Courtesy: Eric Classen,
Walk-on Dan Stockdale is one of five seniors that will be honored prior to the tip vs. Southern Utah in a special Senior Day ceremony. Stockdale's class has won more than 60 games and made back-to-back postseason appearances.
Game Notes: UND eyes .500 mark on Senior Day
Release: 03/08/2013
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - With the third seed secured for next week's Big Sky Tournament, the North Dakota men's basketball team can turn its attention towards getting to the .500 mark in overall games and sending the 2012-13 senior class out with a home victory on Saturday vs. Southern Utah.

Tipoff is set for 2:05 p.m. CT with a special pre-game ceremony planned to celebrate Senior Day and the careers of UND's first Division I recruiting class, which includes Doug Archer, Jordan Allard, Spencer Goodman, Dan Stockdale and Mitch Wilmer. Senior manager Shane Hersch will also be recognized.

All-time: SUU leads 1-0
Division I: SUU leads 1-0
In Grand Forks: First Meeting
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Southern Utah: 0-1
Southern Utah Head Coach Nick Robinson vs. UND: 1-0

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The contest with SUU is a rematch of what was the first Big Sky matchup for both of the league's newcomers back on Dec. 17. The Thunderbirds pulled away late in that contest to post a 79-67 victory.
- Senior Mitch Wilmer registered the first double-double of his career in the loss to the T-Birds, equaling his career-high with 15 points and also pulling down a career best 11 rebounds. Junior Aaron Anderson led UND in scoring with 16 points.
- Both teams have played 20 games since that mid-December meeting. UND is 12-8 during that stretch, while SUU is 8-12.
- The contest in Cedar City was also the last game UND played without junior Troy Huff, who returned to the lineup the next game vs. Nortern Colorado (Dec. 21).
- Huff had missed the previous eight games with a broken jaw. He is averaging 19.8 ppg since his return and 20.0 ppg in Big Sky play, which ranks second among league scorers.
- Southern Utah will be making its first trip to Grand Forks for the regular season finale for both schools. The Thunderbirds, who have lost six straight in league action, have plenty to play for on Saturday as they enter the cotest in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Big Sky standings. Two of those three teams will make the league tournament.
- UND returns home to The Betty following a season-long four-game road trip that saw the Green and White post a 3-1 record. All three wins were in Big Sky play, while the lone loss was the ESPN BracketBusters game at Omaha (83-75; Feb. 23).
- UND is 8-5 on its home court this season and owns a 5-4 mark at home in Big Sky play. The Green and White went 13-1 on their home court last season.
- After a 1-4 start in overall Big Sky play, UND has gone 10-4 since to lock down third place in year one of its new conference. The 11 league wins are the most ever by a Big Sky newcomer (eight was the previous record set by CS-Northridge during the 1996-97 season).
- With its first Big Sky road sweep last week, UND improved its win total in league road games to six this season. That total is a four-game improvement over last season when the Green and White won only two games away from home during the 2011-12 campaign.
- The six road wins are also the most in a season during UND's Division I era (since 2008-09) and for head coach Brian Jones (since 2006-07) during his tenure.
- The win over EWU was also the 100th for Jones in his six-plus seasons at UND. He ranks fourth all-time in career victories in program history.
- Also with the victory over the Eagles last Saturday, UND improved to 14-7 under Jones in the month of the march. That includes a 9-2 run during the month over the last two-plus seasons.
- Huff scored the first 15 points of the game for UND and had 20 points in the opening seven minutes as the visitors raced out to a 24-10 lead on EWU. He would finish with a career-high 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the floor, including a season high four 3-pointers.
- For his efforts (26.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 spg) in the wins over Portland State and Eastern Washington, Huff was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the third time on March 4. He is the first league player to earn the weekly honor three times this season.
- With those 34 points, Huff also became just the second UND player in program history to score at least 400 points in each of his first three seasons on the hardwood. All-time leading scorer Scott Guldseth (1989-93; 2,190 career points) is the other UND player to achieve that feat.
- Anderson added 18 with 16 of those coming in the second half as UND withstood a late rally by the Eagles to clinch a berth in the Big Sky Tournament.
- Junior Jamal Webb finished with six points, nine rebounds and a career-high 10 assists againt the Eagles, but it was his lone steal that was the play of the game. With just over a minute to play, Webb stripped Colin Chiverton in the front court and raced down for a layup that put his team ahead by three.
- UND never trailed on its Big Sky road trip to the Pacific Northwest, which also included a 74-66 victory over Portland State (Feb. 28).
- Huff led all scorers with 18 points in that win and hit consecutive 3-pointers midway through the second half that stretched out a one-point lead to seven.
- Anderson joined Huff in UND's 1,000-point club by adding 16 points in the victory. Fittingly, Anderson made two free throws late in the second half to reach the milestone. Anderson ranks second among all Big Sky players with 126 makes from the charity stripe this season.
- Anderson and Huff became the first junior teammates in UND history to reach the 1,000-point club in the same season. Previously, only two sets of teammates had joined the elite club in the same season (Chris Fahrbach and Mike Gruelich; 1978-79 and Marcus Travis and Hunter Reinke; 1999-2000).
- Anderson is just the 10th junior overall to reach the plateau at UND. He is averaging 19.6 ppg in his last five games and has 1,022 for his career.
- With his late steal against EWU, Webb moved closer to catching Scott Guldseth (178) for the UND's all-time lead in the category. Webb has 173 entering the regular season finale vs. SUU.
- Webb maintained his lead in overall Big Sky games (2.3/g), but Huff has tied him in league play after collecting six steals of his own over the weekend (2.4/g). Huff has 49 total steals in 21 games (2.3/g). Webb's 64 steals are the fourth most in a single season by a UND player.
- Redshirt freshman Shane Benton has provided a spark of late since seeing his playing time increase due to Josh Schuler's injury (missed last eight games). Benton is averaging 7.6 ppg in those eight games, which include his first five starts.
- Junior Brandon Brekke returned to the floor at PSU after missing three games with an ankle injury. He scored two points (free throws) in 14 minutes of play and had six in the win at EWU.
- Senior Jordan Allard is now tied for eighth all-time on the UND charts for career games played at 120.

