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UND (0-1, 6-8) @ ORU (1-0, 5-11) 1/3 7 PM

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In the first conference game, UND fell behind early and despite a 2nd half run, couldn't close the deal against Fort Wayne.  Now UND embarks on their first road trip of the Summit League, as they head down to Tulsa to take on Oral Roberts.

The Golden Eagles are coached by 2nd year man Paul Mills, who is currently 16-32 as a coach at ORU.  He is currently looking to improve the Eagles from their 11-21 record from 2017-18.  This is a long cry from the glory days under Scott Sutton, who helped turn the Golden Eagles into a Summit League power.  This year, off to a better start in conference play, as they went into Omaha and got the conference opening win.  With a homestand against UND and WIU upcoming, they would love to start the year 3-0 in conference play.  They were picked 6th in the preseason poll, one spot above UND.

Taking a look at ORU, one thing comes to mind.  They have some length.  Looking at their starting lineup from the Omaha matchup: 6'0, 6'7, 6'8, 6'8, and 6'10.  They also had 2 players with significant minutes off the bench, who were both 6'8 and 6'1.  I can see why they love to run a 2-3 zone defense.  Their length can cause major problem if the zone is running on point.  

Key Player: Emmanuel Nzekwesi (6'8 Junior)

Picked as a Preseason 2nd team All Summit, the big man has so far lived up to the billing.   He had a big night against Omaha, dropping 28 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.  He is currently averaging 15.2 ppg and 7.9 rpg on the season. His 7.9 rpg is 4th best in the conference. He appears to be the traditional big man role, he will step out and shoot it from time to time but he doesn't seem to be a major threat from 3.  This will be a good matchup for not only Avants but for Rebraca as well.  These two need to do a good job on the rebounding battle. 

X- Factor D.J Weaver (6'8 Freshman)

The Freshman is your example of a stretch-4.  He is the major 3 point threat for Oral Roberts, taking 89 out of the 108 total shots from downtown.  He is shooting around 44% from 3, so he is proving to be quite the marksman.  Omaha learned that one the hard way, as he set a career high in three pointers made with 7.  He also went 7-10 from 3.  His 39 3's are third best in the conference behind Jenkins of SDSU and Gibson of Omaha. 

Milestone

1 - Seales needs 1 more point to get to 1000 career points and unless he suddenly gets sick or falls off the earth he will get it in this game.

Key to the Game:  Usually I would include a few there, but there is only one important one here.

How does UND handle the Golden Eagle's 2-3 Zone?

This is really all there is to it.  UND cannot afford to be passive and tentative in the zone.  UND needs to push the ball in transition, they need to hit the open shots when they are in the weak spots of the zone. They need to attack the gaps of the zone and be decisive in their passes.  Off the ball:  They cannot be standing around, they need to be active.  Lastly:  Stick someone in the middle of the zone. This is a Cortez Seales game written all over it.  Rebraca and Avants need to be ready to rebound, as there will be plenty of 2nd chance opportunities.  Walter, Brown, and Moody need to stick their shots from deep.  Marlon needs to slash and attack this zone. The length is going to be a problem, but if UND can combat it, they can win this game.

Other Summit Games

1/2

NDSU (1-1) @ Omaha (1-1)

This is the matchup of:  good weekend but could have been a great weekend" teams.  NDSU took down USD and had Fort Wayne on the ropes.... then they stormed back and beat them.  Omaha defended the homecourt with a win against Denver and stormed back against ORU... only to lose at home.  

USD (0-1) @ Denver (0-2)

This is the matchup of:  Teams looking to restart their seasons.  USD is coming off a disappointing loss in Fargo, while DU is coming off losses against Omaha and Western Illinois.  The teams picked 2nd and 3rd in the Summit need to get it going, they can't afford too many losses if they want to live up to those expectations.

1/3

SDSU (1-0) @ Fort Wayne (2-0)

In this block of game, this is the matchup of the night.  Fort Wayne looking to make an early statement that they can potentially challenge the Jacks at home and are coming off a sweep of the NoDak Schools.  SDSU looking to build off of their destruction of WIU. 

WIU is off in this block of games

The Call:

If UND can solve the zone and Rebraca and Avants can do a solid job against Nzekwesi, UND can get this win the road.  However, if they fall into the "Death By Zone" they ORU will march to a 2-0 record in the Summit.  I think they will hit enough shots, Seales feasts on the soft parts of the zone and UND comes away with the road W.

UND 79-75

I think the game will on here and it might be free (the women's game will be on tonight, so we can know for sure).  ORU already has a thread up on the game already.

https://portal.stretchinternet.com/oru/

https://forum.orusports.com/index.php?/topic/10939-north-dakota-at-oru/

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For your Summit League Action Tonight

Omaha takes down NDSU 90-77. Mavs off to a 2-1 start, could have been 3-0

USD gets a layup with 7 seconds to go and downs Denver 71-70.  The Pios are now 0-3 to start Summit play.

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With a name like the Golden Eagles, I was curious about Oral Roberts' nickname history. Apparently they were the Titans until 1993. Haven't found what made them push for a change to a color bird. 

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So are those awful grays our official uniforms now or are we still waiting on replacements? 

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Another Jones masterful job of scouting the other team

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But did UND's starting 5 score more than 15 points tonight?

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I didn't get a chance to watch it last night (had something come up last minute) so I am watching the replay now.  What I noticed:

-I thought I was done with the SUU style of replays... WRONG!

-ORUs Big just had their way with UND on the inside.  What I don't understand was that at any point, why did UND not try and double them?  20-25 from the floor between those two.  40 points in the paint verses 28 for UND. 

-I liked the minutes that Saddler played at the end of the half.  Did a good job battling for rebounds on both ends

-With that said:  UND rebounded very well.  Yes: ORU was +3 but that would be expected when you make more of your shots.  UND limited the offensive rebounds for a 2nd game in a row to just 3.

UND has to shoot better from 3... 9-28 is not good.  

Didn't like how the ORU shot was guarded on the last shot of the 1st half, they needed to slow the guard down.   Too easy of a shot.

Once again, had another killer stretch of turnovers and bad play that resulted in a deep hole that they just couldn't climb out of.  I'll give them credit for battling back, with Ethan and Elijah being the sparkplugs. They need to learn to make that one play that can get them over the hump.

I liked what they had planned against their zone.  I felt for the most part they executed that part well.... expect making enough shots.

Walter and Rebraca had tough games:  Rebraca needs to take care of the ball and be decisive on what he is doing.  

11-0 in Fastbreak points... transition is not our thing this year?

Start Marlon please.  Don't just start Panoam and then yank him a minute into the game. No need for that.

Why is Seales shooting 3's?

Nice game by Avants at least on the offensive end in his home state, especially in the 2nd half.

This team is a box of puppies: One minute they are doing good things, the next... crapping on the floor.  

I'm getting concern that this team might not make it to Sioux Falls.

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