Game Notes: UND takes on streaking Wildcats in Semis
UND VS. WEBER STATE SERIES
All-time: Weber State leads 2-0
Division I: Weber State leads 2-0
Neutral site: First Meeting
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Weber State: 0-2
Weber State Head Coach Randy Rahe vs. UND: 2-0
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Radio: 100.3 FM (Grand Forks) or iHeart Radio App (computer or smart phone)
Live Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Video: www.BigSkyTV.org (free)
Live Stats: http://statb.us/b/19754 (free)
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com (free)
IN THE PAINT...
• After leading 28-25 at halftime, UND put the game away with a 23-7 run during the opening nine minutes of the second half. Junior Troy Huff led five UND players in double figures with 15 points as the Green and White shot 62.5 percent from the field after halftime, including a 7-for-11 mark from 3-point range.
• It was the first time this season that UND had five players reach double figures in a game: Huff (15), Aaron Anderson (14), Mitch Wilmer (11), Josh Schuler and Lenny Antwi (10).
• Anderson started his 63rd straight game despite playing only four minutes in the regular season finale vs. SUU (March 9) after taking a hard shot to the head on a screen. He played a team-high 35 minutes in the quarterfinal game and scored 14 points.
• Wilmer had arguably the best game of his career, registering his second double-double vs. SUU this season after scoring 11 points and adding a career-high 14 rebounds. He also equaled his career-high with four blocked shots and now has 44 on the season (one shy of entering top 10 on UND’s single-season charts).
• Schuler was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the second half and finished with 10 points off the bench. Antwi also added 10 points off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor.
• Schuler’s double-digit effort was his second straight (16 in regular season finale) after missing eight games with back spasms. Antwi’s double-digit effort was only his second of the season (had a career-high 16 in game two of the season vs. Crown College).
• Junior point guard Jamal Webb added seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and a steal in the quarterfinal victory. His steal tied him with Scott Guldseth a top the UND charts for career steals with 178.
• UND draws No. 2 seed Weber State in the semifinal round after the Wildcats took care of No. 7 seed Northern Arizona with a 84-56 victory. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont.
• Weber State and top-seeded Montana were the only teams to sweep UND during the regular season. The Wildcats beat UND 95-63 in Ogden on Jan. 5 before beating the Green and White 66-51 in Grand Forks on Jan. 31.
• Anderson had 23 points against Weber State in the road loss. Huff had 15 poitns in what was his last game coming off the bench before returning to the starting lineup. Webb also reached double figures with 10.
• Schuler was the only UND player to reach double figures vs. the Wildcats in Grand Forks with 12 points. WSU is the only team to hold Huff below double figures in 23 games this season (he had seven at home).
• The Green and White finished 12-8 in year one of the Big Sky and those 12 wins were the most ever by a league newcomer. UND and SUU were just the second and third league newcomers to qualify for the postseason tournament. CS-Northridge qualified in 1997 and advanced to the title game that season.
• With three wins already in March this season, UND is 11-2 in the month over the past two-plus seasons. Five of those wins came in back-to-back Great West Tournaments as UND won both of those events (2011; Orem, Utah and 2012; Chicago, Ill.) and earned an automatic berth to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).
• UND was the No. 3 seed when it won the 2011 GWC title with a thrilling double-overtime win over rival South Dakota. Junior Josh Schuler drilled a 3-pointer from the corner in the closing seconds to cap a wild contest. Last season, UND was the No. 2 seed in Chicago when the Green and White defeated NJIT 75-60 in the championship game.
MORE IN THE PAINT...
• UND is riding the momentum of a four-game winning streak - its longest of the season. UND is 8-3 overall since losing to Weber State at home on Jan. 31.
• Huff (first team) and Anderson (second team) were each honored by league officials on Monday being named to the All-Big Sky Team. Huff was a two-time All-Great West second team honoree, while this is the first all-conference honor for Anderson.
• UND opened Big Sky play by dropping four of its first five league tilts, but responded by winning 11 of its next 15, including a 7-3 mark in the second half.
• After suffering a broken jaw in the first half of the season opener at Kansas State (he finished the game), Huff missed the next eight games while his jaw was wired shut. UND would only go 2-6 during that stretch with both of those wins coming against Division III opponents. Huff’s last game missed was the Big Sky opener at Southern Utah, but he has played in the 22 games since and UND has compiled a 14-8 record with him back in the lineup.
• UND provided its four active seniors (Doug Archer, Jordan Allard, Dan Stockdale and Mitch Wilmer) and injured classmate Spencer Goodman with a 68-61 victory on Senior Day. Archer equaled his career-high with four blocks in the contest. Allard scored all five of his points in a quick spurt early in the second half and Wilmer contributed with six rebounds. Stockdale made the first start of his career and played the opening three minutes.
• For Allard, the contest marked his 121st appearance in a UND uniform, tying him for sixth most on the all-time charts. He now is tied for fifth with 122.
• Webb scored 19 points, equaled his season-high with nine rebounds and added five assists and four steals in the victory over the T-Birds. He picked up the scoring slack for Anderson (team’s second leading scorer at 14.6 ppg), who was sidelined with an injury just four minutes into the contest.
