GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The North Dakota men's basketball team will look to draw even with Northern Arizona in the Big Sky standings and win its third straight when the Lumberjacks visit Grand Forks for a Saturday afternoon tilt. Tipoff at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center is set for 2 p.m.
UND VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA SERIES
All-time Series: tied 1-1
Big Sky Series: tied 1-1
Last Meeting: Northern Arizona 74, UND 72 (ot) (Feb. 16, 2013; Grand Forks, N.D.)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Northern Arizona: 1-1
Northern Arizona Head Coach Jack Murphy vs. UND: 1-1
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Radio: 1440 AM (Grand Forks)
Live Stats: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Video: www.WatchBigSky.com (free)
IN THE PAINT...
• The Lumberjacks sit at 5-2 in the league standings - one game behind league leaders Northern Colorado and Weber State. NAU fell to that record after losing at Northern Colorado 87-72 on Thursday. NAU is the only Big Sky squad to have two road wins to its credit thus far. Quinton Upshur had a career-high 32 points in the loss, making 7-of-8 3-pointers in the setback.
• UND improved to 4-3 in league play after posting an 82-71 victory over Sacramento State on Thursday. Senior Troy Huff had 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to post the 13th double-double of his career, while classmate Alonzo Traylor led a 33-14 bench advantage for UND with a career-high tying 17 points.
• UND shot season highs from the field (57.8 percent; 26-for-45) and free throw line (83.9 percent; 26-for-31) in the victory.
• Traylor made seven of eight from the floor and is shooting a Big Sky best 79.2 percent in league games. He is averaging 10.3 ppg over his last four.
• These two teams pulled off the rare split last season where the road team picked up wins. Both contests were intense with UND rallying from a 22-point deficit in Flagstaff to win 81-79, while NAU picked up a 74-72 OT win in Grand Forks.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: NORTHERN ARIZONA
• Second-year head coach Jack Murphy has the Lumberjacks off to a 5-2 start in Big Sky play and 8-10 record overall.
• NAU is the only league team to pull off two road wins already in conference play (three overall). One of those was at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, which is arguably the toughest place to win in the league. The Grizzlies had won 31 straight at home before losing to the Lumberjacks on Jan. 2.
• Newcomer Quinton Upshur is the team’s top scorer, averaging 15.6 ppg overall and 18.1 ppg in Big Sky play. He had a career-high 32 points in a losing effort Thursday at Northern Colorado when he connected on 7-of-8 3-point attempts.
• Upshur is shooting 62.9 percent from beyond the arc in league play, which is the best figure by far among Big Sky players. He is 22-for-35 in seven conference action.
• Fellow newcomer Aaseem Dixon is also averaging in double figures and been a nice addition to the Lumberjacks’ backcourt that lost its top two scorers from a year ago (Gabe Rogers; averaged 29.5 ppg against UND and Dwayne Russell; averaged 14.0 ppg against UND). Dixon is scoring at a 12.7 ppg clip overall and 14.6 clip in Big Sky play.
• Max Jacobsen, the top returning scorer for the Lumberjacks, is the third NAU scoring in double figures. He is aeraging a career-high 13.5 ppg overall and 13.1 in Big Sky play. Jacobsen is a 58.8 percent shooter from the field.
ON THE BOARDS...FINALLY
It took 15 games, but UND finally held an advantage in rebounding over a Division I opponent when the Green and White outrebounded Montana State 33-26 on Jan. 18. UND backed that up by holding a 29-25 edge in that category Thursday vs. Sacramento State. UND won both of those games and are now 4-0 when outrebounding opponents this season (Minnesota-Morris; Presentation, Montana State and SAC).
SPEAKING OF BOARDS
Senior Troy Huff led the team with a career-high 14 rebounds in Thursday’s win over Sacramento State, marking the eighth straight game he has done that. Overall, he has led the team in rebounding in 14 of 17 games and ranks fifth in the Big Sky in that category (7.7 rpg). In leauge play, Huff is averaging 9.0 rpg, which is third best among Big Sky players.
HUFF IN RARE COMPANY
Senior Troy Huff is one of two players in NCAA Division I basketball to rank in the top 25 nationally in both scoring (20th; 20.7 ppg) and steals (t25th; 2.4 spg). He joins Youngstown State’s Kendrick Perry (18th; 20.9 ppg) and steals (t7th; 2.7 spg) with that distinction.
HUFF NEARS JACKSON, TOP FIVE ON SCORING LIST
With 20 points in Thursday’s win over Sacramento State, senior Troy Huff pushed his career total to 1,704 points and within four points of catching Phil Jackson and joining the top five scoring list at UND. Jackson racked up 1,708 points in a three-year career at UND before embarking on his illustrious career in the NBA as both a player and a coach.
The senior trio of Aaron Anderson, Troy Huff and Jamal Webb each played well over 3,000 minutes during their UND careers that began as true freshman in 2010-11. Those eye-popping minutes have yielded some impressive individual results. Here is a look at where the three sit, respectively, on a number of UND’s top 10 list.
Aaron Anderson (Sr., G, Brooklyn Park, Minn.)
