UND MEN'S BASKETBALL: UND gets win over Texas-Pan American 86-60
UND had a simple solution to its season-long struggles at the free-throw line -- just make 3-pointers, again and again and again. There was no need for UND to concentrate on free throws Monday night as the Sioux -- in perhaps their best performan...
UND had a simple solution to its season-long struggles at the free-throw line -- just make 3-pointers, again and again and again.
There was no need for UND to concentrate on free throws Monday night as the Sioux -- in perhaps their best performance of the season -- breezed past Texas-Pan American 86-60 before 1,496 fans at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
The win improved UND to 5-4 in the Great West Conference and 14-14 overall. It also set up a fairly significant game Saturday when UND hosts Utah Valley -- the only undefeated team in the Great West.
If the Sioux win, they lock up the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Great West Conference postseason tournament.
"From start to finish, this probably was our best game of the season," UND coach Brian Jones said. "When our guys shared the ball and moved it early, we got wide-open shots. And they started knocking them down. Then it got contagious as multiple guys started knocking down threes."
UND went 14-for-28 on 3-point attempts.
An even more impressive stat was UND's assist-to-turnover ratio. The Sioux had 23 assists on 31 field goals and committed only 12 turnovers.
UND started strong, opening the game on a 10-0 run. The need to make free throws didn't exist because of the team's solid perimeter shooting.
"You could put it that way," said UND's Jamal Webb, who led the way with 19 points. "But we were getting defensive stops and getting out in transition. That led to the easy baskets. And we got open looks, too."
After finishing 9-for-29 at the line in a narrow win against Houston Baptist last week, the Sioux went 10-for-17 against the Broncs, (5-4, 11-19).
The share-the-ball mentality for UND resulted in five double-figure scorers for the Sioux. Aaron Anderson finished with 15 points, while Patrick Mitchell, Josh Schuler and Lenny Antwi all finished with 11.
For Antwi, it was his best game. The freshman from Montreal went 4-for-6 in 25 solid minutes.
His play, said Jones, has improved steadily since Christmas.
"He had to get comfortable with the college game," Jones said. "He's a shot maker and he got into a good rhythm tonight."
Antwi said the season has been frustrating at times.
"The only way you can get better is to get shots up after practice and show the coach you want to play," Antwi said. "Every day after practice I stayed to work on my shot. Today, it showed up."
UND also won its third in a row, the first time this season that's been accomplished.
UND peaked at the end of last season, winning the Great West postseason tournament and advancing to the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
A similar trend is emerging this season.
"We want to be playing our best basketball heading into March," Jones said.