

The Panthers led 41-37 at halftime, but lost that advantage in the third quarter as North Dakota poured in 43 points over the final two periods.

UNI next plays Wednesday at Nebraska-Omaha.

North Dakota 80, UNI 72

UNI (2-5) — Kirkpatrick 7-14 5-5 21, Morgan 4-10 0-0 9, Kroeger 3-9 0-2 8, Maahs 2-6 1-1 5, Hagen 1-5 0-0 2, Hillyard 3-6 3-4 10, Gerrits 4-5 0-0 10, Wheatcraft 1-1 0-0 3, Garrison-Nickerson 1-1 0-0 2, Simon-Ressler 1-2 0-1 2, Rucker 0-2 0-0 0, Gunnels 0-0 0-0 0, Robson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 9-13 72.

NORTH DAKOTA (4-2) — Klabo 9-21 11-16 29, Freije 6-11 4-6 18, Morton 7-10 0-2 16, Dailey 1-5 2-2 4, Strand 0-4 4-4 4, Moton 3-7 0-0 6, Franklin 0-2 2-2 2, Sawatzke 0-2 1-2 1, Reinke 0-0 0-0 0, Fleecs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-62 24-34 80.

North. Iowa 19 22 18 13 — 72

North Dakota 18 19 24 19 — 80

3-point goals—UNI 9-22 (Kirkpatrick 2-4, Morgan 1-5, Kroeger 2-6, Hillyard 1-2, Gerrits 2-2, Wheatcraft 1-1, Simon-Ressler 0-1, Rucker 0-1), North Dakota 4-13 (Klabo 0-1, Freije 2-2, Morton 2-4, Dailey 0-2, Strand 0-4). Rebounds—UNI 34 (Maahs 6), North Dakota 44 (Klabo 15). Assists—UNI 18 (Kirkpatrick 6), North Dakota 13 (Freije 3, Dailey 3). Turnovers—UNI 16 (Kirkpatrick 4, Hillyard 4), North Dakota 11 (Freije 5). Blocks—UNI 3 (Kirkpatrick 1, Maahs 1, Hagen 1), North Dakota 10 (Klabo 7). Steals—UNI 1 (Simon-Ressler), North Dakota 7 (Strand 2). Total fouls—UNI 27, North Dakota 18. Fouled out—Maahs.

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