Senior Mitch Wilmer has six double-digit scoring games to his credit this season after recording just one during his first three seasons. Two of those have come against Northern Arizona.
- Huff's double-double against Northern Arizona was his fifth of the season, matching his career total from his first two seasons. He now has 10 for his career and it also marked the first time he posted one in consecutive games.
- Huff also moved into third place on UND's career list for steals after equaling his career-high with five takeaways against NAU.
- Schuler has missed eight straight games now with back spasms. Schuler had started 20 straight games since coming off the bench in the season opener at K-State. His status is day-to-day. Schuler had played in all 87 games of his UND career up to the Montana State game on Feb. 7.
- With the win over Idaho State on Feb. 2, Jones surpassed former NBA coaching legend Bill Fitch for fourth place on the all-time career wins list at UND. Fitch went 94-45 from 1963-67.
- The Big Sky is the third conference that UND has been affiliated with since the program began in 1904. At the Division II level, UND was a member of the North Central Conference from 1922 to 2008. After spending one season as an independent during its first season of Division I play in 2008-09, UND spent the next three seasons in the Great West Conference.
- With the addition of the Thunderbirds and UND, the Big Sky basketball playing members grew to 11 this season. Southern Utah played last season in the Summit League, while UND wrapped up a three-year run in the GWC.
- The top seven teams from the regular season will all advance to the Big Sky Conference Tournament where, if they do advance, UND would have a crack at earning its first NCAA Tournament berth. UND won the GWC Tournament in 2011 and 2012 and advanced to the CIT Postseason Tournament both seasons.

