Grand Forks, N.D. - The North Dakota men’s basketball team opens a three-game road trip against a familiar foe on Saturday as they travel to play Northern Iowa at 1 p.m.
UND VS. NORTHERN IOWA SERIES
All-time: UND leads 48-33
In Cedar Falls: UNI leads 23-15
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Northern Iowa: 0-3
Northern Iowa Head Coach Ben Jacobson vs. UND: 3-0
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.ESPN3.com
Live Stats: www.UNIstatbroadcast.com
IN THE PAINT...
• UND and Northern Iowa have met 81 times since 1936 with UND holding a 48-33 edge in the all-time series. There was a 30-year break in the series until the teams renewed the rivalry prior to the 2008-09 season.
• The teams did not meet last season, snapping a streak of three-straight seasons where the teams matched up on the hardwood. UNI head coach Ben Jacobson has led his Panthers past his alma mater in each of those contests. UND head coach Brian Jones is still searching for his first win over his alma mater.
• Jacobson played at UND from 1990-93 under Rich Glas and ranks second on the UND career charts with 420 assists. Jones was a four-year letterwinner at UNI from 1990-94. The two never played against each other in college.
• UND rebounded from a 33-point loss to K-State in the season opener by posting a 36-point win over Crown College in its home opener on Wednesday. Junior Aaron Anderson led all scorers with 18 points and dished out a career-high eight assists.
• Sophomore Lenny Antwi made the most of his first career start - registering career highs in points (16), rebounds (7) and assists (7). Antwi knocked down a career-high 5 3-pointers as well as UND finished 12-for-22 from beyond the arc.
• Junior Josh Schuler and senior Jordan Allard rounded out a quartet of double-figure scorers for UND with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Schuler scored all 13 of his points in the first half, sinking 3-of-5 attempts from 3-point range. Schuler now has 498 career points.
• Allard shared team-high rebounding honors with Antwi and junior college transfer Alonzo Traylor. It was the second straight game Traylor pulled down seven rebounds off the bench.
• With its 87-51 victory over Crown College, UND registered its 900th home win in school history and is now 4-3 in home openers under Jones, including three straight victories.
• Junior Troy Huff paced UND with 12 points in the season opener at K-State. He led UND in scoring a team-high 10 times during the 2011-12 season, but sat out the Crown College game with an injury. He had appeared in 67 straight games, including 37 consecutive starts.
• Antwi started in place of junior Jamal Webb, who served a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules. Webb will be back on the court for the Northern Iowa game.
• Allard has started both games this season and now has five for his career. The Fargo native leads all active players with 93 career appearances. Allard is averaging 10.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg in those first two contests.
• Webb had a team-high three steals against K-State to up his career total to 112. He only needs 16 more steals to move into second place by himself on the career charts. Webb had 57 as a sophomore, which tied for the fifth most in a single-season at the school.
• Anderon has led a much better effort from the foul line for UND this season, connecting on all 12 of his attempts through two games. The team is shooting 75.8 percent (25-for-33). Last season, UND shot only 63 percent from the stripe.
• Jones has four starters back and six of his top seven scorers from his 2012 Great West Conference Tournament championship team. The seventh-year head coach will have to replace second team All-Great West performer Patrick Mitchell, who averaged 10.4 ppg and 4.4 rpg during his final season with the program.
• The 2011-12 squad posted a 17-15 record and earned an automatic berth to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second consecutive season. UND lost at Drake, 70-64, in the opening round of postseason play.
• The 2012-13 season will mark the first one for the team in the Big Sky Conference and first chance at an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. UND wrapped up its five-year transition to Division I and three-year run in the Great West Conference last season.
• 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.
• Jones bolstered in already loaded junior class with a trio of transfers. Forward Jaron Nash (6-8, 185) transferred to UND from Texas Tech and the Waterloo, Iowa native is still seeking a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately due to family health reasons. Forward Alonzo Traylor (6-7, 214) comes to UND from Iowa Western Community College. Traylor averaged 14.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg as a sophomore en route to earning All-Region XI second team honors. Fellow post player Ryan Salmonson (6-9, 216) rounds out the trio and joins UND after two seasons of JUCO basketball at Cosumnes River College in California. He averaged 9.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg in his final season with the Hawks. Salmonson is slated to take a redshirt season in 2012-13.
