GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota could never find a rhythm against one of the Big Sky’s top defensive teams as Weber State picked up a 72-60 victory Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The Wildcats (6-6, 3-1 BSC) held UND to 40 percent shooting from the floor and forced the home team into an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers to pick up their first road win of the season.
Senior Troy Huff had a game-high 17 points for UND (5-9, 2-2 BSC) and classmate Jaron Nash added 14, but the Green and White could not manage to cut into what was a 12-point halftime deficit by the end of the game.
The Wildcats gained that lead on the strength of a pair of 9-0 first-half runs. Weber State opened the game with one of those before UND clawed back in the game and led 16-12 on a jumper by Josh Schuler with just over seven minutes to play in the stanza.
The Wildcats got hot from the floor after Schuler’s jumper, scoring 19 points in the final six minutes and they went beyond the arc to close the half with an identical 9-0 run. That spurt put them ahead 36-24 and senior Byron Fulton made two of those 3-pointers during that closing stretch after making just one in his team’s first 11 games.
The Wildcats had six makes from deep in those opening 20 minutes, while UND managed to make just eight total field goals in the same time frame.
Both teams scored 36 points in the second half, but whether it was a pair of shot-clock beating 3-pointers by Wildcat guard Jordan Richardson or missed opportunities at the free throw line, UND could never get closer than seven points down the stretch.
Reserve center Alonzo Traylor had a season-high 10 points for UND, but after going 7-for-8 from the foul line in the first half, the club made only 15-of-24 after the break. Schuler had nine points in his second straight start.
Richardson finished with a team-high 16 points, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, while freshman Jeremy Senglin added 15. The Wildcats finished 9-for-17 from beyond the arc, while UND connected on just 2-of-9 from distance.
UND will resume Big Sky play on the road at Montana on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT from Missoula.
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