Fellow Big Sky newcomer Souther Utah is also enjoying success in its first season in the league. The Thunderbirds, who are led by first-year head coach Nick Robinson, are part of a three-way logjam behind UND fighting for one of the final two spots in the Big Sky Tournament.
- Robinson is a finalist for Joe B. Hall Award, which is given annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball. The T-Birds are 11-18 overall this season.
- The Thunderbirds enter Saturday's game with an 8-11 mark in league action, but have lost six straight Big Sky games to fall into a tie for sixth place in the league standings. SUU, Sacramento State and Northern Arizona are locked in a three-way tie and all face road games in the regular season finale.
- SUU has had a busy week, starting with an overtime loss (86-74) to league-leading Montana on Monday night. The T-Birds then hit the road for a Thursday clash at Northern Colorado where they fell 66-58.
- SUU is led by senior guards Jackson Stevenette and Damon Heuir, who rank among the top five Big Sky scorers. Stevenette ranks second behind Northern Arizona's Gabe Rogers for the scoring lead in overall games at 18.1 ppg and third in Big Sky scoring at 19.9 ppg. Heuir ranks third in overall scoring (15.9 ppg) and fourth in Big Sky games (16.6 ppg).
- Heuir scored 29 points in the overtime loss to the Grizzlies, but was held to only four points in the loss to the Bears. Stevenette had 16 vs. the Griz and added 25 vs. UNC.
- Stevenette scored 21 points in what was the Big Sky debut for both SUU and UND on Dec. 17 in Cedar City. The T-Birds won that contest 79-67 and got a boost from reserve guard Wade Collie, who scored 18 points in the win. Collie has since been dismissed from the team.
- No other active T-Bird regular is averaging more than 7.0 ppg. That total belongs to Jayson Cheesman, who is one of the league's top shot blockers with 59 on the season (2.1/g).
- The T-Birds are in old Summit League member and won the league's postseason tournament to advance to the school's only NCAA Tournament in 2001.

North Dakota 78, Eastern Washington 74 (March 2)
CHENEY, Wash. -
Junior Troy Huff scored a career-high 34 points and North Dakota picked up its first Big Sky road sweep of the season, taking a 78-74 victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday. Huff capped his career day and the win with a 3-point play on a breakaway dunk in the closing seconds as the visitors officially clinched a berth in the Big Sky Tournament.

The road win was the third straight in Big Sky play for UND (14-15, 11-8 BSC), who never trailed despite a late rally by the Eagles (9-20, 6-12 BSC). Junior Aaron Anderson added 18 points for UND with 16 of those coming in the second half as the visitors spoiled the last game for a quartet of senior Eagles at Reese Court.

Huff and Anderson did a majority of the scoring for UND, but classmate Jamal Webb made a defining play late in the game with his team clinging to a 71-70 lead and just over a minute to play. The Big Sky steals' leader stripped EWU's Colin Chiverton in the open court and made a driving layup to put UND up by three.

EWU would miss a 3-pointer on the next possession and after grabbing his ninth rebound of the season, Webb would find Huff for his game-sealing dunk. The set up was the 10th assist for Webb, who set a career-high in that category.

Huff's sizzling start produced the first 15 points of the game for UND, who jumped out to a 15-8 advantage. He had 20 points in the opening seven minutes as the Green and White quickly built a 24-10 advantage.

UND is the only team locked into its Big Sky Tournament seed entering Saturday's action. The Green and White clinched the No. 3 seed with league-leading Montana's overtime win over Southern Utah on Monday. The top two seeds belong to Montana and Weber State, while Northern Colorado also earned a berth to the tournament with its victory over Southern Utah on Thursday. The Grizzlies can clinch the right to host and the No. 1 seed if they defeat Northern Arizona on Saturday. Weber State would host if they defeat Eastern Washington and both Montana and Montana State (vs. Sacramento State) lose. The Bobcats can clinch a berth and top five seed with a win over the Hornets as well.

Thursday, March 14
Quarterfinal1 - No. 2 seed vs. No. 7 seed;
Quarterfinal2 - No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed;
Quarterfinal3 - No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed;

Friday, March 15
Semifinal1 - Highest remaining seed vs. Second highest remaining seed
Semifinal2 - No. 1 seed vs. Lowest remaining seed

Saturday, March 16
Championship Game; 7 p.m. MT (ESPNU)

The North Dakota men's basketball team will celebrate the careers of five seniors from the program's first Division I recruiting class in a special pre-game ceremony on Saturday prior to the tipoff against Southern Utah. All five are fifth-year seniors and the quintet includes:

12    Jordan Allard, (F, Fargo, N.D.; 120 career games/8 starts)
22    Mitch Wilmer (C, Warroad, Minn.; 84 career games/29 starts)
23    Spencer Goodman (G, Jackson, Mo.; 44 career games/35 starts)
33    Doug Archer (F, Conception Junction, Mo.; 90 career games/9 starts)
40    Dan Stockdale (F, Sheboygan, Wis.; 22 career games/0 starts)

These five seniors have combined for a pair of Great West Tournament titles, two Postseason Tournament appearances, 60-plus victories and helped UND make one of the most successful transitions to the highest level of collegiate basketball. Spencer Goodman was granted a medical hardship prior to the season, thus ending his career, but he remained a part of the program.

