SignUp
Senior Jamal Webb scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, but a late comeback attempt fell short for UND in its regular season finale at Southern Utah.
SUU fends off late charge to get by UND
Text smallerText larger
Updated: Saturday 03/06/2014 23:17:53 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
Send this article to a friend Print RSS Shop Files available

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Southern Utah held off a late charge by North Dakota to pick up its first Big Sky win of the season with a 77-71 victory at Centrum Arena on Thursday. Senior Jamal Webb had 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half and led a late charge as UND trimmed what was a 16-point deficit all the way down to two with less than a minute to play.

The Thunderbirds (2-26, 1-18 BSC) made enough plays late though to register the home win. It was the regular season finale for the Green and White (15-15, 12-8 BSC), who will next play in the Big Sky Tournament next week in Ogden, Utah.

UND finished the Big Sky regular season with an identical record at 12-8 as last year – their first in the conference. UND could still be the No. 2 seed and will be no worse than the No. 3 seed at the postseason tournament depending on outcome of Saturday’s Northern Arizona-Montana game in Flagstaff. If Montana wins, UND will be the third seed. If NAU wins, UND will be the second seed.

“We just got outplayed tonight,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “From the start to the finish, Southern Utah was the tougher team and deserved to win. We got it going there late, but had dug too deep of a hole to complete the comeback.”

It was a tight first half that featured five ties and five lead changes, but it was a late surge by the Thunderbirds that put the home team ahead 32-28.

UND held a 21-17 lead after a layup by Troy Huff, which put him into third place on UND’s all-time scoring charts, but that would be the final advantage of the contest for the home team. Huff finished with nine points, while Aaron Anderson added 14 and Jaron Nash added 12 for the visitors.

SUU would go on an 8-0 run after falling behind by four over the next three minutes to regain the lead for good. Poor shooting from the field was the main culprit for UND’s deficit in the opening 20 minutes as the visitors went 10-for-30 and just 1-for-11 from beyond the arc.

SUU was not much better, connecting on only 11-of-25 shots, but the T-Birds went 10-for-12 from the line, while UND went only 7-for-12 from the charity stripe.

The sluggish play continued in the second half for the visitors as SUU got hot from the floor, shooting 58 percent after the break. UND never found a rhythm and that coupled with the T-Birds improved play allowed them to build their lead to 61-45 with 6:07 to play.

UND would roar back and get within 73-71 on a layup by Webb with 21 seconds to play, but Race Parsons made a layup and two free throws to seal SUU’s first victory since its season opener vs. Arizona Christian.

Webb finished with six rebounds, three assists and a steal and became the first player in UND history to register four seasons with 50 steals and 100 assists.

-- UND --

Sayler shoots low round of career at Coyote Classic
Sophomore Daniel Sayler turned in the best round of his collegiate career, carding a second-round 75 (+3) to help lead the North Dakota men's golf team in day one action. MORE
Guggisberg's steady play paces UND at Coyote Classic
Sophomore Alexis Guggisberg had her best day of the young season, carding a 159 (+15) in the opening two rounds of the Coyote Classic. MORE
UND continues fall season in Omaha
The University of North Dakota men's tennis team competed at the Omaha Collegiate Invitational this past weekend. Connor Oberle and David Bergstrom highlighted the weekend for UND, taking fourth... MORE
SAAC set for Big Sky charity drive, Halloween Bash
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The University of North Dakota's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) announced today its 2014-15 Big Sky Conference charity drive, as well as the details for its third... MORE
Moser earns Big Sky Player of the Week
OGDEN, Utah—University of North Dakota sophomore middle blocker Chelsea Moser has been named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the opening weekend of league play. Moser led UND to a 2-0 start in... MORE

advertisement