Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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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.
Quinton Hooker scored 20 points and Conner Avants added 17 as North Dakota took a 68-63 win over Northern Arizona on Thursday night in Big Sky Conference men's basketball at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The win improved UND to 2-1 in the league and 7-6 overall. NAU fell to 0-2 and 3-12. Hooker scored 13 of his points in the second half and the preseason Big Sky Player of the Year came up big for the Fighting Hawks down the stretch.
A week ago, UND left the Stott Center at Portland State for its hotel. Once back at the hotel, UND players watched—in its entirety—Portland State's 99-62 dismantling of the Fighting Hawks in the teams' Big Sky Conference opener. "We had to watch the whole game, from start to finish and it was a good thing for us," said UND sophomore guard Geno Crandall. "We saw what we did bad. Moving forward, it'll probably be a defining moment for us because we figured out a lot of things."