• Also redshirting during the 2012-13 season will be walk-on guard Thomas Blake and Houston Baptist transfer Dustin Hobaugh. Hobaugh played as a true freshman for the Huskies last season and will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting with the 2013-14 season.
• The 2011-12 season was the last for the UND men’s basketball team to compete under the Fighting Sioux nickname. The longtime nickname was retired this past summer and all University athletic teams will go by the University of North Dakota, North Dakota or UND until Jan. 1, 2015.
ONCE UPON A NOVEMBER
The North Dakota men’s basketball team won its lone November home game by routing Crown College 87-51 on Wednesday. December will provide many more opportunities, however, for the home fans to cheer on the Green and White. UND will play four of its six December games at the BESC.
UND'S IOWA TIES
Iowa ties run deep within the North Dakota men’s basketball program. Besides head coach Brian Jones returning to coach against his alma mater on Saturday, there are several players and coaches with ties to the Hawkeye State.
• Assistant Coach Dean Oliver is a Mason City, Iowa native and lettered four seasons as a point guard at the University of Iowa. He was a three-time, All-Big 10 performer during his playing days for the Hawkeyes.
• Fellow assistant coach Brent Wilson is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa native. He prepped at Prairie High School where he earned all-state honors twice, including first-team accolades as a senior.
• UNI fans will recognize assistant coach Gameli Ahelegbe’s last name. His younger brother, Kwadzo, averaged 14.1 ppg as a senior in helping lead the Panthers to the 2010 Sweet 16.
• Junior Jaron Nash is a Texas Tech transfer that grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, which is a neighboring city to Cedar Falls. Nash prepped at Waterloo East High School where he lettered three seasons and earned all-state and all-conference honors as a senior.
• Redshirt freshman Shane Benton was part of three straight Iowa Class 4A Final Four squads. As a senior, he averaged 9.0 ppg in helping lead his team to a perfect 26-0 record and state title.
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 College Basketball Invitational.
UND, which had only overcome a halftime deficit to win once during the regular season, rallied from such deficits in both 2012 GWC Tournament wins. UND trailed by as many as 14 to No. 3 seed Texas-Pan American before storming back to post a 63-59 victory. And, against the fourthseeded Highlanders in the championship game, UND trailed by two before outscoring NJIT 48-31 after the break.
Junior Brandon Brekke was one of the top field goal shooters at the NCAA Division I level last season, making 68.2 percent of his shots (116-for-170). Brekke did not have enough makes (five per game required) to qualify in the national rankings (Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliff led the country at 69.3 percent), but he did lead the Great West Conference in both regular season and league games. Through two games this season, Brekke is shooting 70 percent from the field (7-for-10).
UND CAREER NOTES VS. NORTHERN IOWA
• Junior Aaron Anderson scored 18 points in the 65-53 loss to UNI two seasons ago. Anderson went 7-for-9 from the field and did not miss from beyond the arc (four attempts).
• Senior Mitch Wilmer has played the Panthers twice and scored a pair of points in each of those contests.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: NORTHERN IOWA
• Head coach Ben Jacobson has led his Panthers to four straight postseason appearances, including a trip to the 2010 Sweet 16.
• Last season, the Panters posted a 20-14 record, advancing to the second round of the NIT.
• Jacobson is embarking on his seventh season as the helm of the Panthers and has also led UNI to four staight 20-win seasons. Before Jacboson took over, there had only been five 20-win seasons in school history.
• The Panthers were selected to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference this season behind Creighton and Illnois State.
• UNI has not lost a November contest in its new home at the McLeod Center. The Panthers are 15-0 during the month in this their seventh season in the building.
• The Panthers are 2-0 on the young season with both of those wins also coming at the McLeod Center. The team scored 102 points in the season opener vs. Wartburg, which was the first time in Jacobson’s tenure that his club broke the century mark.
• The team’s second tilt was not quite as easy as Toledo took the Panthers to overtime before falling 84-81 to the home team. Guard Deon Mitchell leads the team in scoring early on with a 22.5 ppg average. He scored a career-high 27 points in the win over Toledo.
• UNI has made at least one 3-pointer in 396 straight games. So far this sseason, the Panthers are shooting 46.3 percent from 3-point range. Mitchell went 4-for-5 vs. Toledo. Senior Marc Sonnen is 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) through two games. He shot 44.3 percent a season ago and had a career-high 21 points in a 64-41 win over North Dakota in 2009. All of his 21 points came on 3-point field goals.