• Webb is also closing in on the single-season record for steals with a total of 69 now on the season. That is the third higest single-season total in school history. Rico Burkett holds the all-time record when he had 75 in the 1989-90 season.
• Schuler scored 16 points off the bench in his to action after missing eight games with back spasms. Schuler had started 20 straight games (eight of those in place of Huff) after the season opener before being sidelined for the first time in his career (87 straight appearances).
• With its first Big Sky road sweep at Portland State and Eastern Washington, 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 on March 2 was also the 100th for Jones in his six-plus seasons at UND. He ranks fourth all-time in career victories in program history.
• With three wins already in March, UND is 17-7 under Jones during the third month of the year.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: WEBER STATE
• Weber State head coach Randy Rahe has his Wildcats on a 12-game winning streak after knocking off No. 7 seed Northern Arizona in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Tournament on Thursday.
• The 12-game winning streak is tied for 3rd longest in the country and started with a 66-51 win over UND in Grand Forks after Weber State dropped back-to-back road games at Montana and Montana State.
• Those two losses left Weber State with its only two blemishes in league play, but despite an 18-2 record, the Wildcats finished second behind Montana (19-1) in the league standings.
• Weber State leads the NCAA in three statistical categories (field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage defense).
• Four Weber State players were named to the Big Sky All-Conference teams released on Monday. Guards Scott Bamforth and Davion Berry were named to the first team, while big men Kyle Tresnak and Frank Otis were both named to the second team.
• That quartet all reached double figures in the 84-58 victory over Northern Arizona in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Otis led the way with 16 points, while Berry, who was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, had 13 and Bamforth and Tresnak each finished with 12.
• With a 25-5 record, Rahe has guided the Wildcats to 20-win seasons in five of his seven seasons at the helm of the program.
• Junior Jordan Richardson has joined the all-conference quartet in starting 29 of 30 games together this season. Tresnak is the only member of that starting five to miss a start this season.
• This is the 31st time in 36 tries Weber State has advanced to the semifinal round of the Big Sky Tournament. The Wildcats have advanced to the title game on 13 occassions and would the championship eight different times.
WELCOME TO THE BIG SKY
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 Southern Utah 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.
HUFF, ANDERSON FIRST JUNIORS TO REACH 1,000-POINT CLUB IN SAME SEASON
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).
HUFF FIRST WITH THREE BIG SKY POW AWARDs
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.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Junior Troy Huff is enjoying the best scoring season of his career, averaging 19.0 ppg in overall games and 19.7 ppg in Big Sky play. He finished second in scoring Big Sky play after playing in 19 of UND’s 20 league tilts and he will finally qualify for the overall scoring title after Friday’s semifinal game vs. Weber State because it will mean he has now played in 75 percent of UND’s games this season. Players must participate in 75 percent of all games to qualify for the overall title - a category he should be leading at the conclusion of the game. 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.
WEBB TO THE TOP
Junior Jamal Webb has moved into a tie for the top spot on UND’s career charts for steals with 69 already this season - a total that is the third highest in a single season as well. He led the Big Sky in league games, averaging 2.5 spg and ranks 17th nationally in overall games (2.3/g). He reached UND’s career leader Scott Guldseth, who had 178 from 1989-93, with a steal in the quarterfinal victory over Southern Utah.
TRIO OF JUNIORS CRACK ALL-TIME STEALS LIST
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 tied a top the all-time charts with 178, while Troy Huff, who has a career-high 54 steals already this season despite missing eight games, currently holds down the third spot with 144. Aaron Anderson has also moved into the top 10 with a career-high 44 steals this season bringing his career total to 110 (eighth). UND leads the Big Sky, averaging 7.9 spg.
WIN NO. 100
The victory over Eastern Washington on March 2 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.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
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.
UND SETS BIG SKY PRECEDENT
With 12 wins in Big Sky play, UND won the most games every 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 BSC 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 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.
SHOT BLOCKING PRESENCE
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 44 rejections and Archer is second with 33. 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. Wilmer needs one more block in Friday’s semifinal to move into the top 10 single-season list for the category.
WILMER CONTINUES TO PLAY WELL
Senior Mitch Wilmer has started the last 28 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, 5.0 rpg and 1.4 bgp for the season. He has scored 176 points this season, which is 109 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. He posted his second career double-double in the quarterfinal win over Souther Utah, going for 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He also equaled his career-high with four blocks against the T-Birds.
ALLARD MOVES INTO THE RECORD BOOKS
Only eight UND men’s basketball players have appeared in more games than senior Jordan Allard. The Fargo native has made 122 appearances for the Green and White in his career - a total that is tied for fifth on the all-time charts. Allard has only missed three games in his career.
ROSTER ROUND UP
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 72.4 (1,457 of 2,013) percent of the team’s scoring through 30 games. Only Chicago State, who has 11 juniors on its roster, has more production from a third-year class (74.8 percent; 1,454 of 1,944).
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.