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RENO, Nev.—For the second night in a row, UND started fast—blowing out to a 21-7 lead in the first seven minutes. Early on, the Fighting Hawks played a level that looked unbeatable in the Big Sky Conference men's basketball tournament. But the postseason has a way of leveling the field. Idaho proved that in Friday night's Big Sky semifinal game.
RENO, Nev.—UND held on to beat Idaho 69-64 on Friday night in the semifinal round of the Big Sky Conference men's basketball tournament. The win advances UND into Saturday night's championship game against either Weber State or Eastern Washington. UND received 16 points from Geno Crandall and Corey Baldwin. UND improved to 21-9.
RENO, Nev.—UND opened the Big Sky Conference season with a crushing loss at Portland State. The 37-point setback in late December was one of the program's more lopsided losses in years. But UND rebounded and went on to win the league's regular-season title. UND and Portland State met again in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky tournament Thursday, and the Hawks played like a team that won the regular-season title and earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
RENO, Nev. -- Makailah Dyer, UND’s leading scorer, had the shot she likely wanted. Her teammates believed that, too. But Dyer’s 3-point shot with 3 seconds to play was off the mark, a miss that gave Portland State a 65-62 win over the Fighting Hawks on Wednesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Big Sky Conference women’s basketball tournament. “That last shot was a great one for her,” said UND’s Leah Szabla. “She’s been hitting that all year. I thought it was in.
RENO, Nev.—UND joined the Big Sky Conference in 2012. When it comes to the league's postseason tournament, however, there was no learning curve for the Fighting Hawks. The Hawks have been productive in all three of their Big Sky tournament appearances, reaching the semifinals twice and advancing to the championship game in 2014. Will that trend continue Thursday when top-seeded UND plays No. 8 seed Portland State in a quarterfinal game? Hard to say. But UND has had its fair share of postseason tournament success since joining the league.
RENO, Nev.—In UND's opening game of the season, Leah Szabla scored 25 points against Drake—one of the top mid-major women's basketball programs in the country. The UND senior followed that with a 25-point performance against Texas Tech of the Big 12 and a 12-point effort against Iowa of the Big Ten. A month later, however, Szabla wasn't feeling too good.
By design, UND women’s basketball coach Travis Brewster put together a challenging 2016-17 schedule. The result of that schedule, which included games against Drake, Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa, left UND with a 4-6 record as the Fighting Hawks had one nonconference game remaining before the start of Big Sky Conference play. UND, however, went out to San Diego and took a 65-61 win on Dec. 21. “That was a turning point,” said Brewster.
RENO, Nev.—Quinton Hooker's basketball career at UND is drawing to a close. But the senior guard still has more he wants to accomplish—a Big Sky Conference postseason tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Hooker, however, still added more accomplishments to his resume Monday as he was named to the all-Big Sky Conference first team for the second straight year.
UND's bid for at least a share of the Big Sky Conference men's basketball title will have to wait. Sacramento State derailed UND's plans with a 57-53 win over the Fighting Hawks on Thursday night before 2,266 fans at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND dropped to 13-4 in the Big Sky and 18-9 overall while Sacramento State is now 9-8 and 12-16. UND entered the night in first place, one game ahead of Eastern Washington. The Hawks struggled all game offensively, never getting into a rhythm.