BOZEMAN, Mont. -- The North Dakota men's basketball team will take its three-game winning streak on the road where the Fighting Hawks will commence their Treasure State swing at Montana State on Thursday. Tip-off against the Bobcats is set for 8:05 p.m. CT.
UND VS. MONTANA STATE SERIES
All-time: MSU leads 12-11
In Bozeman: UND leads 7-5
Big Sky Regular Season: UND leads 5-3
Last Meeting: MSU 89, UND 82 (Mar. 5, 2016)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. MSU: 5-3
MSU Head Coach Brian Fish vs. UND: 2-2
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
TV: SWX Montana
Live Video Stream: www.WatchBigSky.com
Radio: 100.3 FM (Grand Forks) | 790 AM (Fargo/Moorhead)
Live Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com and UND Sports Mobile App
Live Stats: www.MSUBobcats.com
IN THE PAINT...
• UND had defeated the Bobcats in each of their first three meetings as a Big Sky member in Worthington Arena before MSU snapped that streak with an 89-82 in last season’s regular-season finale. The Fighting Hawks are 7-5 all-time in Bozeman and own a 12-11 edge in the all-time series.
• The Bobcats’ victory last season marked the first time the Fighting Hawks were swept on the road by both Montana programs since joining the Big Sky. UND has yet to pick up the Montana sweep, however, going 0-4 at Dahlberg Arena.
• After dropping its league opener at Portland State (Dec. 29), UND has equaled its best winning streak of the season with three straight victories. The Fighting Hawks’ last four-game winning streak came occured in Big Sky play during the 2013-14 season.
• UND improved to 5-1 at home this season with its 95-65 rout of Southern Utah on Saturday. The Fighting Hawks are now 5-0 when scoring 90 or more points and are averaging 87.7 ppg at “The Betty” this season.
• UND arrives in Bozeman with a 2-4 record on the road and 1-1 mark in league road games after splitting at Portland State (L) and Sacramento State (W) to open Big Sky play.
• Senior Quinton Hooker scored a season-high 31 points in UND’s last road contest, which was a 90-82 overtime win at Sacramento State on New Year’s Eve.
ON THE HORIZON
UND wraps up the Treasure State swing with a Saturday night tilt against Montana at Dahlberg Arena. The Grizzlies have won four straight in the series and own a 10-1 record against UND at home. Tip-off is slated for 8:05 p.m. CT.
LAST TIME OUT: UND 95, Southern Utah 65 (Jan. 7)
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senior Quinton Hooker led six Fighting Hawks in double figures with 23 points as North Dakota routed Southern Utah 95-65 Saturday in Big Sky play. Sophomore Josh Collins, who earned his first career start in place of an injured Drick Bernstine, chipped in with career-highs in points (11) and rebounds (7) to help UND (8-6, 3-1 BSC) to its third straight win.
UND would end up shooting 53 percent from the floor, while holding the Thunderbirds (4-12, 2-1 BSC) to just a season-low 25.9 percent effort. The Fighting Hawks also held the league’s top scorer Randy Onwuasor to 19 points on a 6-for-19 effort from the field. Onwuasor’s teammates combined to make just nine other field goals in the contest as the visitors never led.
Sophomore Geno Crandall added 13 points and a career-high nine assists. Both he and Hooker had 11 first-half points to help the home team build a 43-25 lead at the break.
CLOSING IN ON THE TOP 10
With his sixth 20-plus point game of the season, senior Quinton Hooker is now 14 points away from moving into UND’s top 10 list for all-time scoring. He currently sits in 12th and moved within a point of tying former teammate Aaron Anderson for 11th place (1,430; 2010-14). Chris Fahbrach holds down the 10th spot with 1,442 points during his UND career from 1975-1979.
