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UND (10-3, 15-8) @ ISU (3-9, 5-19) 2/16 8 PM

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A solid team effort on both ends of the court paced UND to a big home win against Idaho on Saturday.  Now UND takes their act on the road with a rematch from earlier this season against Idaho State. 

Things have not gone right for ISU this season, and the small bit of hope to perhaps make a late season charge for the last bye went down in flames in getting swept on the road against Sac State and PSU.  Its highly likely that they are playing day 1, but with a guard more than capable of carrying a team in a conference tournament they can still make life difficult if they can gain any momentum.  Ethan Telfair's season hasn't gone exactly what he expected but can still stuff a stat sheet when he is on.  The big Serb, Topalovic, had a solid game against UND the last time, scoring 18 points, and has scored in double figures since then (a stretch of 7 games).

The first meeting in Grand Forks was an 89-64 victory for UND.  It was a classic case of its not how you start, its how you finished.  UND got off to a terrible start in the first 10 minutes, but got it together and took over in the 2nd half.  Baldwin led the way with 23 points, including 7 3's. Topalovic and Luzcando led ISU with 18 points a piece.

UND has never lost to ISU in Big Sky play, 9-0.  They are 3-0 in Poky.

UND got two big victories over the weekend and have a chance to play for 1st place on Saturday, the last thing they want to do at this point is stub their toe against ISU.  Telfair is more than chomping at the bit to finally be the one to get ISU's first victory in the series. The conference has a lot of interesting matchups this weekend and how they break could determine if UND is clinching a top 3 seed this weekend or getting thrown back into the mess of teams for the last bye. 

UND has already matched the number of conference wins from last year and are only two off from matching last seasons win total. 

Other games:

Sac (6-6) @ Montana (8-5) Montana swept SUU/NAU on the road, while Sac State swept Weber/ISU at home.  Big story in this one is the health of Montana guard Ahmaad Rorie who is rumored to have suffered a concussion last Thursday against SUU. No word on if he can go this weekend or not.  Critical game for both teams, Sac win gives them the tiebreaker over the Griz and puts them a half game back for the final bye.  A Griz win increases continues to put the pressure on EWU for 3rd and that more important first round bye.

PSU (5-7) @ MSU (7-6): PSU got a split at home verses ISU/Weber but could have gotten more if they could have made a few free throws down the stretch against Weber.  MSU split against NAU/SUU.  If PSU has any inspirations in getting a bye they need to sweep this road trip.  MSU can keep pace and pretty much knock out PSU from 1st round bye consideration with a win. The Cats have 3 big games at home in the next two weeks and can go a long ways from deciding if they are getting a bye or playing day 1.

UNC (4-9) @ Weber (10-2): Weber got roughed up on the road (by their standards), lost to Sac State and escaped PSU in OT.  UNC got beat twice at home verses EWU/Idaho. The season ends soon for UNC so they are going to play any opponent with nothing left to lose.  Like UND, Weber can't afford to look ahead to Saturday.

The call:

This is the definition of a trap game.  A team with nothing to really play for, who has lost 9 straight times to you, and it is at their place. Oh, and the team you play next is the team you are chasing 1st place with. Add in the not too recent road performances at SUU and NAU and UND might sweat this one out right?  Not quite.  UND played very well against two of the better teams in the Big Sky and have a lot of momentum going on this road trip.  Plus Geno (Crandall that is) didn't play very well against ISU at home... I think he will look to rectify that. They know what's at stake this weekend and with the leadership on this team they will get it done.  Am I calling for a blowout? No, but a solid performance on the road with big games from the starters and continued production for Cortez is to be expected. No trap game here

UND 84-69

 

 

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Throw out the team records. If UND doesn't show up, the way they have recently, they could drop a very winnable game. Would love to see a commanding lead to build some momentum and get the starters a little extra rest before heading to Weber. Ultimately, just get the win.

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14 hours ago, BarnWinterSportsEngelstad said:

Free throw line has become a big asset for us, remember how poorly we shot free throw at some of the games in the early part of the season?

I'm assuming Jones gets all the credit for the better free-throw shooting?  I mean, it has on him when they were missing them because they "didn't practice them enough."

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Tough playing on the road, but they need this one (as well as UNC), need to be able to beat the lower half of the league, no matter where you play them. Excited for this game.

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At minimum the next 3 roads games need to a Meatloaf.

If they get all 3 and come home tied for the Big Sky lead?  Man that would be sweet

Got to get the first one tonight

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19 minutes ago, AJS said:

Tough playing on the road, but they need this one (as well as UNC), need to be able to beat the lower half of the league, no matter where you play them. Excited for this game.

Exactly. If you can't beat lower-half conference teams on the road, then the big home wins are certainly diminished some. 

With the big "end-of-the-season evaluation" looming, the road conference performances need to be watched carefully. 

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47 minutes ago, gfhockey said:

Link to webcast?

Well connected guy like you doesn't know how to watch UND basketball games yet?

How can we trust you and the GOBC to pick the next mens basketball coach?!

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4 minutes ago, gfhockey said:

Usually am supporting the team at the games not watching ton tv like the peasants that can't afford to go

Impressive youre able to go to all those road games with that six fig oil money.

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1 minute ago, Cratter said:

Watching the first few minutes, I got a bad feeling about this game. ???

I'm thinking buzzer beater. 80-79 type game.

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