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MEN'S BASKETBALL: UND now switches gears

The UND men's basketball team has been exposed to big-time programs since its move to Division I in 2008. North Dakota visited Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Air Force and Wisconsin last season and lost to Kansas 84-58 on Saturday at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

The UND men's basketball team has been exposed to big-time programs since its move to Division I in 2008.

North Dakota visited Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Air Force and Wisconsin last season and lost to Kansas 84-58 on Saturday at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

UND coach Brian Jones said when it comes to intimidating atmospheres, the more than 16,000 fans in Lawrence take the cake.

"Madison has great crowds, so no disrespect to Wisconsin, but when you pull up here it's like a Big Ten or Big 12 football Saturday," Jones said. "It's just different with that many fans outside already trying to get in."

Yet as exciting as it is for UND to gauge itself against the No. 17 Jayhawks, Jones made it clear it's more important to handle the games in which his team is supposed to be competitive.

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"The next one is the most important game of the year," Jones said of UND's matchup Wednesday against Mayville State of the NAIA. "It's going to take a mature team to be able to handle that scenario.

"You go from playing an elite program to a non-Division I ... nothing against Mayville, but that's hard to get used to. We have to be driven to get back to the win column. That's where our mindset needs to be. We have to get better the next couple of days."

Two years ago, Mayville State knocked off UND 73-61 at The Betty.

"They'll come in with no fear," said Jones, whose team has lost six of its last seven games. "They always play well in our building. We've got to take another step defensively against Mayville."

If there was a bright spot in UND's lopsided defeat against the Jayhawks, it was bench scoring. UND outscored Kansas' bench 20-9.

North Dakota received a shot in the arm from reserves Jordan Allard, Spencer Goodman and Josh Schuler

Allard and Schuler had seven points apiece, while Goodman had five points in 11 minutes.

Goodman missed 35 straight regular-season games before coming back to the lineup last week against Sacramento State. Jones said Goodman, who had been a starter prior to his injury, is still getting back into game conditioning.

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"(Bench scoring) is the key to any team's run down the stretch," Jones said. "You can have starters who are talented, but you need those 6-7-8-9 guys. Those guys have given us great defense, but they're capable of good offense."

Miller reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1121; (800) 477-6572, ext. 121; or send e-mail to tmiller@gfherald.com .

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