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UND claws back as Anderson's 3-pointer buries NC
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Updated: Saturday 02/21/2013 02:50:24 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Junior Aaron Anderson capped another double-digit road comeback for North Dakota, drilling a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of a 64-62 victory over Northern Colorado in Big Sky play. The victory puts UND (12-14, 9-8 BSC) alone in third place in the league standings, while the Bears (9-16, 7-10 BSC) saw a three-game winning streak come to a close.

The visitors found themselves down by 11 with just over 13 minutes to play in the game, but a strong-willed UND squad overcame the deficit with another triumphant comeback on the road.

Anderson finished with a game-high 21 points and his 3-poitner from the far wing was the only trifecta of the second half for the visitors. Junior Troy Huff came up big down the stretch as well, finishing with 19 points. Redshirt freshman Shane Benton added 12 points in just his second career start.

"It was a resilient effort by our entire team," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "Our guys just stay the course and seem to find ways to win.  It was a hard fought battle by both teams and we were just fortunate enough to make a shot at the end."

It was UND's first win over Northern Colorado in four tries since moving up to the Division I era prior to the 2008-09 season and the victory allowed the Green and White to extract revenge from a nine-point home loss to the Bears on Dec. 21.

UND led 31-28 at halftime, but a 16-5 spurt by the Bears to start the second half gave NC its first double-digit lead of the game.  The visitors would respond with a 13-4 run over the next five minutes to make it a one-possession game again.

NC's lead would hover around four for the next four-minute stretch, but Anderson finally brought UND all the way back, tying it at 54-54 with a pair of free throws. That was just the second tie of the contest, but the final three minutes would see seven lead changes. 

Huff gave UND its first lead late in the game with a monster dunk down the lane and after more back-and-forth play, Anderson would come through with a timely 3-pointer from the wing.  Without a timeout, NC tried to race the ball up the court with only seven seconds to play, but UND forced a turnover.

Benton was fouled and made one-of-two foul shots and NC actually had a decent look at a layup, but it was off the mark and UND secured its fourth Big Sky road win of the season.

Neither half started well for UND as Northern Colorado opened the game on an 8-0 run and added a 6-0 spurt to start the second, which gave the lead back to the Bears until the final moments of the contest.

Connor Osborne tied his career-high with 19 points for the Bears and double-double machine Derrick Barden had added another in this one with 14 points and 11 boards.

Fortunately for UND, the Bears were ice cold from beyond the arc, missing all 14 attempts they took, including 11 misses in the first half.

UND went 5-for-11 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes, but missed eight straight to start the second stanza until Anderson's dramatic one at the end of regulation found nylon.

Anderson scored UND's first eight points to get the Green and White back in the contest, capping that spurt with a 4-point play. 

Anderson went 6-for-10 from the field and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe, while adding team highs with six rebounds and five assists. Senior Doug Archer came off the bench and added a career-high four blocks.

UND also fixed its turnover woes, committing only nine after posting 21 in Saturday's overtime setback at NAU. It was UND's third straight game decided by two points or less.

UND remains on the road and will take a break from Big Sky play on Saturday with a BracketBusters tilt at Omaha. Tipoff with the former North Central Conference foe is at 1:05 p.m. CT.

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