Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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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.
With a conference title hanging in the balance and a postseason tournament No. 1 seed on the line, there was no way Quinton Hooker -- one of UND’s more dynamic players in years -- was going to be denied. As usual, he wasn’t. Hooker led UND to an 82-73 win over Portland State on Saturday before 2,870 fans at The Betty -- a win that gave the Fighting Hawks the Big Sky Conference regular-season title and the No.
Kindred capped an undefeated season with a 59-52 win over North Star on Saturday night in the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball championship game at the Alerus Center. Kindred received 15 points from Brooke Hiatt and 13 from Abby Duchscherer as the Vikings finished 26-0. North Star lost for the first time this season, ending at 26-1. Macey Kvilvang led North Star with 22 points. Stephanie Miller added 12.
FARGO—Eight years was enough for Devils Lake. The No. 8-seeded Firebirds had four players score in double figures to knock off No. 6-seeded Central 62-46 in an East Region girls basketball tournament state-qualifying game. Devils Lake (11-14) earned a trip to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2009. The Firebirds are the No. 4 seed from the East Region for the state tournament.
With a conference title hanging in the balance and a postseason tournament No. 1 seed on the line, there was no way Quinton Hooker—one of UND's more dynamic players in years—was going to be denied. As usual, he wasn't. Hooker led UND to an 82-73 win over Portland State on Saturday before 2,870 fans at The Betty—a win that gave the Fighting Hawks the Big Sky Conference regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in next week's postseason tournament in Reno, Nev.
PORTLAND, Ore.—UND earned a share of the Big Sky Conference women's basketball title a night earlier, but the Fighting Hawks won't carry the No. 1 seed into next week's league postseason tournament in Reno, Nev. Portland State downed UND 81-67 on Friday night in the regular-season finale for both teams. UND dropped to 15-3 and 20-9. Montana State (15-3, 22-6) beat Weber State on Friday night to move into a tie with the Hawks for first place. Montana State holds the tiebreaker over UND by virtue of its overtime win over the Hawks earlier this season.
North Star will meet Kindred on Saturday night for the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball title. North Star reached the title game with a 61-41 win over Minot Our Redeemer's in Friday night's semifinal round at the Alerus Center. North Star received 23 points from Macey Kvilvang and 20 from Stephanie Miller. Our Redeemer's was led by Morgan Olson's 22 points. North Star will take a 26-0 record into the title game while Kindred is 25-0. North Star 61, Minot Our Redeemer's 41 MIN 5 18 8 10-41 NST 11 18 19 13--61