Big Sky Conference

BIG SKY ROUNDUP: UND take over 1st place in Big Sky with win at Weber State


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North Dakota 77, Weber State 68 — Senior Quinton Hooker scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and North Dakota moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Sky standings with a 77-68 victory over Weber State Saturday.

Trailing by three points at the break, UND (17-8; 12-3 BSC) opened the second half on a 16-4 run and never trailed again en route to the team’s first win in Ogden in five tries. Sophomores Geno Crandall and Cortez Seales added 19 and 17 points, respectively, for the Fighting Hawks.

The Wildcats (16-9; 11-3 BSC) trimmed what had grown to a 14-point deficit down to two on a pair of free throws by Jeremy Senglin with just over four minutes to play, but that would be as close as the home team would get down the stretch.

Hooker buried a corner 3-pointer on UND’s next possession and  Seales followed with a driving layup that put the game away. The Fighting Hawks also held a 38-28 edge on the glass with sophomore Conner Avants equaling his career-high with nine and Hooker pulling down a season-high eight to aid those efforts.

“I could not be any prouder of this group of guys,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “This has been a tough environment for everyone in the Big Sky to play, but our guys played at the level they had to in order to compete with Weber State.

UND head coach Brian Jones is in his 10th year at North Dakota/by Brooks Nuanez

UND head coach Brian Jones is in his 10th year at North Dakota/by Brooks Nuanez

“Secondly, we did the things we needed to win. We limited their transition scoring, they only made two 3-point shots and we out-rebounded them. It was an outstanding effort by everybody on this team.”

Senglin finished with 22 points, but the Wildcats could not overcome UND’s hot shooting after the break. Hooker went 6-for-9 from the field and Seales made all five of his in final 20 minutes leading the Fighting Hawks to a 65.5 percent clip.

Things started and ended well for the visitors, who led by as many as six in the first half with Crandall leading that charge. He had 10 first-half points, but went to the bench with his second foul at the 9:18 mark and UND holding a 20-17 lead. Corey Baldwin would stretch the Fighting Hawks’ lead to its peak at 27-21 with a triple just over three minutes later, but UND would go only 1-for-8 from the field after that.

That cold spell allowed Weber State to regain the lead before halftime after the Wildcats closed the stanza on an 11-2 run to take a 32-29 advantage into the break.

After Weber State made two free throws out of the gate, the Wildcats made only one field goal over the next six minutes that allowed UND to take control of the contest. Hooker had half of those points in the decisive 16-4 run that gave the Fighting Hawks their first sweep of the Wildcats in five seasons as a Big Sky member.

The Fighting Hawks close out a three-game Big Sky road swing at Northern Colorado next Saturday. Tip-off against the Bears is set for 8:05 p.m. CT.

Jonah Radebaugh/ by Brooks Nuanez

Jonah Radebaugh/ by Brooks Nuanez

Northern Colorado 87, Idaho State 81 — Northern Colorado (9-17, 5-10 Big Sky) had a three-point bonanza at Idaho State (5-21, 4-11 Big Sky) on Saturday night. The Bears cashed in on a season-high tying 14 makes from downtown in the 87-81 victory.

Redshirt sophomore guard, Chaz Glotta got the splash party started, making four of his five treys in the first half. Glotta went on two runs of 6-0 and 7-0 by himself throughout different stages of the first half, ballooning the Bears lead to as much as 13 points (30-17) midway through the period.

As Glotta began to cool down, redshirt freshman guard, Jonah Radebaugh began to heat up. Radebaugh knocked down two corner three-pointers as the half drew to a close. After the first half was all said and done, UNC had poured in eight makes from beyond the arc and held a 43-31 lead over the Bengals.

Glotta led all scorers at the intermission with 18 points. He would finish the game with a career-high tying 22.

“This was a great team effort tonight on the road,” UNC head coach Jeff Linder said. “These guys on the road since Southern Utah, for the most part, have controlled double-digit leads, or leads throughout most of the games and that includes at Weber State and at North Dakota. Credit to my guys, at any point right now they could have packed it in, but they understand they are playing for a lot more down the road and I’m proud of the effort they give us every day.”

Jonah Radebaugh and Jon’te Dotson both finished with career-nights. Radebaugh led UNC on the night with 23 points on 6-of-8 shooting from three-point land, and had six assists and six rebounds. Dotson produced a career-high 12 points and went a solid 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

“Jon’te would play for me regardless of what the situation is because he’s a tough kid,” Linder said. “He’s not scared of the moment. Give credit to another walk-on, Jonah Radebaugh who wasn’t scared of the moment as well. Look at his stat line tonight. Without those guys, we don’t win this game because they made big time shots when they mattered.”

Southern Utah junior Randy Onwuasor/ courtesy of SUU athletics

Southern Utah junior Randy Onwuasor/ courtesy of SUU athletics

Southern Utah 84, Northern Arizona 68 — Southern Utah won a conference home game for the first time since New Year’s Eve of 2015 with a key win over rival Northern Arizona at Centrum Arena.

“I’m excited to get a little bit of reward for what we see every day. Their effort and attitude is fantastic,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “It was a tangible reward for 40 consecutive, good minutes.”

Randy Onwuasor led all-scorers with 25 points. Jacob Calloway added 16 points points for SUU after shooting five of five from beyond the arch.

“It feels good to win one, get this losing streak over with, and get us on the right track,” Calloway said. “We moved the ball a lot better. There were a lot of extra passes and everyone was making shots tonight.”

The Thunderbirds held the BSC No. 1 offensive rebounding Lumberjacks to just five offensive boards in the match-up and forced 15 NAU turnovers. After losing 11 straight games, the Thunderbirds brought a complete game to the Centrum Arena, which showed from the very beginning. SUU pulled ahead at 15-4 to begin the game before holding a 41-31 lead at halftime.

After the first half, Onwuasor led the Thunderbirds with 15 points as Marshall led in assists with three.

The Lumberjacks showed up with fire to start the second half, forcing a four-point game just five minutes in. SUU responded with a 13-2 streak to extend their lead back to double-digits at 62-47. SUU held its advantage throughout the remainder of the game to take a 16-point Big Sky victory over the Lumberjacks.

Jordyn Martin led the Lumberjacks with 20 points.

Stay with the ‘Cats & the Griz at Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada March 5-12

Stay with the ‘Cats & the Griz at Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada March 5-12


Eastern Washington 77, Idaho 67 — Eastern Washington (18-9, 10-4 BSC) held on to third place in the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball standings with a 77-67 win over Idaho (13-12, 8-6 BSC) Friday night.

Bogdan Bliznyuk led EWU with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Bliznyuk picked up a double-double as well with 13 rebounds. Sir Washington had a strong performance with 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting including 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

Victor Sanders led the Vandals with 24 points on 9-of-23 shooting including four 3-pointers. Nate Sherwood added 14 points for the visitors.

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