GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senior Troy Huff went for a double-double and Alonzo Traylor equaled his career-high with 17 points as the North Dakota men’s basketball team registered an 82-71 victory over Sacramento State in Big Sky play Thursday.
Huff had 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, while Traylor helped lead a 33-14 bench advantage for UND (7-10, 4-3 BSC) with his best output of the season. The Hornets (6-11, 2-5 BSC) came out of the gates slow, but made things interesting down the stretch by catching fire from the floor.
Fortunately, UND was solid throughout the game, shooting a season-high 57.8 percent from the floor and a season-high 83.9 percent from the foul line to withstand the surging Hornets.
“I thought we really learned from last week and attacked the zone instead of sitting back on our heels,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “And, our bench came up big again. Zo had his best game of the season, Lenny (Antwi) hit a big 3-pointer in the second half and we made our free throws down the stretch. That was the difference tonight.”
UND shot 58 percent in the opening 20 minutes with five of 14 first-half field goals coming via the dunk, while the Hornets opened the game just 6-for-24 before making three of their last four to cut a double-digit deficit down to eight by halftime.
With things knotted at 15-15, UND reeled off a 15-3 run over an eight-minute stretch that put the home team ahead by 12. Huff capped that run with a floater off the glass, but Dylan Garrity would cut the deficit to single digits by halftime with five points in the closing three minutes.
Garrity finished with 18, while Zach Mills added a team-high 20 points. Mills had 16 of those points in the second half that saw SAC start 11-for-14 from the field, including making nine straight during one stretch.
The Hornets would close within three points on a trio of occasions in the final 10 minutes, but UND always had an answer. Traylor and Huff would provide more aerial acrobatics as both went for 11 in the second half and combined to reel off seven straight points after two free throws by Jordan Salley made it a 66-63 contest with 4:22 to play.
UND would go 11-for-12 from the line down the stretch and sink 26-of-31 attempt for the game. Huff went 10-for-11 and is 32-for-35 from the foul line over his last four games.
He also added 12 defensive rebounds as UND held a 29-25 advantage on the glass for the second straight game over a Big Sky opponent. UND did not outrebound any of its first 13 Division I opponents this season.
Mills went 6-for-7 from the field in the second half as SAC shot 56 percent as a team, but the Hornets went cold after that blistering start to the stanza.
-- UND --