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Junior Brandon Brekke returned to the lineup on Thursday vs. Weber State, but his eight points and four rebounds off the bench were not enough against the Wildcats.
Weber State pulls away late to knock off UND
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Updated: Tuesday 03/05/2013 11:59:53 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Weber State used a pair of big second-half runs and pulled  away late to register a 66-51 victory over North Dakota in Big Sky play Thursday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Weber State senior Frank Otis had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while junior Davion Berry scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half to pace the Wildcats (14-5, 9-2 BSC), who snapped a brief two-game losing streak.

UND (8-12, 5-6 BSC) could never get on track offensively as the 51 points were a season-low scored at home. The team's top three scorers were held to a combined 21 points as juniors Troy Huff (18.8 ppg), Aaron Anderson (14.0 ppg) and Jamal Webb (9.3 ppg) each scored seven points in the setback.

Fellow junior Josh Schuler was the lone UND player to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points. Classmate Brandon Brekke returned to the floor for the first time since the Bowling Green game on Dec. 29 and scored eight points and pulled down four rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

For Huff, it was the first time he was held to below double figures in 12 games this season. It was also a rare off night at the free throw line for UND, who came into the leading the Big Sky with a 78.9 percent clip in league play. The home team converted just 13-of-23 attempts and connected only twice from beyond the arc (2-for-8).

Weber State also turned 15 UND turnovers into 19 point and Otis and company owned the glass, outrebounding UND by 12 (40 to 28). Seven of Otis' game-high 12 boards came on the offensive end as the Wildcats also turned 16 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points.

UND could only get 10 points off of 16 Weber State turnovers and tallied just seven second-chance points off 11 offensive rebounds.

"Our guys battled, but we just didn't take care of the basketball tonight," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "The turnovers cost us and we didn't rebound it well enough.

"We had a chance there late with some good looks, but couldn't get anything to fall. It was a tough night for us offensively."

Weber State led by as many as eight in the first half (27-19) with just over three minutes to play in the half, but UND went on a 7-0 as the Wildcats went through a cold spurt from the field to pull within a point.  Sophomore Lenny Antwi capped that run with a 3-pointer from the left wing, but Berry would make a 15-foot jumper in the closing minute to make it a 29-26 lead at the break for the visitors.

After the quick spurt to open the second half by the Wildcats pushed their advantage to 40-26, UND would cut its deficit to five on a couple of occasions. But, each each time Berry hit a pivotal 3-pointer for the visitors, who went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc in the first half.

Schuler made a rare 4-point play to make it a 53-48 contest, but UND would not make another field goal over the final 6:44 of the game. Weber State would close the game on a 13-3 run as the best field-goal shooting defense in the conference held UND to just a 36.7 percent clip for the game.

The Wildcats shot only 38.7 percent from the floor in the first half, but turned it around in the second half making 13-of-23 shots from the floor to finish the game with a 46.3 percent clip. Otis (8-for-11) and Berry (7-for-13) led that effort.

UND remains at home and will look to even its Big Sky record at 6-6 with a game against Idaho State on Saturday at 2:05 p.m.

-- UND --

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North Dakota Basketball

3 NCAA titles, 15 conference championships
2013 Big Sky Conference regular season champions
2013 Big Sky Tournament champions
2010, 2012 Great West Conference champions


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