UND learned that when you play a good squad, you must play 40 minutes. Lapses and their inability to stop potential POY Wilson in the post allowed the Jacks to come away with a victory. Now UND turns its attention to in-state rival NDSU, who is looking for another conference crown and UND looking to spoil it.
Since we Last Left the Bison: The Bison have been taking care of business since their game in Fargo against UND, with their only slip up down in Brookings. They are healthy and ready to go to the finish line with a showdown coming up against SDSU on Wednesday for the conference title. The pulse of the team, Shahid, has been playing lights out and has stepped up in the big games (31 against ORU, 27 against USD). His partner in crime, Ward, has also been playing well and dominated UND in Fargo. They are ready for Sioux Falls and ready to go back to back.
Last Time Out: It played out like the last few NDSU-UND matchups: NDSU took the lead, UND played well enough to avoid the blowout but whenever they got close, NDSU managed to push the lead back out. Tyson Ward had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Vinnie chipped in 22. Marlon had 22 points and Rebraca had 21 in the loss for UND.
Key Player: Vinnie Shahid
The heart of the Bison, on the short list of Summit POY, he would be on mine. He has "it", the leadership necessary to make THAT play when a team needs it. When you need a bucket, he will be the one to give it to you. Like Wilson is for SDSU this year, Vinnie has been that for NDSU since he walked on campus last year. One of the Summit leading scorers and shooting nearly 90% from the line.
While UND leads the all time series 161-137, but NDSU leads the series at the D1 level 9-4. NDSU also has a 4 game winning streak going into this against UND as well.
Honor Thy Seniors: UND will be honoring 3 seniors during their final home game: Marlon Stewart, Billy Brown, and Kienan Walter. These are the last players from the 2016-17 squad that made the NCAA tournament (although Marlon didn't play, he was still on the team).
Marlon has been a starter for most of his time here at UND and while he had his moments and setbacks, it really came together for him this season. He really bought into what Sather brought this season and could lead the league in both points and assists this season. He will end up as a top 20 scorer in UND history, top 10 all time in assists, and should be UND's first All-Summit team member.
Kienan might be in the running for most improved this season. He has finally been able to put it all together as well this season as he is shooting his career best in all categories. I would say the most impressive thing is his massive improvement from the free throw line, going from a near 70% shooter to now a 90% shooter. I said he needed to step up and become a solid starter in this lineup and he answered the bell. He will end his career on a high note.
Billy has had a rough go of it this year, his numbers are down across the board, minus the free throw percentage. Nevertheless, he has always been one to play hard for UND and has been a starter for this squad for the past two seasons. He really lit it up last year from 3, putting up the 5th best percentage in UND history last season, but it hasn't come together for him this year. He was asked to do a lot and he did his best at it.
DAE is 70 points away from breaking the freshman scoring record set by Troy Huff in 2010-11. He would need to average 17.5 ppg to get there. He can't afford another 11 point contest if he wants to do it, unless they advance further in Sioux Falls
Marlon needs 10 more assists this season to break into the top 10 for assists in a single season and needs 15 more assists to crack the top 10 all time for assists.
Rebraca is shooting 59.4% this season, would be good for 6th all time in UND history for a single season in field goal percentage. Still has a chance to make that number better or worse but will take a lot to more higher than that.
Omaha (7-6) @ WIU (2-11): The Mavs survived a road trip in Fort Wayne and then got some great news when ORU lost to DU. Now the Mavs find themselves in the catbird seat for the 4 seed. Westerns worst nightmare has occurred, they are now tied with DU for the final spot for Sioux Falls and their matchup at the end of the year could decide it all. That could change however if they can pull out a win against either Omaha or Oral Roberts.
USD (9-5) @ SDSU (12-2): Another chapter of the in-state rivalry is upon us in South Dakota, SDSU passed its road test in Grand Forks, while USD fell to NDSU, ending their hopes for a conference title and 1 seed. Its simple for SDSU, two wins are you are the #1 and conference champs. Even a loss here wouldn't hurt that since they get the Bison on Wednesday. For the Yotes, they are still trying to hold down the 3 seed and one win would be able to do that. Should be a good one.
1) Do better against Ward
2) DAE and Walter need to play better against the Bison
3) Get a lead for once
4) Make THE play
Its time for UND to make a stand and say, we are tired of losing to the I-29 schools. We are tired of losing to the Bison. It is time. The Bison are coming in playing very well, but UND can play with them. The question will be, can UND make the plays to BEAT them. The line has been drawn, its time to answer the bell. I think this drought finally ends at home and UND springs the upset with free throws at the end.
*Poster's Note: As usual, keep it clean on both sides. Lets not add more nonsense to the closed thread.
**Poster's Note part II: Since we are nearing the end of the season (man, it went by so fast) it is my time to thank everyone once for reading the threads I put up. I say every year that I want to do a little better with these and I think I accomplished that task. Not thinking ahead to next year yet, just want to enjoy the remainder of this season, no matter how long it lasts (hopefully until Late March, one can dream right?)