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Junior Brandon Brekke had 18 points and 15 rebounds in last year's CIT clash at Drake.
Game Notes: UND draws rematch with UNI in CIT opener
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Updated: Friday 03/19/2013 16:30:18 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Play on. That is exactly what the North Dakota men's basketball team will be able to do for a third straight postseason. The Green and White will travel to familiar territory on Tuesday to take on Northern Iowa in the opening round of the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

This will be a rematch of a mid-November tilt that will also be played at the McLeod Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

UND VS. NORTHERN IOWA SERIES

All-time: UND leads 48-34
In Cedar Falls: UNI leads 24-15
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Northern Iowa: 0-4
Northern Iowa Head Coach Ben Jacobson vs. UND: 4-0

WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Radio:
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Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com
 
IN THE PAINT...
• This time around there were no guarantees, but the North Dakota men’s basketball team will play in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament for the third straight season. UND will take on Northern Iowa in the opening round of the 32-team tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m. A free web stream of the contest will be available at www.watchcollegeinsider.com.
• The matchup features a pair of third-place teams from Mid-Major Conferences. UND finished its first campaign in the Big Sky Conference with a 12-8 mark, while UNI took third in the Missouri Valley Conference with an 11-7 mark.
• After earning the tournament’s only automatic bid the last two seasons by winning the Great West Conference Tournament, UND accepted one of the 31 at-large bids after finishing year one in the Big Sky with a 12-8 league mark and 16-16 overall finish.
• UND lost to Air Force in the opening round of 2011 and fell at Drake in last season’s event.
• This will be the second trip for UND to the McLeod Center this season. The Panthers dealt the Green and White a 72-47 defeat over three months ago in what was the third game of the season for UND.
• That was also the second game of an eight-game stretch without leading scorer Troy Huff, who returned to health after breaking his jaw in the season opener at K-State to lead the Big Sky in scoring at 19.1 ppg and earn unanimous first team All-Big Sky honors.
• After a 29-season drought in the series, UNI and UND have met four times since the Green and White moved up to the Division I ranks prior to the 2008-09 season. The Panthers have won all four of those contests, but UND had reeled off 16 straight to close the Division II series from 1971-78.
• Both head coaches will also be pitted against their alma maters for the fifth time. UNI’s Ben Jacobson (147-85) and UND’s Brian Jones (102-115) are both in their seventh seasons at their respective schools.
• Jacobson, who played at UND from 1989-93, still stands second on UND’s all-time charts in career assists with 420, but current point guard Jamal Webb is only 44 off Jacobson’s pace. Webb, who is only a junior, ranked third in the Big Sky with a 4.2 apg clip.

MORE IN THE PAINT...
• UND became postseason eligible after securing at least a .500 record by winning its first Big Sky Conference Tournament game in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The Green and White ended up defeating fellow league newcomer Southern Utah 69-52 to move over .500 for the first time during the season at 16-15.
• Huff earned All-Big Sky Tournament Team honors after leading UND to the semifinals where No. 2 Weber State rallied late to prevent the upset bid with a 76-74 win over the No. 3 seed. Huff averaged 18.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg in the two games.
• Huff finished with a team-high 22 points as UND led by as many as 12 in the second half before seeing Weber State take the lead late on a one-handed jumper by Kyle Tresnak with 19 seconds left. Junior Aaron Anderson had a look from 3-point territory at the buzzer, but his attempt was off the mark.
• Senior Mitch Wilmer also had a nice tournament for UND, averaging 11.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 3.0 bpg. Wilmer posted his second career double-double in the victory over Southern Utah in the quarterfinals, finishing with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
• The Warroad, Minn, native also equaled his career-high with four blocked shots  against the T-Birds and added two more vs. Weber State to give him 46 on the season, which ranks 10th all-time on the single season charts.
• Webb finished with 13 points, six assists and two steals against Weber State, while UND committed a season-low five turnovers in the contest. Webb’s two steals moved him to the top of the UND charts for career steals, pushing his total to 180. He surpassed Scott Guldseth on the list, who had 178 from 1990-93.
• Webb and Huff currently share the Big Sky lead with a 2.3 spg average. Huff ranks third on UND’s all-time charts with 145 thefts.
• After leading 28-25 at halftime, UND put the game vs. Southern Utah away with a 23-7 run during the opening nine minutes of the second half. Huff led five UND players in double figures with 15 points as the Green and White shot 62.5 percent from the field after halftime, including a 7-for-11 mark from 3-point range.
• It was the first time this season that UND had five players reach double figures in a game: Huff (15), Aaron Anderson (14), Wilmer (11), Josh Schuler and Lenny Antwi (10).
• Anderson started his 63rd straight game despite playing only four minutes in the regular season finale vs. SUU (March 9) after taking a hard shot to the head on a screen.  He played a team-high 35 minutes in the quarterfinal game and scored 14 points.
• Schuler was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the second half and finished with 10 points off the bench. Antwi also added 10 points off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor.
• Schuler’s double-digit effort was his second straight (16 in regular season finale) after missing eight games with back spasms. Antwi’s double-digit effort was only his second of the season (had a career-high 16 in game two of the season vs. Crown College).
• Webb added seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and a steal in the quarterfinal victory. His steal tied him with Scott Guldseth a top the UND charts for career steals with 178.

