Crandall's 41 points leads UND past Troy
HONOLULU—It was quite the season opener for UND's Geno Crandall.
The junior guard scored 41 points in leading UND past Troy 83-80 on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in the first night of the Outriggers Resorts Rainbow Classic.
Crandall became the 10th player in the history of UND men's basketball to score 40 or more points in a game. The last player to top the 40-point mark was Jerome Beasley, who scored 41 points against Augustana in 2003.
UND's win came against a team that reached the NCAA Tournament last season, as did the Fighting Hawks.
Crandall went 15-for-19 from the field and was 7-for-9 on 3-point attempts. Dale Jones, a transfer from Iowa, was the only other UND player in double figures with 11 points.
Crandall made his first 13 field-goal attempts in the second half and scored 22 straight points for the Hawks during the first seven minutes. He had just four points in the first half.
"In the second half, he was really dialed in and made some tough shots," said UND coach Brian Jones. "He has that capability to take over a game and we all saw that tonight.
Crandall's spurt helped UND erase what was a 33-30 deficit at the half and give the Fighting Hawks a 10-point lead before the Trojans fought back behind the long-range shooting of Wesley Person, who had 20 of his team-high 25 points in the second half. His three free throws with just over three minutes to play put the Trojans ahead 77-76.
Jones put UND back in the lead with a dunk and Connor Avants would break a 78-78 tie with a reverse layup on Crandall's fifth assist of the night with just over a minute to play.
After empty possessions by both teams, Troy's Juan Davis, Jr. was fouled by Jones on a 3-point attempt, but would only make two of those to square the game at 80-80 with 13 seconds to go.
The Trojans would return the favor by fouling Crandall on a 3-point attempt with three seconds to play. The junior, who started the game 1-for-5 from the stripe, buried all three of his attempts and Troy would turn the ball over, giving UND a win over a fellow 2017 NCAA Tournament participant.
"The ball was just going in tonight and, luckily, coach Jones gives me the freedom take some shots," Crandall said.
UND will play host Hawaii on Sunday.