GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Junior guard Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) led all scorers with 18 points and sophomore Lenny Antwi (Montreal, Quebec) added a career-high 16 to pace North Dakota in an 87-51 victory over Crown College on Wednesday.
The guard combo also added 15 assists with both registering career-highs in that department. Anderson finished with eight helpers and Antwi added seven in the third straight home-opening win for UND.
“I thought it was a good team win,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “It was a slow start there in the first half because we did not guard the way we are capable of guarding, but I thought we did a better job of that in the second half.”
Crown, a Division III school out of Minnesota, kept it close for a majority of the first half as Taylor Jones tied the game at 24-24 on a 3-pointer with just over six minutes left on the clock. It was Jones second deep hit of the opening half, but UND would respond with a 20-7 run over the final five-plus minutes to build a 44-31 lead at the break.
The Storm could never get its deficit back to single digits after halftime as UND only allowed the visitors to score 20 second-half points. Antwi, who missed his first four shots of the game, went 5-for-6 after that shaky start.
All five of those makes were from beyond the arc for Antwi, who led a 12-for-22 effort by UND in that department. The 3-point shooting was much improved from the 2-for-18 clip the team posted in the opener at K-State on Friday.
Anderson also went 8-for-8 from the free throw line and added a career-high eight assists, while Antwi, who was starting for the first time in his career, also contributed career-highs of seven rebounds and seven assists.
“Overall, I thought we did a tremendous job offensively of making the extra pass and finishing with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio,” Jones added. “In the second half, we did a better job of adjusting to Crown’s style of play and the result was holding them to 20 points.”
Junior Josh Schuler (Urbana, Ohio) scored all 13 of his points in the first half, while Jordan Allard (Fargo, N.D.) added 12 to round out the quartet of double-figure scorers for UND. Schuler helped lead a 50-percent shooting clip from the floor in those opening 20 minutes.
Crown also shot well in the first half, knocking down 13-of-31 attempts (41.9 percent), but the UND defense tightened up in the second half as the Storm made only six field goals on 25 attempts (24 percent).
Antwi and Allard helped lead a 41-31 advantage on the glass for UND. Junior Alonzo Traylor (Minneapolis, Minn.) also added seven boards for the second straight game.
Walk-on Dan Stockdale (Sheboygan, Wis.) brought the crowd of 1,446 to its feet late in the game with his first career dunk. Stockdale added another bucket late to finish with a career-high four points.
North Dakota returns to the road for the start of a three-game road trip on Saturday at Northern Iowa. Tipoff is slated for 1p.m.
Game Notes: Junior Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) had his consecutive starts streak snapped at 37 after sitting out the game with an injury … Junior Jamal Webb served a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules … He will return to action Saturday at Northern Iowa … Schuler had a career-high four steals … Senior Mitch Wilmer (Warroad, Minn.) added a career-high three blocked shots.