OGDEN, Utah -- North Dakota junior guard Geno Crandall opened the 2017-18 season on a scoring binge in Honolulu and he was awarded for those efforts on Tuesday, collecting the first #BigSkyMBB Ready Nutrition Player of the Week award of the season and the second of his career.
Crandall opened the new campaign by scoring 20 or more points in all three of UND's games at the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic where the Fighting Hawks posted a 2-1 record. He would be named to the all-tournament team after leading all scorers with 82 points (27.3 ppg) in the 53rd-annual event hosted each season by Hawai'i.
In the season-opening win vs. Troy this past Friday, Crandall scored 37 of his career-high 41 points in the second half. He scored 22 consecutive points for UND during one stretch of the final stanza and went 13-for-14 from the floor, including making six straight 3-pointers. Crandall finished the game 15-for-19 from the field and 7-for-9 from beyond the arc.
He sealed the victory by burying all three of his free-throw attempts in the closing seconds after starting the game 1-for-5 from the foul line. Crandall's 41 points were the most scored in Division I basketball during the opening weekend of play and tied the Stan Sheriff Center's single-game scoring mark. He also added six rebounds and five assists against the Trojans.
In the 83-80 loss to host Rainbow Warriors on Sunday, Crandall led UND with 21 points on a 4-for-5 effort from the beyond the arc. He helped the Fighting Hawks rally from a 22-point deficit, trimming that down to a single point in the closing minute before Hawai'i survived with the victory.
In Monday's finale vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Crandall notched 20 points and helped the Fighting Hawks post two victories in a multi-team event for the first time during the program's Division I era. He went 10-for-10 from the foul line and added a season-high seven rebounds in the 80-71 victory over the Golden Lions. He helped UND force UAPB into 24 turnovers by equaling his career-high with five steals.
The Big Sky weekly honor was not the only recognition Crandall received after his opening-weekend play. On Monday, he was named the Mid-Major Player of the Week by both the College Court Report and College Sports Madness. Crandall was also honored by CollegeInsider.com's Angela Lento, who named him to her initial #MY5 list of the top mid-major performances from the opening weekend.
Crandall's Final Stat Line from Honolulu:
FG%: 64.1 (25-for-39)
3FG%: 64.7 (11-for-17)
FT%: 77.8 (21-for-27)
-- UND --