UPON FURTHER EXAMINATION...
• The Green and White finished 12-8 in year one of the Big Sky and those 12 wins were the most ever by a league newcomer. UND and SUU were just the second and third league newcomers to qualify for the postseason tournament. CS-Northridge qualified in 1997 and advanced to the title game that season.
• With three wins already in March this season, UND is 11-3 during the month over the past two-plus seasons. Five of those wins came in back-to-back Great West Tournaments as UND won both of those events (2011; Orem, Utah and 2012; Chicago, Ill.) and earned an automatic berth to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). 
• UND was the No. 3 seed when it won the 2011 GWC title with a thrilling double-overtime win over rival South Dakota. Junior Josh Schuler drilled a 3-pointer from the corner in the closing seconds to cap a wild contest. Last season, UND was the No. 2 seed in Chicago when the Green and White defeated NJIT 75-60 in the championship game.
• UND’s loss to Weber State snapped a season long four-game winning streak. UND is 8-4 overall since losing to Weber State at home on Jan. 31.
• Huff (first team) and Anderson (second team) were each honored by league officials on March 11 being named to the All-Big Sky Team. Huff was a two-time All-Great West second team honoree, while this is the first all-conference honor for Anderson.
• UND opened Big Sky play by dropping four of its first five league tilts, but responded by winning 11 of its next 15, including a 7-3 mark in the second half. The team’s six road wins were also the most by a league newcomer.

OPPONENT PREVIEW: NORTHERN IOWA
• Northern Iowa head coach and North Dakota alum Ben Jacobson has led his Panthers to five straight postseason berths. He finished his UND career with 420 assists, which is second on the all-time charts. UND’s current point guard Jamal Webb is third on the list with 376 - he is only a junior. 
• Northern Iowa is the top free throw shooting team in the Missouri Valley Conference and ranks sixth in the NCAA (76.5 percent).
• Jacobson has four players averaging in double figures and a fifth that is close at 9.4 ppg. Senior guard Anthony James paces the team with a 12.7 ppg and was named to the All-Missouri Valley Second Team.
• The Panthers’ starting forward combination of sophomore Seth Tuttle and Jake Koch have put up the exact same number of points and rebounds in 32 starts this season. Tuttle and Koch have both scored 341 points (10.7 ppg) and pulled down a team-leading 209 rebounds (6.5 ppg).
• The other double-figure scorer is sharp shooter Marc Sonner (10.3 ppg). He ranks among the top 10 3-point shooters in the NCAA, knocking down 45 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. He has made 86 3-pointers on the season, which is tops in the Missouri Valley Conference and 31st nationally.
• Sonnen ranks third on the UNI all-time charts with 191 makes from 3-point territory - he went 7-for-8 from 3-point range and scored a team-high 21 points in a 64-41 victory over UND in 2009-10 at The Betty.
• Koch was the leading scorer for the Panthers in the 72-47 victory over UND on Nov. 17. He scored 16 points with 10 of those coming from the free throw line where he was perfect on the day.
• Matt Bohannon added 11 points and Chip Ranked tallied 13 off the bench.
• The third-seeded Panthers were upset by Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The layoff for UNI will be 11 days in between that contest and Tuesday’s matchup with UND in the CIT.

