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The Big Sky Conference postseason women's basketball tournament still is a month away but the league's first big showdown of the season is set for Saturday. Northern Colorado hosts UND in a matchup of the top two teams in the league. Northern Colorado is 10-0 in the Big Sky and 18-3 overall while UND is 9-1 and 14-7.
College football 6 UND recruits By state North Dakota Andrew Jones, 5-11, 220, FB, Hunter; Jack Pifer, 6-13, 190, WR, Fargo South; Hayden Reynolds, 6-1, 195, LB, West Fargo Sheyenne Minnesota Brock Boltmann, 6-1, 195, QB, Edina; Leif Bungum, 6-2, 190, LB, Dodge Center; Graham DeVore, 6-4, 230, TE, Mahtomedi; Connor Kruse, 6-5, 300, OL, Waconia; Jalen Morrison, 6-2, 240, DL, Woodbury; Zeke Ott, 6-3, 225, DL, Caledonia; Bryden Swenson, 6-3, 200, LB, Hallock; Brady Leach, 6-3, 175, PF, Moorhead Illinois
Boys basketball 6 Saturday's results Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 64, EGF Sacred Heart 60 Breckenridge 74, Wahpeton 46 Red Lake 85, Fond du Lac 31 Irene-Wakonda 74, Turtle Mountain 72 St. Mary's 85, Williston 56 Hillcrest 76, Oak Grove 73 New Rockford-Sheyenne 52, Langdon-E-M 47 Harvey-Wells County 54, Kidder County 50 Ellendale 68, Lisbon 37 Hankinson 70, Maple Valley 61 Wyndmere-Lidgerwood 70, Wilmot 39 Hillsboro-Central Valley 68, Central Cass 44
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Colorado College scored a goal late in the first period and added two empty-net tallies in the final minute to down UND 3-0 on Saturday night in a National Collegiate Hockey Conference game. The teams split their weekend series. UND dropped to 7-8-1 in the NCHC and 14-10-3 overall while Colorado College improved to 3-11-2 and 7-17-2. It was the Tigers' first home win of the season as well. UND outshot CC 45-20 but Tigers' goalie Alex Leclerc stopped every UND shot.
The second half of the Big Sky Conference season began Saturday. For UND, the beginning of the league's stretch run looked promising—especially the Hawks' ability to shoot the basketball. UND shot the ball 40 percent from the field in the first half of the league season. In its start to the second half of league play, UND shot a blistering 59 percent in running past Northern Arizona 88-69 before 1,802 fans at The Betty.
UND was in cruise control for roughly 30 minutes, slowly—but surely—taking care of business against Southern Utah. The Fighting Hawks then hit a speed bump. Still, UND was in control. Surprisingly, SUU then managed to throw a major road block at UND in the closing minutes. What was a leisurely drive toward another Big Sky Conference women's basketball win turned into a white-knuckle ride in the closing seconds. UND, however, had enough to take a 75-70 win over SUU on Thursday night before 1,563 fans at The Betty.
CEDAR CITY, Utah—There is a reason why Quinton Hooker was named the Big Sky Conference preseason player of the year. The UND senior delivers when the game is on the line. Hooker delivered again, hitting the game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds to go as UND downed Southern Utah 91-89 on Thursday night in a Big Sky game. Hooker's game-winner was a step-back, 16-footer that lifted UND to 7-2 in the Big Sky and 12-7 overall. It was UND's third-straight league win. Hooker finished with 23 points and sophomore Geno Crandall equaled his career-high with 31 points.
In July of 2008, UND athletics found its first Division I home—the mighty Great West Conference. Yes, it was a conference. No, it wasn't going to be UND's home forever. Simply, it was a scheduling alliance to help fledgling Division I programs. In July of 2012, UND athletics found its second Division I home—the massive, well-established and successful Big Sky Conference. UND, it appeared, finally found its permanent Division I home.
Hammer earns honor The University of Jamestown's Taylor Hammer is the North Star Athletic Association's player of the week in women's basketball. Hammer, a former Grand Forks Central standout, averaged a double-double in leading the Jimmies to wins over Dakota State and Mayville State last week. She scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Dakota State and followed that by scoring 17 points and added 11 rebounds a day later against Mayville. She has eight double-doubles this season, including five in her past eight games.
UND's start against Idaho State was anything but ideal. The Fighting Hawks found themselves trailing by 15 points nine minutes into the game against a Big Sky Conference opponent that had won only one road game this season. The reason for UND's slow start? Perhaps the Hawks' emotional win over league power Weber State two days earlier had something to do with it. UND, however, awoke in time and sprinted past Idaho State 89-64 on Saturday before 2,570 fans at The Betty. The win improved to UND to 6-2 in the Big Sky and 11-7 overall. Idaho State fell to 1-5 and 4-15.