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Junior Aaron Anderson scored a career-high 25 points and UND made all of its 21 free throws in a 85-76 win over Portland State on Saturday.
Perfect foul shooting lifts UND to third straight win
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Updated: Thursday 01/19/2013 22:53:19 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Juniors Aaron Anderson and Troy Huff each scored 25 points to lead North Dakota to an 85-76 victory over Portland State in Big Sky play on Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

The win marks the third straight for UND (7-10, 4-4 BSC), who pulled even in Big Sky play, while the Vikings (5-10, 3-5 BSC) dropped their eighth straight on the road to open the season.

Anderson's 25 points were a new career-high and his 8-for-8 clip at the free throw line helped set a UND record for most makes (21) without a miss from the charity stripe in a game. Junior Jamal Webb rounded out a trio of UND double-figure scorers with 16 points.

"They were making tough shot after tough shot, but our guys never got rattled on the offensive end," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "(We) did a tremendous job of sharing the ball again and taking great shots.

"And, people do not talk about our front line enough. The energy plays they made, especially Mitch (Wilmer) were tremendous and really sparked us."

Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the floor, but it was a 6-for-6 start in the second half by the home team that gave the Green and White a little breathing room. UND finished with a season-high 53 percent clip, while the Vikings made 50 percent of their field goals (26-for-52).

Four of those six shots were from 3-point land as Huff's second of the stanza made it a 56-46 advantage for UND just four minutes into the half. Huff would score 18 of his season-high 25 points after halftime as he went 9-for-15 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the free throw line.

"When things got tight there in the second half, Troy did a tremendous job for us," Jones added. "He put us on his back and made some tough shots."

UND would never relinquish its halftime lead, but the Vikings would make things close down the stretch. Michael Harthun, who had a team-high 19 points, made three straight free throws to make it a 66-64 contest with just under six minutes to play.

Harthun led a 9-for-16 effort from beyond the arc for the visitors by making all four of his attempts.

A couple minutes later PSU would once again close the gap to two after Lateef McMullan drilled a tough 3-pointer late in the shot clock, but Huff would again come up with a big basket as he made a putback on his own miss to push the lead back to four.
 
PSU big man Aaron Moore would make one of two free throws on his team's next possession to trim the deficit to 74-71, but Webb knocked down a 3-pointer late in the shot clock with under two minutes to play that squelched any thoughts of a Vikings' comeback.

Anderson would add a layup and go 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute to seal the win. Webb dished out three assists to move past the 300-mark for his career and become just the ninth UND player to achieve that feat.

Moore finished with 18 points, while McMullan had 14 for the visitors. Gary Winston rounded out a quarter of Vikings in double figures with 11.

Moore helped PSU hold a 28-24 edge in rebounding with a game-high seven. Huff and Wilmer each had six to pace UND.  Wilmer also scored all eight of his points in the second half.

Both teams went 14-for-26 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but PSU went 6-for-9 from deep to counter a 9-for-9 effort from the free-throw line by UND in that half.
 
UND goes on the road for a pair of Big Sky games next week starting Thursday at Sacramento State.  Tipoff against the Hornets is 9 p.m. CT.

-- UND --

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