SENIOR SALUTE
UND provided its four active seniors (Doug Archer, Jordan Allard, Dan Stockdale and Mitch Wilmer) and injured classmate Spencer Goodman with a 68-61 victory over Southern Utah on Senior Day. Archer equaled his career-high with four blocks in the contest. Allard scored all five of his points in a quick spurt early in the second half and Wilmer contributed with six rebounds. Stockdale made the first start of his career and played the opening three minutes.
 
THE HUFF EFFECT
After suffering a broken jaw in the first half of the season opener at Kansas State (he finished the game), Huff missed the next eight games while his jaw was wired shut. UND would only go 2-6 during that stretch with both of those wins coming against Division III opponents. Huff’s last game missed was the Big Sky opener at Southern Utah (Dec. 17), but he has played in the 23 games since and UND has compiled a 14-9 record with him back in the lineup.

WELCOME TO THE BIG SKY
The Big Sky is the third conference that UND has been affiliated with since the program began in 1904. At the Division II level, UND was a member of the North Central Conference from 1922 to 2008. After spending one season as an independent during its first season of Division I play in 2008-09, UND spent the next three seasons in the Great West Conference.

With the addition of Southern Utah and UND, the Big Sky basketball playing members grew to 11 this season. Southern Utah played last season in the Summit League, while UND wrapped up a three-year run in the GWC.

HUFF, ANDERSON FIRST JUNIORS TO REACH 1,000-POINT CLUB IN SAME SEASON
A 3-pointer from the top of the key vs. Eastern Washington on Jan. 17 moved junior Troy Huff into an elite club in the history of North Dakota basketball. His classmate Aaron Anderson joined him just over a month later, reaching the plateau with a pair of second-half free throws at Portland State (Feb. 28). Huff and Anderson became the first junior teammates and only the third pair overall in UND history to reach the milestone during the same season. The other two sets of teammates to reach the 1,000-point plateau in the same season were Chris Fahrbach and Mike Greulich (1978-79) and Marcus Travis and Hunter Reineke (1999-2000).

HUFF FIRST WITH three BIG SKY POW AWARDs
Junior Troy Huff was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the third time this season on March 4 after leading UND to its first road sweep in league play. He had a career-high 34 points in the win at EWU (March 2), which clinched a berth in the Big Sky Tournament. He is the first Big Sky player to corral three weekly honors this season. Huff also earned the honor on New Year’s Eve after his 14-point, 12-rebound outing in the 56-53 victory over Bowling Green. The double-double was the sixth of his career as he played in just his second game back from a broken jaw. He picked up his second honor three weeks later on Jan. 21 after leading UND to pair of back-to-back home wins over Eastern Washington and Portland State.

MEETS OR EXCEEDS QUALIFICATION STANDARDS
Junior Troy Huff is enjoying the best scoring season of his career, averaging 19.1 ppg in overall games and 19.7 ppg in Big Sky play. He finished second in scoring Big Sky play after playing in 19 of UND’s 20 league tilts and now qualifies for the overall scoring title after Friday’s semifinal game vs. Weber State. The game vs. the Wildcats was the 24th Huff has appeared in this season, meaning he has played in 75 percent of UND’s overall games. That is the minimum percentage players must participate in to qualify for the overall title. The same standards apply for the NCAA where Huff ranks 25th nationally in scoring and 19th in steals (2.3/g).  

WEBB TO THE TOP
Junior Jamal Webb to the top spot on UND’s career charts for steals with two against Weber State and has 71 this season - a total that is the sescond highest in a single season at UND.  He led the Big Sky in league games, averaging 2.5 spg and ranks tied for 19th nationally in overall games (2.3/g) with teammate Troy Huff. He surpassed UND’s career leader Scott Guldseth, who had 178 from 1989-93. Huff and Webb join VCU’s Briante Weber (5th; 2.8/g) and Darius Theus (10th; 2.5/g) as the only teammates to rank among the top 20 nationally in steals. 

