Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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Traditionally, Montana usually has been at the top of the Big Sky Conference women's basketball standings. It's a strange year for the Griz, however. Montana underwent a coaching change after last season with the retirement of legendary coach Robin Selvig. And they lost two starters early this season, one of them being preseason league player of the year Kayleigh Valley. For nearly three quarters, however, none of that seemed to matter as UND struggled to keep the struggling Griz at arm's length.
Boys hockey 6 Friday's results Ely 3, Bagley-Fosston 1 Moorhead 9, Minnetonka 5 Greenway 4, Minneapolis 2 Williston 3, BOttineau 2, OT Detroit Lakes 2, Fargo North 1 Minot 7, Jamestown 1 St. Paul Johnson 3, Fargo South-Shanley 3, OT Devils Lake 2, Fargo Davies 1 Northern Lakes 6, Kittson Central 1 First period—1. NL, Brett Reed (Max Tangen) 12:51
Somehow, some way, UND had managed to stage successful second-half rallies in Big Sky Conference women's basketball games this season and for a good portion of last season, too. Montana State witnessed another late UND surge Thursday night. But the Bobcats—unlike many other league teams—had enough to hold on, beating UND 74-71 in overtime before 1,595 fan at The Betty. UND dropped to 4-1 in the league and 9-7 overall while the Bobcats, picked to finish first in the league media poll, improved to 4-1 and 11-4.
No trophy will be awarded. And it won't go in any record book, either. But the accomplishments of the UND women's basketball team the past 17 games have been quite remarkable. After UND's road sweep last week at Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, the Fighting Hawks have won 16 of their past 17 Big Sky Conference games dating back to last season. "We buy into philosophies," said UND senior Samantha Roscoe. "And we got on a roll."
Throughout the years, the most recognizable teams in the Big Sky Conference have been Montana and Montana State. And most of the other teams in the Big Sky also recognize that the road trip to Montana and Montana State—in most sports—is the toughest in the league. UND takes its 3-1 Big Sky men's basketball record to Montana State on Thursday night and Montana on Saturday. The Fighting Hawks have won three in a row and perhaps played their best game of the season last Saturday in a 30-point thrashing of Southern Utah.
Free throws were a struggle for East Grand Forks Senior High on Saturday—until the final 1:40 of the Green Wave's boys basketball game. That's when they were the difference as Senior High held off a big Sacred Heart comeback to claim a 77-72 victory at the Green Wave gymnasium. The Wave held only a 70-66 lead until making 7-of-10 free throws over five straight possessions in the final 1:37. Up to that point, Senior High was only 8-of-17 from the line.
GRAND FORKS — With six minutes to play, Quinton Hooker — UND’s best player and arguably the best in the Big Sky Conference — headed to the bench. His day was done. That rarely happens in any league game. Yet, Hooker was done after scoring 23 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists in leading UND to dominating 95-65 Big Sky win over Southern Utah on Saturday before 1,749 fans at The Betty.
UND placed six players in double figures as the Hawks cruised to a 95-65 win over Southern Utah on Saturday in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center before 1,749 fans. UND improved to 3-1 in the league and 8-6 overall while Southern Utah dropped to 2-1 and 4-12. UND led throughout and turned it on early in the second half, opening a 30-point lead five minutes into the half.
OMAHA, Neb.—Brock Boeser and Tyson Jost returned to the UND men's hockey team Friday night and made up for lost time. Boeser scored two goals while Jost tallied another as UND rolled past Omaha 9-1 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. Boeser had been out for more than a month with a wrist injury while Jost was with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, which wrapped up Thursday night. UND improved to 4-4-1 in the NCHC and 11-6-3 overall while Omaha dropped to 4-5 and 11-7-3.
During the postgame handshakes, Northern Arizona coach Jack Murphy asked UND's Quinton Hooker when he's going to graduate. He knew the answer. Still, Hooker's graduation isn't soon enough for NAU and the rest of the Big Sky Conference. For UND, Hooker's graduation will be too soon as the senior guard again made the big plays down the stretch in leading the Fighting Hawks to a 68-63 Big Sky win over NAU on Thursday night before 1,518 fans at The Betty. Hooker finished with a game-high 20 points, 11 coming in the final 3:19 with the game hanging in the balance.