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The kick start to the East Grand Forks Senior High offense was shared by Brooke Filipi and McKenna Aitchison. The duo combined to score 18 of the Green Wave's first 22 points Tuesday night. That led Senior High to a 22-7 lead and the Wave were never caught. They went on to beat visiting Crookston 63-49 in girls basketball. Filipi and Aitchison feasted on layups in their fast start. With the exception of a 3-point basket by Aitchison, almost all of those 22 points by the two Wave players in the first 12 minutes were layups or short jump shots.
Three days after an emotional win over their biggest rival, UND took to the court to play a team it was supposed to beat. Those games, sometimes, aren't the easiest to play. And for a while, UND's game against scrappy Mayville State on Tuesday night at The Betty wasn't that easy for the Fighting Hawks. But UND had too much inside strength as the Hawks downed Mayville 82-54. UND improved to 6-3 and won its 10th straight game at home.
At 6-foot-7, UND junior center Conner Avants has been at a size disadvantage so far this season against teams such as Nebraska and Creighton. And Gonzaga, next week's opponent on UND's brutal nonconference schedule, supposedly is bigger than both Nebraska and Creighton. But it doesn't matter to the UND center. Avants has stayed within UND's system and is producing—averaging 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as the Fighting Hawks prepare for today's in-state rivalry game against North Dakota State.
OMAHA, Neb.—UND prefers a fast-paced basketball game, one in which its athletic guards can use their skill. The same holds true for Creighton. So, few expected any shot clock violations Tuesday night. And the shot clock operator had the easiest job in CenturyLink Arena, where Creighton—with more speed, depth and size—simply ran past UND 111-68 before 15,069 fans.
During the past few seasons, UND's nonconference schedule in women's basketball overall has been challenging. There haven't been many scheduling layups for the Fighting Hawks as they prepared for the Big Sky Conference season. Tonight, UND takes its nonconference scheduling to a new level. The Fighting Hawks will take on No. 8 Baylor in Waco, Texas. Baylor will be the highest-ranked opponent UND has played since the program moved to Division I in 2008. Baylor is 7-1 after the Bears beat No. 16 Stanford 81-57 on Sunday.
OMAHA, Neb.—Creighton men's basketball is the big show in Omaha. The Bluejays, coached by former UND assistant Greg McDermott, regularly play before more than 17,000 fans at the CenturyLink Center. The Bluejays already have played four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll this season and are in the mix to compete for the Big East title. Tonight, UND will be in the national spotlight as the Fighting Hawks take on Creighton and McDermott, who still has ties to Grand Forks and UND.
For nearly 30 minutes, UND managed to stay within striking distance of Northern Iowa. The Fighting Hawks weren't particularly shooting well, but they did have one advantage. Lexi Klabo was playing her usual game. Klabo, UND's 6-foot-3 junior center, has shown she can carry her team at times this season. And she did that again Saturday, scoring a career-high 29 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in leading UND to an 80-72 win over Northern Iowa before 1,877 fans at The Betty.
MINNEAPOLIS—UND knew it was up against one of the top college volleyball programs in the country in the Minnesota Gophers. But the Fighting Hawks also knew they could compete against the Gophers. UND did compete, but the Gophers remain one of the top teams in the country after Minnesota downed UND 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before 4,526 fans at Maturi Pavilion.
Since the season started, UND coach Brian Jones has been talking about his team being able to understand the process of college basketball—what it takes to win on a consistent basis. With seven new faces on the UND roster, that's been his overriding message since Day 1. That was the message again Tuesday night after UND downed Presentation College of Aberdeen, S.D., 82-75 at The Betty—a win that had bright moments and lackluster moments for the Fighting Hawks. The Hawks improved to 4-3 while Presentation—an NAIA program—came in at 4-4.
Minutes after UND beat Sacramento State for the Big Sky Conference, Fighting Hawks volleyball coach Mark Pryor knew where his team was headed for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. To no one's surprise, UND will play at Minnesota on Friday night in the first round of the tournament. The NCAA released the pairings Sunday night. In fact, minutes after UND won the Big Sky, Pryor said he received a text from Minnesota coach Hugh McCutcheon saying, "See you in two weeks."