TRIO OF JUNIORS CRACK ALL-TIME STEALS LIST
Point guard Jamal Webb currently leads a trio of UND juniors that have cracked the school’s all-time list in career steals.  Webb is king of the chart as only a junior with 180, while Troy Huff, who has a career-high 55 steals this season despite missing eight games, currently holds down the third spot with 145. Aaron Anderson has also moved into the top 10 with a career-high 44 steals this season bringing his career total to 110 (eighth). UND leads the Big Sky, averaging 7.8 spg.

WIN NO. 100
The victory over Eastern Washington on March 2 not only secured a berth in the Big Sky Tournament for North Dakota, but also marked the 100th victory for head coach Brian Jones. Jones, who is in his seventh season, ranks fourth all-time now on career wins at the school.

KEEPING UP WITH JONES
With a 3-1 record this March, UND head coach Brian Jones is now 17-8 during the third month of the year in his six-plus seasons at the helm of the program.

DOWN To THE WIRE
UND has played five games this season where a 3-point attempt at the buzzer could have provided a win for the shooting team. The first one did not go in favor of UND as Chad White hit a contested 3-pointer to give South Dakota State a 71-70 victory over the Green and White on Nov. 28. The next two nailbiters have come in league play and both times the opponent’s shot was the off the mark. The first of those was at Northern Arizona  when Dewayne Russell missed a heave from just inside half court that would have given his Lumberjacks the victory on Jan. 26. A few weeks later, Sac State’s John Dickson saw his 30-footer go wide right in a 49-48 loss at The Betty on Feb. 14. Junior Troy Huff saw his contested 3-pointer at the end of regulation go wide vs. Northern Arizona on Feb. 16, forcing the UND’s first overtime of the season. The Lumberjacks would scrape out a 74-72 victory thanks to the extra session. Anderson, who hit a 3-pointer to beat Northern Colorado with seven seconds remaining in Greeley, had a chance from beyond the arc to beat No. 2 seed Weber State in the Big Sky Tournament Semifinals, but after hitting the rim twice, the attempt fell off and the Wildcats advanced.

UND SETS BIG SKY PRECEDENT
With 12 wins in Big Sky play, UND won the most games every by a league newcomer. Since 1970-71, 10 different schools have joined the Big Sky and the previous best total was eight. Cal State-Northridge accomplished that during the 1996-97 season when Portland State and Sac State also joined the conference. The six road wins are also the most by a BSC newcomer.

ROAD SUCCESS
North Dakota captured third place in the Big Sky this season thanks to its success away from The Betty. The Green and White won six Big Sky road games and picked up their first road sweep at Portland State (Feb. 28) and Eastern Washington (March 2). UND also won road games at Idaho State, Montana State, Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado.

SHOT BLOCKING PRESENCE
Seniors Mitch Wilmer and Doug Archer are both enjoying the best seasons of their UND careers and a lot of their production is coming on the defensive end. Both players have set career-highs in blocked shots this season. Wilmer leads the team with 46 rejections and Archer is second with 33. The duo ranks among the top 10 shot blockers in the Big Sky as well. In fact, Wilmer and Archer have blocked more shots this season than they had combined in their careers. Wilmer had 17 in 55 career games entering the season, while Archer had 16 in 66 career games. Wilmer had two blocks in Friday’s semifinal vs. Weber State to move into  10th on UND’s Top 10 single-season list for the category.

WILMER CONTINUES TO PLAY WELL
Senior Mitch Wilmer has started the last 29 games for UND and is subsequently playing the best basketball of his UND career. Wilmer, who had only three starts coming into the season, is averaging 5.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 1.4 bgp for the season. He has scored 187 points this season, which is 131 more than he scored as a reserve in 29 games last season. Wilmer has set or equaled his career-high in scoring four times in those 29 starts, chipping in with 11 points at South Dakota State (Nov. 28), upping that to 12 at North Dakota State (Dec. 9) before scoring 15 against Southern Utah and Northern Colorado. He added his first career double-double against the SUU by adding 11 rebounds to his point total. He posted his second career double-double in the quarterfinal win over Souther Utah, going for 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He also equaled his career-high with four blocks against the T-Birds.