Steals (4th; 128)
Assists (9th; 305)
Free throws made (8th; 380)
3-pointers made (9th; 132)
3-point field goal percentage (5th; 41.9)
3-point field goals attempted (10th; 315)
Troy Huff (Sr., G, Milwaukee, Wis.)
Points (5th; 1,704)
Field goals made (9th; 599)
Field goals attempted (3rd; 1,377)
Free throws made (7th; 385)
Free throws attempted (6th; 578)
3-pointers attempted (7th; 409)
Steals (2nd; 188)
Jamal Webb (Sr., G, Buffalo, N.Y.)
Steals (1st; 214)
Assists (2nd; 428)
TRAYLOR FINDING HIS GROOVE
Senior Alonzo Traylor has not missed more than one shot from the field in any of UND’s six Big Sky games and is shooting a league-high 79.2 percent from the field (19-for-24) in those contests. He went 7-for-8 from the floor in the win over Sacramento State and equaled his career-high with 17 points. Traylor is averaging 10.3 ppg over his last four games and has reached double figures twice during that stretch.
RESERVATIONS FOR SUCCESS
UND’s bench production has been outstanding of late, outscoring its opponents in each of the last six contests. UND has won four of those games and holds an overall advantage of 161-80 during that stretch.
WEBB REACHES MILESTONE IN WIN OVER BOBCATS
Senior Jamal Webb’s became the third member of his class and 34th player overall to join UND’s 1,000-point club in Saturday’s 72-69 road win at Montana State. Webb joined classmates Troy Huff (6th; 1684 points) and Aaron Anderson (16th; 1,224) with a first-half running jumper. Only one other class in UND history - the 1999-2000 seniors - had a trio of 1,000-point scorers. Chad Mustard (1996-2000) finished his career eighth on the scoring charts with 1,568 points before going on to a brief NFL career as a tight end for the Denver Broncos. Mustard reached the plateau as a junior, while teammates Marcus Travis and Hunter Reinke surpassed the K-club as seniors. Travis was 14th on the list with 1,229 points before Huff bumped him down to No. 15, while Reinke is now 19th after being passed by Anderson with 1,185 points.
MORE ROUND NUMBERS FOR MALLIE
The 1,000-point club is not the first milestone reached for Webb during his UND tenure. He already became the first player in UND history to reach 200 steals in a career and just the fourth to dish out 400 assists. He has also been one of the top rebounding guards in program history and corralled rebound No. 500 in a win over Idaho State on Jan. 9. By reaching the 1,000-point plateau, Webb became the first player in school history to score 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds, dish out 400 assists and collect 200 steals in a career.
AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION
In the latest NCAA rankings, UND enters the Sacramento State game ranked 14th in the country steals per game (9.0) and and 12th in turnover marging (+4.1). The Green and White top the Big Sky in both of those categories.
CAREER LINE VS. THE LUMBERJACKS
Six different players on the UND roster have played in as many as four games against the Hornets and here’s a look at their career stat lines:
# PLAYERS (gp; ppg, rpg, apg)
32 Josh Schuler (1; 13.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg)
Scored 13 points in comeback win over NAU at the Skydome
0 Aaron Anderson (2; 15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 7.0 apg)
Netted 24 points in overtime loss to the Lumberjacks in Grand Forks
11 Jamal Webb (2; 8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.5 apg, 4.0 spg)
Had four steals in both contests against NAU last season
5 Troy Huff (2; 22.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 3.5 spg)
Putback in closing seconds sealed comeback win in Flagstaff, 26 points
Posted double-double in overtime loss at home (19 pts, 11 rebs)
3 Lenny Antwi (2; 6.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.5 apg)
Went 4-for-9 from 3-point range in two games vs. Lumberjacks
10 Shane Benton (2; 6.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
Had seven points off the bench in road win, six in home loss
UND HOLDS OFF MSU TO PICK UP FIRST ROAD WIN
North Dakota held off a late Bobcat rally to register its first road win of the season at Montana State. UND left Worthington Arena with a 72-69 triumph in a game that saw 17 lead changes and 14 ties. Senior Aaron Anderson led his team with 18 points and sealed the win with two free throws in the closing 10 seconds as UND never relinquished its halftime lead. The four-point spread at the break was the largest by either team in the opening 20 minutes, but UND quickly pushed its advantage to 11 with a strong second-half start. The Green and White would withstand a pair of MSU rallies that saw the home team pull within a point, but the Bobcats could never tie things up or take the lead down the stretch.
FAST START FOR NASH
In 27 career games at Texas Tech, senior Jaron Nash scored in double figures just once - a 15-point outing against Wake Forest early in the 2011-12 season at the Old Spice Classic. In 16 games in a UND uniform, Nash has reached double figures 10 times and scored a career-high 22 points at Northern Colorado in his Big Sky debut. Nash is averaging 10.5 ppg for UND after only scoring 2.6 ppg in 27 contests with the Red Raiders during the 2011-12 season. He came off the bench for the second time this season against Montana State and had seven points and six rebounds.
-- UND --