Junior Troy Huff is enjoying the best scoring season of his career, averaging 19.4 ppg in overall games and 20.0 ppg in Big Sky play. He qualifies for the scoring title in Big Sky play (currently second) since he has played in 18 of UND's 19 league tilts, but he'll need to play in 75 percent of UND's games to qualify for the overall title (would be leading). The same standards apply for the NCAA where he would rank among the top 25 scorers nationally if he had not missed eight games due to a broken jaw. With one regular season game remaining and the upcoming Big Sky Tournament, Huff could reach 75 percent of games played if UND were to make at least a two-game run in the postseason.

Junior Jamal Webb has moved into second place on UND's career charts for steals with 63 already this season - a total that is the fourth highest in a single season as well.  He shares the lead in Big Sky games with teammate Troy Huff as both are averaging 2.4 spg. Webb ranks 22nd nationally in overall games (2.3/g). He is closing fast on UND's career leader Scott Guldseth, who had 178 from 1989-93. He has 45 in 19 Big Sky games to give him 173 for his career. Webb also joined a new career top 10 recently, moving into fifth on UND's all-time charts for assists with 360.

A 3-pointer from the top of the key vs. Eastern Washington on Jan. 17 moved junior Troy Huff into an elite club in the history of North Dakota basketball. His classmate Aaron Anderson joined him just over a month later, reaching the plateau with a pair of second-half free throws at Portland State (Feb. 28). Huff and Anderson became the first junior teammates and only the third pair overall in UND history to reach the milestone during the same season. The other two sets of teammates to reach the 1,000-point plateau in the same season were Chris Fahrbach and Mike Greulich (1978-79) and Marcus Travis and Hunter Reineke (1999-2000).

Junior Troy Huff was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday after leading UND to its first road sweep in league play. He had a career-high 34 points in the win at EWU, which clinched a berth in the Big Sky Tournament. He is the first Big Sky player to corral three weekly honors this season. Huff also earned the honor on New Year's Eve after his 14-point, 12-rebound outing in the 56-53 victory over Bowling Green. The double-double was the sixth of his career as he played in just his second game back from a broken jaw. He picked up his second honor three weeks later on Jan. 21 after leading UND to pair of back-to-back home wins over Eastern Washington and Portland State.

UND has played three games this season where a 3-point attempt at the buzzer could have provided a win for the shooting team. The first one did not go in favor of UND as Chad White hit a contested 3-pointer to give South Dakota State a 71-70 victory over the Green and White on Nov. 28. The next two nailbiters have come in league play and both times the opponent's shot was the off the mark. The first of those was at Northern Arizona  when Dewayne Russell missed a heave from just inside half court that would have given his Lumberjacks the victory on Jan. 26. The last was this past Thursday when Sac State's John Dickson saw his 30-footer go wide right in a 49-48 loss at The Betty. Junior Troy Huff saw his contested 3-pointer at the end of regulation vs. Northern Arizona on Saturday miss, forcing the UND's first overtime of the season. The Lumberjacks would scrape out a 74-72 victory thanks to the extra session.

WIN NO. 100
Saturday's victory over Eastern Washington not only secured a berth in the Big Sky Tournament for North Dakota, but also marked the 100th victory for head coach Brian Jones. Jones, who is in his seventh season, ranks fourth all-time now on career wins at the school.

Point guard Jamal Webb currently leads a trio of UND juniors that have cracked the school's all-time list in career steals.  Webb is quickly moving his way to the top of the all-time charts with 173, which is only five shy of the top spot currently held by Scott Guldseth. Troy Huff, who has 49 steals already this season despite missing eight games, currently holds down the third spot with 139. Aaron Anderson has also moved into the top 10 with a career-high 44 steals this season. With a game-high four steals at Eastern Washington, Anderson moved into ninth on that chart. 

With 11 wins already in Big Sky play, UND keeps adding to its record for most wins by a league newcomer. Since 1970-71, 10 different schools have joined the Big Sky and the previous best total was eight. Cal State-Northridge accomplished that during the 1996-97 season when Portland State and Sac State also joined the conference. The six road wins are also the most by a league newcomer.

