UND Men’s Basketball Tripped up in OT

Geno Crandall charts first double-double of his career in UND loss.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) — Utah Valley center Akolda Manyang scored nine of his-game high 24 points in overtime to help the Wolverines outlast North Dakota 83-75 Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

UND sophomore Marlon Stewart matched Manyang’s point total, but the Fighting Hawks (3-3) had trouble solving his length inside as he swatted away six shots and added nine rebounds.

His biggest block came at the end of regulation when he got just enough of a floater from Cortez Seales that could have won the game for the home team.

“I really liked our effort. I can’t fault that,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “I thought our guys did a great job on the scout. We’re still growing and learning and coming together, learning roles during crunch time, execution and understanding time and score of the game.

“Those are things we can improve on, but when you have that effort and focus, good things are going to happen for this group.”

Akolda dominated the final five minutes, going 3-for-3 from the floor, adding three free throws to seal the win for Utah Valley. It was the first meeting between the teams since they were league foes in the Great West Conference from 2010-12.

Junior Geno Crandall added 15 points and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds to register the first double-double of his career.

The Fighting Hawks struggled from floor throughout the game, shooting just 34.5 percent after making just 30-of-87 attempts.

UVU also made 30 field goals in the game, but did so on 23 fewer attempts to shoot 46.9 percent.

Stewart, whose 24 points were a career high, did get hot from beyond the arc for a stretch of the second half that saw him knock down a trio of 3-pointers to give UND its largest lead of the game 60-56, midway through the second half. The Wolverines rallied though and neither team led by more than that until overtime.

Crandall gave UND a 67-65 advantage with 1:44 to play and that would be the last field goal of regulation by either team. UND had a chance to go up by two baskets, but a jumper by Conner Avants rolled off the rim and Conner Toolson was fouled on the rebound with 19 seconds to play.

He would knock down both attempts from the charity stripe to tie the game at 67-67, setting up Seales’ attempt at a game-winner.

After Kenneth Ogbe made a pair of free throws to open overtime for UVU, Manyang would get the next eight points for the Wolverines to put the game out of reach.

Both teams pulled down 49 boards. Avants, who had 12 points, including eight in the early goin of the second half, added nine rebounds for UND. Five of those came on the offensive glass, helping the Fighting Hawks tally 20 of those in the contest.

UND closes out a 3-game homestand on Tuesday against Presentation College. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

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