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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Kansas State defeats UND 63-49

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- UND entered its game against Big 12 opponent Kansas State on Tuesday night without its top two scorers -- Quinton Hooker and Geno Crandall.

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Dec 22, 2015; Manhattan, KS, USA; North Dakota Fighting Hawks forward Drick Bernstine (43) drives to the basket against Kansas State Wildcats forward Dean Wade (32) during the first half at Fred Bramlage Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- UND entered its game against Big 12 opponent Kansas State on Tuesday night without its top two scorers -- Quinton Hooker and Geno Crandall.

Somehow, UND managed to hang around longer than many expected.

Kansas State used an 11-0 run early in the second half to pull away from North Dakota 63-49 before 12,440 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.

Hooker has been plagued with plantar fasciitis, which has hampered the junior guard the past few games. Crandall, meanwhile, was suspended for one game due to a violation of athletic department policy.

Kansas State improved to 9-2 while UND dropped to 5-6 as the Fighting Hawks now prepare for Big Sky Conference play.

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Hooker and Crandall, together, average 27 points on the season for UND. In their absence, Drick Bernstine, a 6-foot-8 forward, wound up playing the point guard position.

Bernstine finished with a team-high 13 points, 13 rebounds and a team-high five assists.

“I could not be more proud of this team and the effort we gave tonight,” said UND coach Brian Jones. “With being down two of our main pieces, we knew we would need guys to step up and play well tonight and I think we saw that from several guys.”

UND received eight points each from Conner Avants and Cortez Seales.

Kansas State was led by Barry Brown’s 15 points. Wesley Iwundu added 11.

UND led 19-15 with 5:46 to play in the first half after Adam McDermott hit a 3-pointer. That basket capped an 11-0 run for the Fighting Hawks.

But the Wildcats responded and led 24-21 at the half as UND’s 2-3 zone held Kansas State to 32 percent shooting.

Bernstine’s layup with 17:52 remaining tied the game at 27-27. But the Wildcats then replied with an 11-0 run as Kamau Stokes and Justin Edwards hit back-to-back 3-pointers.

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UND, however, managed to hang around and trailed 46-40 after Avants scored a layup with 8:38 to go.

But that’s as close as UND could get.

The Wildcats struggled from the free-throw line, making only 12 of 26. UND was 9 of 15 from the line.

UND shot 44 percent, compared to K-State’s 38 percent.

UND will open Big Sky play Dec. 31 at home against Idaho.

Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.


He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.



He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.



Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or wnelson@gfherald.com.
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