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UND women's basketball: Avoiding the big distraction

UND coach Gene Roebuck announced Friday he'll retire at the end of the season. His announcement also came on the day before one of UND's biggest games of the season -- the kind that likely will determine a league championship.

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UND coach Gene Roebuck announced Friday he'll retire at the end of the season. His announcement also came on the day before one of UND's biggest games of the season -- the kind that likely will determine a league championship.

UND hosts Utah Valley today at The Betty. The teams are expected to battle for the Great West Conference championship.

Roebuck's announcement, however, shouldn't be a distraction, according to UND associate head coach Travis Brewster.

It will be business as usual on the court.

"The expectations coach has for this team will be intact," Brewster said.

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It's the conference opener for both schools. In the short history of the Great West, UND and Utah Valley usually are in the mix for a conference championship.

UND is 9-9 while Utah Valley is 8-9.

But UND comes in with momentum. The Green and White beat Harvard on Tuesday in Cambridge, Mass., a win that came without their leading scorer -- Madi Buck.

Buck missed the game due to a foot injury and her status for today's game against the Wolverines isn't known.

The Green and White enter this season's league race with their best preconference record in the last three years. With a 10-game league schedule, Great West teams usually find themselves on the road much of the pre-conference season playing a lot of mid-major and upper level Division I programs.

UND also has the best record of any Great West team entering league play.

It could have been better if not for some poor UND shooting.

Against Harvard, UND connected on 50 percent of its shots. In UND's previous five games, the Green and White didn't shoot better than 30 percent.

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Winning the Great West virtually requires a team to holding serve on its home court. With a 10-game schedule, home losses are killers.

"We can't have shooting slumps," said Buck, who averages 11.6 points. "And we have to realize the first four minutes of a game dictate the way we're going to play."

"We're confident we can win every game from here on out."

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

Today's game

Who: Utah Valley at UND.

When: Today, 2 p.m., The Betty.

TV/radio: Cat Country (100.3 FM).

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Records: UND 9-9; Utah Valley 8-9.

Of note: UND is 4-1 all time against Utah Valley.

Related Topics: BASKETBALLUND SPORTS
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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