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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. Series History: 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. Milestone Watch: 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. Other Games: 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. Sunday: 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. Keys: 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 The Call: 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. UND 79-77 *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?)
Hopes of winning the conference on the first try were thwarted by a crafty Hornets team, who took the air out of the ball and UND could not overcome a poor shooting night from 3 and from the line and dropped their 1st conference home game of the season and now are tied with EWU for the conference lead. Compounding issues for UND was the absence of Cortez Seales due to a family emergency. UND will try again on Saturday in the final regular season game against Portland State. PSU has had a knack of playing the best teams in the Big Sky tough. Despite this, and a quick start, Portland started to fade down the stretch and will be playing Round 1 in Reno. In fact, this could be a rematch next week in the quarters if things break that way. We don't need to discuss what happened in detail what went down in Portland, but UND has come a long way since then. The one thing that this PSU team can do is score, score, score. They have 5 players who average in double figures this season and another with 9 points per game. The problem? They can't stop anybody. The leader of this team is Senior Forward De'Sean Parsons, who has blossomed a bit in his 2nd year in the program. North and Robinson are solid guards, can have their moments from the 3 point line but will do their damage elsewhere. This will be a different style than what Sac State threw at UND yesterday. The series in Big Sky play is 5-4 UND, including a 4-1 record at home This is also senior night for UND, as they will honor their 4 seniors on this years squad. Pekas joined the squad this year and got in very little, but always had a role in helping in practices. Blake was the 4 year walk on that again, played sparingly in his 4 years but always worked hard. Baldwin transferred in and was a key cog in the UND lineup for the past two years. Was the 3 point marksman that UND needed and was solid on both ends of the court. Possibly one of Jones better JUCO transfers he has brought in. Then there is Hooker, who has been the heart and soul of UND hoops for the last 3 years, and will go down as one of the best UND players of all time. What Q brought to this program was not only is great talent, but his leadership was second to none. So thank you Seniors for all that you have done for the program! Other Games (If you want drama, take a look at the battle for 3-6 seeds): EWU (13-4) @ NAU (5-12) Eags got the best of both worlds last night, taking care of business on the road against SUU and seeing UND stub its toe at home. They have a chance to clinch a share of the conference title with a win and the 1 seed with a win and UND loss. Standing in their way is NAU, who nearly stormed back from a 20 point halftime deficit against Idaho, only to fall short. NAU can't improve their position and their matchup in round 1 is set (they will play PSU), so all they can do is play spoiler. MSU (11-6) @ Weber (11-6) If a song could describe Weber's current situation it would be Urgent by Foreigner. They dropped another home game, this time to their arch rival Griz, and have now lost 4 in a row. They sit in a 3 way tie for 3rd with Idaho and MSU, with the Griz only 1 game back. Speaking of the Cats, they took care of business against ISU and now set up a big showdown at Weber. The winner of this game will end up the 3 seed in Reno (both teams win the tiebreaker over Idaho current based on head-to-head results against EWU). The loser? Depending on other results could be as low as a 6 seed. Can Weber get their swag back or is MSU sending a message that they are a serious threat in Reno to win it all. Griz (10-7) @ ISU (3-14): The Griz just might have saved their season, no really I'm serious. That's how much that win at Weber was to that team. Now they find themselves in a great position to snag either the 4 or 5 spot, and potentially be on the same side as UND, with a win against the Bengals, who are just looking to not finish dead last in the conference. Griz can't lose however, because with a loss and a SAC win, they fall to the 7th seed. Do the Griz have a run left in them? They have the talent at guard to do it. Idaho (11-6) @ SUU (3-14): Vandals managed to survive the storm at NAU and are one step closer to a bye. Despite being in a 3 way tie for 3rd, they cannot finish in that critical 3rd spot due to losing tiebreakers over MSU and Weber (and of course they play each other). The good news? 4th is definitely up for grabs and a win seals it up. A loss to SUU, who is just trying to stay out of the basement, could see them drop all the way down to a 6 seed depending on how the Griz do out in Poky. SAC (9-8) @ UNC (6-11) Well Sac State came up with another statement victory, going into Grand Forks and coming away with a W. Now they take on UNC, who finishes their season up on Saturday. Sac State can't go any worse than a 7 seed at this point and a win plus a Griz loss bumps them up to a 6. Can Sac State build on their big win and take care of business against a UNC team with nothing to lose? Or will it be another example of 1 step forward, 1 step back for Hornets Nation SWSiouxMN's Prediction of Seeds by the end of the night on Saturday 1 UND 2 EWU 3 Weber 4 Idaho 5 Griz 6 MSU 7 SAC 8 PSU 9 NAU 10 SUU 11 ISU The call: 99-62, that was the margin of victory for PSU against UND in the first conference game of the season. UND has been waiting for another crack at these guys to avenge that embarrassing loss. There are several different storylines coming into Saturdays game. Senior Night, Conference title and #1 seed in the balance. Guaranteed bid to the NIT on the line at worst should UND lose in the BSC tourney. It would be a total kick in the stomach in UND didn't win Saturday, having a 1 game lead in the conference and having a chance to win the conference at home and not get it done. UND knows it has much at stake, and I believe the entire team steps up to accomplish its goal of a BSC regular season title and get that #1 heading into Reno. UND 83-73
After a record performance by Hooker that led to a win over a scrappy PSU team, UND looks to close the home stand with a 3-0 record and finish the conference season 7-2 at home. They host the Hornets of Sacramento State. Sac State has had a rough go of it this year, but they are finally healthy with the return of Demps. They have been involve in a lot of close games this month, but have yet to come away with many victories. Paced by a decent core of Demps, Graves, and the big man Strings. With the schedule as is (the EWU/ISU/Idaho triangular beings tonight), UND cannot afford to drop this one at home. Going to have to bring a much cleaner performance against Sac State than they did against PSU. They will also honor Hobaugh and Benton as our 2 seniors from the team. Thank you Seniors for all the hard work you have put in. You both have had your great moments on the court. UND is 3-4 all time vs Sac State since joining the Big Sky, but only 1-2 in Grand Forks. Other Games: Montana (13-2) @ Weber (13-2) *The game that will decide who very well wins the league EWU (10-5) @ Idaho (9-6) *Critical tiebreaker on the line for EWU. Fight between 2 teams who have 1st round bye aspirations Montana State (7-8) @ ISU (9-6) *Big game for both, MSU trying to keep their slim hopes for a 1st round bye alive, and ISU needs it to protect home court and keep pace for the 1st round bye. PSU (5-10) @ UNC (6-9) *Not much at stake other than positioning for Reno. Could be a preview of a 1st round game SUU (2-13) @ NAU (3-12) *Critical tiebreaker for NAU to stay out of the basement. The Call: With a huge trip to the Montana's upcoming, this needs to be a win. I don't think Hooker needs to drop 38 in this one to get the win. A solid defensive effort and a cleaner performance from the offense sends the seniors off with a W. 77-72 UND