PORTLAND, Ore. -- North Dakota rallied to force overtime in a game it trailed by double digits at halftime, but Portland State's strong close to the extra session lifted the Vikings to a 97-90 victory Saturday. It was the final Big Sky regular season game for the Fighting Hawks, who will be the No. 8 seed in next week's league tournament in Reno.
Senior Dale Jones led UND's (11-19; 6-12 BSC) comeback in the second half with 15 of his game-high 21 points, but he fouled out midway through overtime.
Junior Geno Crandall added 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. He forced overtime by making a free throw with 3.2 seconds to play after missing his first attempt.
The foul line was a bugaboo for both teams throughout the contest, but ended up costing the Fighting Hawks more in this one. UND finished 18-for-29 and PSU went 21-for-30.
"I really liked our toughness that we showed," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "We never quit and I think that's good sign heading into Reno for this team."
Sophomore Marlon Stewart added 14 points with 11 of those coming after halftime. He came up big down the stretch with some key layups.
The Vikings held a lead the entire game until Billy Brown made a fast-break layup with 3:55 remaining to put UND up 73-72.
PSU went up three with 49 seconds to play on a layup by Traylin Farris, but Crandall would answer with a driving layup.
Bryce Canda had a big game on his Senior Day, scoring a game-high 24 points, but he turned the ball over in the closing seconds, allowing Crandall to race out and get fouled.
In the extra session, Jones gave UND an 87-85 advantage with 3:13 to go, but that would be the last advantage for the visitors. The Vikings closed the game on a 12-3 run and took the lead for good on Canda's fourth 3-pointer of the contest.
UND got back in the game knocking down six second-half 3-pointers after connecting on just one in the first half.
The Vikings opened the game on a 10-2 run, but UND withstood that early push and had it within two points at 18-16 before PSU reeled off an 8-0 run to take a 10-point lead midway through the half.
The home team scored just five points over the next seven minutes, allowing the Fighting Hawks get back in the contest.
A pair of free throws by Crandall cut the deficit to 31-29 with just over three minutes to play, but PSU would close the half on an 11-2 run to build its largest lead at 42-31 going into halftime.
Canda led all scorers with 14 first-half points and hit all three of the Vikings' triples in the opening 20 minutes. Avants had 10 points to pace UND in the half, but the visitors shot just 39 percent from the field, while PSU shot 51 percent.
Both teams had double-digit turnovers in the first half. PSU scored 18 points off of 11 miscues by the Fighting Hawks, while the visitors got 14 points off of the Vikings' 10 turnovers.
The Fighting Hawks ended up with a slight edge on the glass at 39-38 as both teams grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. UND finished with 20 turnovers, while PSU committed 18.
UND will go straight to Reno, Nev., to start preparing for the 2018 Big Sky Tournament. The Fighting Hawks will play Montana State in Tuesday's opening game at 2:05 p.m. CT.
-- UND --