UND Men Rout Vandals, Women Fall at Idaho

Quinton Hooker and Geno Crandall combine for 43 points in Hawks victory.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) – North Dakota built a big first-half lead and never let it go, picking up an 88-65 victory over Idaho in Big Sky men’s basketball action Saturday at The Betty. Sophomore Geno Crandall scored a game-high 22 points and senior Quinton Hooker added 21 for the Fighting Hawks (15-8, 10-3 BSC), who also got a double-double off the bench from Carson Shanks.

The seven-foot junior finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds and turned the game in the first half during his initial action of the game. Shanks entered with UND leading 10-9 and left nearly eight minutes later with the Fighting Hawks comfortably ahead at 27-16 after scoring six points, pulling down five rebounds and getting two of his career-high five blocks.

“Honestly, I thought that was the best we have played from start to finish from an energy standpoint,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “Our defense really set the tone. We were flying around, getting loose balls and rebounding, which was huge. All that led to easy baskets and allowed us to get a nice lead.”

UND’s lead never got below double digits after Shanks went to the bench for a rest and the Vandals (13-11; 8-5 BSC) could never find a rhythm on the offensive end.

The Fighting Hawks’ defensive effort had a lot to do with that as Idaho’s Victor Sanders found himself in foul trouble early and could only manage 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the floor. Sanders entered the contest scoring more than 20 points a game and Idaho would shoot only 38.7 percent as a team.

UND led by as many as 23 points in the first half when Hooker drilled his second 3-pointer of the half with just under four minutes to play, but the Vandals would close the half on an 11-4 run to trim that deficit to 49-33 at the break.

Crandall had nine quick points after the break to end any thoughts of an Idaho comeback. He finished 6-for-10 from the floor and a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul stripe to lead UND to its 12th-straight home win over a Big Sky foe. UND would end up shooting 50.9 percent from the floor against one of the league’s top defensive units.

Hooker also made all four of his free throws as UND finished 24-for-28 from the charity stripe in the game and UND’s 88-point outing pushed the Fighting Hawks’ record to 12-0 on the season when scoring 80-plus. The Vandals entered the game yielding a Big Sky-low 71.0 ppg.

In the opening 20 minutes, the Fighting Hawks had six players score at least six points and were led by Crandall, who had 11 before the break. Hooker added 10 and helped UND shoot 16-for-28 from the floor, while holding Idaho to just a 39.3 percent clip.

UND had shot 10 free throws before Idaho found its way to the charity stripe midway through the opening half and went 13-for-16 from the stripe. The Vandals eventually made their way there 14 times and made nine. Sanders was joined in double figures by Trevon Allen, who also had 11 points.

The Fighting Hawks now begin a three-game Big Sky road trip on Thursday at Idaho State. Tip-off against the Bengals is set for 8:05 p.m. CT.

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