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UND men's basketball: Sioux fall at Northern Illinois

DEKALB, Ill. -- UND scored 11 first-half points against Northern Illinois on Saturday, a performance that won't win many -- if any -- men's college basketball games.

DEKALB, Ill. -- UND scored 11 first-half points against Northern Illinois on Saturday, a performance that won't win many -- if any -- men's college basketball games.

Northern Illinois of the Mid-American Conference capitalized on UND's slow start, beating the Sioux 66-45 at the NIU Convocation Center. The loss dropped UND to 2-13, while Northern Illinois improved to 3-8.

UND had a better second half, outscoring the Huskies 34-32. But the poor first half cost the Sioux, who went 3-for-20 from the field (15 percent) and 4-for-12 from the free-throw line.

"I thought we played well today, but we just couldn't make any shots in the first half," UND coach Brian Jones said. "We got the same looks in the second half and knocked them down. That was encouraging and something we can build on."

UND's second-half performance was led by Chris Clausen, who scored a career-high 16 points, and freshman Jordan Allard, who added eight.

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Northern Illinois led 34-11 at the half. But UND went on a 10-2 run to open the second half. UND later cut Northern Illinois' lead to 39-30 with 13 minutes, 28 seconds to play.

But Northern Illinois' Xavier Silas took over from that point. The transfer from Colorado scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

"We got back to within single digits, but Silas got hot and made some big shots for them," Jones added. "He's a Big XII transfer and showed that ability today."

UND improved in every facet after the break, shooting 45 percent from the field and knocking down 5-of-8 three-pointers to outscore the Huskies 34-32. The team also went 11-for-14 from the charity stripe after its struggles from the line in the first half.

"We played much better in the second half and that is because we made some shots," Jones said. "You start getting a little confidence when shots start to fall and we showed how well we are capable of playing in the final 20 minutes."

A shoving match in the final two minutes delayed the game for approximately five minutes. Technical fouls were assessed on UND's Travis Mertens and Spencer Goodman after a foul was called on Goodman.

Technicals also were assessed on Northern Illinois' Jeremy Landers and Mike DiNunno. Northern Illinois' Michael Patton, Michael Fakuade and Ante Dzepina were disqualified for apparently leaving the bench.

UND plays at Texas A&M on Tuesday before beginning Great West Conference play.

Related Topics: UND SPORTS
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