THE ONE AND ONLY
Senior Quinton Hooker is the only player in program history to score 1,400 points (1,429), grab 400 rebounds (413), dish out 300 assists (349) and net 150 steals (158) in a career. He is second among active Big Sky scorer’s trailing only Weber State’s Jeremy Senglin (1,624). His 158 steals are tops among league players.
HOOKER COLLECTS BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
Senior Quinton Hooker collected his first Big Sky Player of the Week award and third of his career on Monday after leading the Fighting Hawks to pair of home wins over Northern Arizona (68-63; Jan. 5) and Southern Utah (95-65; Jan. 7). He averaged 21.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 4.0 rpg in those two victories and is averaging 24.6 ppg during UND’s three-game winning streak.
EXTRA INSIGHT ...
• Sophomore Conner Avants posted his eighth double-figure scoring game of the season (sixth in the past seven games) in the win over Southern Utah. Avants also had two blocks for the second-straight game after collecting just two rejections in UND’s first 12 contests.
• Sophomore Geno Crandall is averaging a career-best 12.2 ppg and has reached double figures in 10 of 13 contests this season. He had a career-high 24 points in the road win at NDSU (Dec. 7). Crandall had 13 points and a career-high nine assists in the win over SUU. He has 14 helpers and only four turnovers during UND’s three-game winning streak.
• Senior Corey Baldwin connected on a season-high four 3-pointers and has reached double figures in each of UND’s three-straight victories. He’s averaging 12.0 ppg over the span.
• Junior Drick Bernstine missed his first game in a UND uniform Saturday against Southern Utah (Jan. 7). The 6-foot-8 forward had started his first 46 games before sitting out against the Thunderbirds. He is the only Big Sky player to rank among the top 10 in rebounding (4th; 7.8 rpg) and assists (9th; 3.8 apg).
• Sophomore Josh Collins started in place of Bernstine against SUU and logged career-highs in points (11), field goals (5), rebounds (7) and assists. It was Collins’ first career start and second career double-figure scoring game.
• Freshman Kienan Walter also posted a career-high with 10 points against the T-Birds. Walter has appeared in three Big Sky games and is averaging 6.0 ppg and shooting 70 percent from the floor in league action.
• The Fighting Hawks improved to 7-3 all-time on New Year’s Eve with the eight-point, overtime win at Sacramento State.
• Sophomore Cortez Seales is now 5-for-11 on the season from deep (45.5 percent) after going only 6-for-26 from beyond the arc as a freshman (23.1 percent). In fact, Seales started this season 0-for-5, but has made 5-of-6 over the last six games.
• UND’s 37-point loss to Portland State was the largest for the program in a Big Sky contest in four-plus seasons as a league member. It was only the fifth 20-plus point setback in 39 all-time league losses. The worst previous defeat was a 95-63 loss to Weber State during UND’s first season in the league.
• Junior forward Solomon Rolls-Tyson left the program during the Holiday break to pursue a professional career in Norway. Rolls-Tyson transferred to UND from Utah State Eastern this past summer and was redshirting.
• Junior Carson Shanks scored a career-high 17 points in 17 minutes of action at Northern Iowa (Dec. 10). Shanks went 8-for-10 from the floor against the Panthers. Shanks is averaging a career-best 7.2 ppg in 13 games off the bench this season.
• After being held to a season-low four points at NDSU (Dec. 7), senior Quinton Hooker responded with a team-high 22 points at Northern Iowa (Dec. 10). Hooker was held to single digits just twice last season as a junior in 32 games. One of those was a four-point outing at Montana and he responded with 25 points in the next game at Montana State.
• UND’s eight-point loss to the Panthers was a 38-point improvement from last season’s 97-51 loss to UNI at home. The Fighting Hawks trailed 54-20 at halftime of that contest and led the Panthers 33-29 this year.
• Hooker was named to the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 18.7 ppg during the team’s three games at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. Hooker’s 29-point outing in the opener vs. North Florida was one shy of his season high of 30 set in the win over Mayville State (Nov. 15).
