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UND men's basketball: It's time to move on

UND coaches and fans may still have a hangover from one of the most difficult men's basketball losses in school history - a quadruple overtime 107-96 setback against Utah Valley last Thursday.

Derek Benter

UND coaches and fans may still have a hangover from one of the most difficult men's basketball losses in school history - a quadruple overtime 107-96 setback against Utah Valley last Thursday.

"Our guys are really resilient," UND coach Brian Jones said. "They were hurting Friday; they were fine on Saturday." With that, UND is preparing to meet Texas-Pan American Thursday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in a Great West Conference game.

UTPA is 0-3 in the Great West and 3-17 overall. The Broncs have lost 11 in a row and their top scorer, Perry Petty, has been suspended the last two games, although Jones expects he'll be back in the lineup tonight.

But the Sioux have other issues, namely making free throws.

UND missed 22 free throws in the four-OT loss, so this week in practice it's been "free throws and situations," Jones said. "You can throw everything out the door if you make one more foul shot. That's having confidence, stepping up and making a shot. We had the right guys at the line (last week)." UND is 1-1 in the conference and plays the last two teams in the Great West. Houston Baptist comes to the Betty on Saturday. The Huskies are 1-2 in the league and 2-16 overall.

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"But HBU has the best player in the league in Andrew Gonzalez," Jones said of the player that averages 21.6 points. "He can beat you by himself." The two Texas schools also bring a different playing style to Grand Forks.

"Both teams are very guard-dominant, very fast," Jones said. "Their style of basketball is different than what we're used to in the Midwest. They play up-and-down, pretty loose. But they play hard and they're competitive." The Sioux will have Derek Benter available Thursday. The senior 6-foot-8 center sat out last week's game with a foot injury. And backup guard Nick Haugen is close to returning from an injury, Jones said.

"It's nice to see that out of a 15 man roster, we're practicing with 13," Jones said.

After their games against UTPA and HBU, the Sioux hit the road for three straight Great West games.

The four-OT, 3ยฝ-hour game against Utah Valley was difficult, but Jones said it can be used as a teaching tool.

"But you don't want to dwell on it; you need to move forward," he said. "It shows you that the game of basketball is a long game and in every overtime there are different scenarios thrown your way. You can't relax mentally.

"We just have to maintain our focus and discipline."

Nelson reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1268; (800) 477-6572, ext. 268; or send e-mail to wnelson@gfherald.com .

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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