North Dakota captured third place in the Big Sky this season thanks to its success away from The Betty. The Green and White won six Big Sky road games and picked up their first road sweep this past week with wins at Portland State (Feb. 28) and Eastern Washington (March 2). UND also won road games at Idaho State, Montana State, Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado. The six road wins are also the most for UND in its Division I era (since 2007-08) and the most for head coach Brian Jones in his six-plus seasons at the helm of the program.

Seniors Mitch Wilmer and Doug Archer are both enjoying the best seasons of their UND careers and a lot of their production is coming on the defensive end. Both players have set career-highs in blocked shots this season. Wilmer leads the team with 38 rejections and Archer is second with 29. The duo ranks among the top 10 shot blockers in the Big Sky as well. In fact, Wilmer and Archer have blocked more shots this season than they had combined in their careers. Wilmer had 17 in 55 career games entering the season, while Archer had 16 in 66 career games. Both players are also averaging career highs in scoring and rebounding.

Only eight UND men's basketball players have appeared in more games than senior Jordan Allard. The Fargo native has made 120 appearances for the Green and White in his career - a total that ranks ninth on the all-time charts. Allard has only missed three games in his career.

Senior Mitch Wilmer has started the last 26 games for UND and is subsequently playing the best basketball of his UND career. Wilmer, who had only three starts coming into the season, is averaging 5.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.3 bgp for the season. He has scored 164 points this season, which is 108 more than he scored as a reserve in 29 games last season. Wilmer has set or equaled his career-high in scoring four times in those 16 starts, chipping in with 11 points at South Dakota State (Nov. 28), upping that to 12 at North Dakota State (Dec. 9) before scoring 15 against Southern Utah and Northern Colorado. He added his first career double-double against the SUU by adding 11 rebounds to his point total.

Head coach Brian Jones has a 16-man roster, but only 11 of those players are now active for the 2012-13 season. The team was hoping for good news from the NCAA on granting Texas Tech transfer Jaron Nash a waiver to play immediately and not have to sit out this season, but the organization denied UND's request. Houston Baptist transfer Dustin Hobaugh transferred to UND after one season with the Huskies to pursue a degree in commercial aviation. Hobaugh is sitting out the 2012-13 season and will have three left to play starting with the 2013-14 campaign. Besides Nash and Hobaugh, Jones is using redshirt seasons on junior college transer Ryan Salmonson and freshman walk-on Thomas Blake. Salmonson played two seasons at Cosumnes River Community College, while Blake prepped at St. Maria Goretti in Hagerstown, Md. JUCO-transfer Alonzo Traylor played in eight of the team's first nine, averaging 7.0 ppg and 5.1 rpg, but has been ruled academically ineligible for the second semester.

UND's quintet of Aaron Anderson, Brandon Brekke, Troy Huff, Josh Schuler and Jamal Webb produced 65.4 percent of UND's points in 2010-11, which was tops among any freshman class in the country. As sophomores, that unit upped that number to 70.9 percent of the team's scoring (1,526 of 2,153). However, as sophomores, that unit had company at the top of the national charts. The Memphis sophomores, a unit UND edged out last season (63.9 percent as freshmen), produced 73.6 percent (1,923 of 2,614) and NDSU's sophomores concluded the Bison season scoring 71.3 percent (1,564 of 2,194) of their team's points. So far, the 2012-13 juniors, which includes the addition of JUCO-transfer Alonzo Traylor, have accounted for 72.1 (1,404 of 1,945) percent of the team's scoring through 29 games. Only Chicago State, who has 11 juniors on its roster, has more production from a third-year class.

Seven teams on UND's 2011-12 docket advanced to postseason tournaments, including four to the NCAA Tournament (Kansas, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota State). UND beat two of those teams at home (Montana and South Dakota State). North Dakota State and Western Illinois both made the CBI Invitational, while GWC foe Utah Valley earned an at-large bid to join UND in the CIT Tournament.The schedule does not get any easier in 2012-13, as UND's slate has seven more teams on it that advanced to postseason tournaments. Kansas State advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa made the second round of the NIT. Both Montana and South Dakota State lost their first games in the NCAA Tournament. Bowling Green and Weber State joined UND in the CIT Postseason Tournament, while NDSU lost in the first round of the CBI Invitational.

UND split its four contests against Big Sky opponents in 2011-12. The Green and White defeated eventual regular season and tournament champion Montana 88-81 in overtime at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND also split a home-and-home series with Idaho State and lost at Sacramento State (75-64) after leading the Hornets by six at halftime.

-- UND --

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