Hawks win big, now prepare for Utah Tech and Cal State Fullerton
Freshmen combine for 52 points in UND's 92-61 win
GRAND FORKS – UND was expected to defeat Division III Wisconsin-Stout on Tuesday night at The Betty. And the Hawks rolled, winning 92-61.
The game was more of an audition of sorts for some of UND’s younger players. And the auditions went well, perhaps an indication of the depth the Hawks may have once they enter Summit League play in December.
Freshmen reserves Treysen Eaglestaff (19 points), A’Jahni Levias (15) and sophomore Brian Mathews (12 points, 12 rebounds) played significant – and productive minutes in leading the Hawks to a 3-3 record with two more home games in the next five days – Utah Tech (formerly Dixie State) and Friday and Cal State-Fullerton on Sunday,
“This was a game we obviously should win,” said UND coach Paul Sather. “We shared the ball and played the way that a team has to play. We didn’t get caught up in making it about just trying to get points. I was really proud of them for that.”
Eaglestaff, Levias and Mathews combined to shoot 18-for-30 from the field and all played 16 or more minutes.
And more youth dominated as well as freshman B.J. Omot scored 18 points, hitting 3-pointers and finishing with some athletic moves around the basket. It’s still a long way to go, but Omot’s start to the season likely will include him in the Summit League Freshman of the Year running. If that happens, it would be UND’s third-straight freshman of the year.
It was Mathews first double double of his career.
“It feels great,” said the 6-foot-9 center. “It really gave me a confidence boost. It shows that I’m capable of doing the dirty work on the boards, getting rebounds and scoring.”
Levias, a 6-6 redshirt freshman, didn’t play at all last season, sitting out with an injury.
The Hawks are optimistic he can play the power forward position. And he has shown the ability to shoot the 3-pointer.
“It feels good to be back playing,” said Levias. “It’s my first official game in like two years. And this was a good bounce-back game for us. We worked on things that we need to work on moving forward, such as rebounding, setting har screens and everything the coaches have been asking of us.”
The Hawks now turn their attention to Utah Tech, the day after Thanksgiving.
Levias doesn’t mind the games on the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
“We just have to come in and get to grinding,” said Levias.