ALLARD MOVES INTO THE RECORD BOOKS
Only eight UND men’s basketball players have appeared in more games than senior Jordan Allard. The Fargo native has made 123 appearances for the Green and White in his career - a total that is fifth on the all-time charts. Allard has only missed three games in his career.

ROSTER ROUND UP
Head coach Brian Jones has a 16-man roster, but only 11 of those players are now active for the 2012-13 season. The team was hoping for good news from the NCAA on granting Texas Tech transfer Jaron Nash a waiver to play immediately and not have to sit out this season, but the organization denied UND’s request. Houston Baptist transfer Dustin Hobaugh transferred to UND after one season with the Huskies to pursue a degree in commercial aviation. Hobaugh is sitting out the 2012-13 season and will have three left to play starting with the 2013-14 campaign. Besides Nash and Hobaugh, Jones is using redshirt seasons on junior college transer Ryan Salmonson and freshman walk-on Thomas Blake. Salmonson played two seasons at Cosumnes River Community College, while Blake prepped at St. Maria Goretti in Hagerstown, Md. JUCO-transfer Alonzo Traylor played in eight of the team’s first nine, averaging 7.0 ppg and 5.1 rpg, but has been ruled academically ineligible for the second semester.

SCORING SIZZLE
UND’s quintet of Aaron Anderson, Brandon Brekke, Troy Huff, Josh Schuler and Jamal Webb produced 65.4 percent of UND’s points in 2010-11, which was tops among any freshman class in the country. As sophomores, that unit upped that number to 70.9 percent of the team’s scoring (1,526 of 2,153). However, as sophomores, that unit had company at the top of the national charts. The Memphis sophomores, a unit UND edged out last season (63.9 percent as freshmen), produced 73.6 percent (1,923 of 2,614) and NDSU’s sophomores concluded the Bison season scoring 71.3 percent (1,564 of 2,194) of their team’s points. So far, the 2012-13 juniors, which includes the addition of JUCO-transfer Alonzo Traylor, have accounted for 72.6 (1,566 of 2,156) percent of the team’s scoring through 32 games. Only Chicago State, who has 11 juniors on its roster, has more production from a third-year class (74.5 percent; 1,551 of 2,082).

SOME FAMILIARITY
UND split its four contests against Big Sky opponents in 2011-12. The Green and White defeated eventual regular season and tournament champion Montana 88-81 in overtime at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND also split a home-and-home series with Idaho State and lost at Sacramento State (75-64) after leading the Hornets by six at halftime.

CIT FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS
North Dakota will be making its third straight appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Here is a look at the first-round matchups of the 32-team field.

TUESDAY, MARCH 19
Eastern Kentucky (24-9) @ Gardner Webb (21-12) 
Fairfield (19-15) @ Kent State (20-13)
Savannah State (19-14) @ East Carolina (18-12) 
Rider (18-14) @ Hartford (17-13)
Oakland (16-16) @ Youngstown State (17-15)
Boston University (17-12) @ Loyola MD (21-11) 
Tennessee State (18-14) @ Evansville (18-14) 
North Dakota (16-16) @ Northern Iowa (18-14) 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20
Elon (21-11) @ Canisius (18-13)
Green Bay (18-15) @ Bradley (16-16)
South Alabama (17-12) @ Tulane (19-14)
Chicago State (11-21) @ Illinois-Chicago (17-15)
Oral Roberts (18-14) @ UT Arlington (19-13) 
High Point (17-13) @ UC Irvine (20-15)
Cal Poly (18-13) @ Weber State (26-6)
Air Force (17-13) @ Hawaii (17-14)

CIT NOTES
• North Dakota is just the second team in the tournament’s five-year existence that will have made three straight appearances. Portland appeared in the first three (2009, 2010 and 2011).
• This is the second season with an expanded 32-team field. The inaugural event  in 2009 and the 2010 tournament had 16 teams, while the 2011 field had 24.
• Previous champions: Old Dominion (2009), Missouri State (2010), Santa Clara (2011) and Mercer (2012).
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