• The Fighting Hawks averaged 97.7 ppg during their three-game, season-opening homestand and became the first UND team to reach the 90-plus point plateau in three straight since Rich Glas’ 1993-94 squad that cracked the century mark in wins over Dakota State (100-76), Nebraska-Kearney (103-96, ot) and Valley City State (102-63).
OPPONENT PREVIEW: MONTANA STATE
• Third-year Montana State head coach Brian Fish has the Bobcats off to a 6-11 start and 1-3 tally in Big Sky play this season. Montana State is second in the league in scoring at 80.3 ppg, but second-to-last in scoring defense, yielding 80.6 ppg.
• Sophomore Tyler Hall provides a bulk of the team’s scoring and ranks third nationally at 23.4 ppg. He has reached double figures in 16 of the Bobcats’ 17 games this season. Hall scored a career-high 42 points in an 83-78 loss to Milwaukee and has back-to-back 30-point contests entering the week. UND limited the high-scoring sophomore to 11.5 ppg in last year’s split.
• The latter was a 32-point outing at Idaho (Jan. 7), but the Vandals were able to deal MSU an 83-81 overtime setback. It was the Bobcats’ ninth loss in their last 10 games. He had 33 points in a loss at EWU (Jan. 5).
• The lone win was an 80-63 triump over Idaho State on New Year’s at Worthington Arena where the Bobcats are 6-4 on the season (0-7 road). MSU is averaging 84.5 ppg on its home court.
• Hall’s backcourt mate Hayden Frey is the top scoring freshman in the Big Sky as the Norway native is averaging 11.6 ppg in his first collegiate season. Frey has upped that average to 14.8 ppg in Big Sky play and is connecting on 66.7 percent of his treys in league action (14-for-21).
• Quinton Everett gives the Bobcats a trio of double-figure scorers in league play. He has provided his scoring punch off the bench in those games after starting 12 of the team’s 13 non-conference games. He’s averaging 10.2 ppg overall and 11.8 ppg in league action.
• Guard Zach Green averaged 12.8 ppg in non-conference play for the Bobcats, but is scoring only 5.5 ppg in league action. He scored a career-high 23 points in MSU’s home win over UND in the regular season finale.
• The Bobcats saw their tallest player return to the court at Idaho when Sarp Gobeloglu, a 6-foot-10 forward, logged nine minutes after sitting out the last five games.
All three of UND’s opponents at the MABC Classic in Dayton won 20-plus games a season ago. Cal State-Bakersfield participated in the NCAA Tournament, while North Florida was the Atlantic Sun regular season champion and played in the NIT. In fact, UND’s seven Division I non-conference games were all against teams that reached the 20-win plateau a season ago. Five of those teams participated in postseason play. Northern Iowa and Iowa both won a game in the 2016 NCAA Tournament before bowing out in the round of 32. The Panthers loss to Oklahoma in a game that featured a frantic comeback by the Sooners, while the Hawkeyes fell to eventual National Champion Villanova 87-68.
For the second-consecutive season, senior Quinton Hooker will serve as a team captain. He is joined in his captaincy by junior Drick Bernstine, who was the only Fighting Hawk to start all 33 games last season.
HOOKER NAMED BIG SKY PRESEASON MVP
North Dakota senior Quinton Hooker was named the Big Sky Preseason MVP on Oct. 26 in an announcement made by league officials. Hooker was one of six guards voted to the Big Sky Preseason All-Conference Team by media members after averaging 20.1 ppg and leading the Fighting Hawks to a nine-win improvement as a junior. The Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American increased his scoring average to 20.6 ppg in Big Sky play and scored 20-plus points in 15 games overall and 30-plus points on four different occasions last season. The first team All-Big Sky performer was also the first Fighting Hawk to average 20-plus points since the program moved to the Division I level (2008-09) and his pair of 38-point performances are also single-game highs at the DI level.
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