Eugene, Ore. – North Dakota could never find a rhythm offensively at Matt Arena on Friday afternoon as Cal Poly downed the Green and White 70-43 in the opening round of the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge.
The Mustangs (2-3) never trailed after building an early 9-2 lead and kept an offense that was averaging 96.7 ppg through three games in check throughout the 40 minutes on the Oregon Ducks’ home court.
UND (2-2) managed to make just 11 field goals in the contest and converted only 17-of-33 foul shots, while the Mustangs shot 28-for-55 from the field and were 12-for-19 from the line.
“We were just flat from start to finish,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “It’s that simple. When you come into a game where there are not many people in the stands, you really have to find energy within yourself, someone has to generate that and we never did that for 40 minutes.”
Brian Bennett led a trio of Cal Poly players in double figures with 16 points, while freshman Quinton Hooker had a team-high nine points for UND. Jamal Webb and Alonzo Traylor each added seven points.
After that early run by CP, a 3-pointer by Jaron Nash made it an 11-7 contest at the 14:05 mark, but UND would go scoreless over the next eight and half minutes. That stretch would prove costly as Cal Poly extended its lead to 30-7.
UND closed the half on a 10-1 run in the final three minutes and change, making it a 35-19 contest at the break, but the Green and White could not carry that momentum into the second half.
Cal Poly’s lead hung around the 20-point mark for much of the opening 10 minutes of the stanza before the Mustangs pushed their advantage to as many as 30 points down the stretch.
Junior Cole Stefan made his UND debut after receiving an NCAA waiver to play immediately after transferring from Green Bay last season. Stefan made a 3-pointer late in the second half for the first points for his new team.
UND will play No. 14/15 Oregon, who overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Pacific 85-62.
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