UND MBB Rebounds From Kentucky Loss With Win Against Minnesota-Morris
Fighting Hawks Beat the Cougars 112-58
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – (UND Athletics)With the temperatures getting colder outside, the shooting heated up for the University of North Dakota men’s basketball team as the Fighting Hawks shot 62.7% from the field in a 112-58 victory over Minnesota Morris on Saturday afternoon at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
As a team, UND (3-1) finished with a 42-of-67 (.627) shooting day from field, just missing the all-time record for shooting percentage in a single game (.685 vs. Dickinson State – 12/08/2006). The 14 made triples were a pair shy of the program record (16 vs. Augustana – 2/9/1996) and moves the Fighting Hawks to a 3-1 start for the fourth time in the Division I era (2008-present).
The 112 points by North Dakota are the most since moving to the DI level and the most in a single game since Feb. 2008 vs. Mayville State. Additionally, UND has now scored 100+ points for multiple times in the same season for the first time since 2002-03 and has done it in back-to-back home tilts for the first time since that same 02-03 campaign.
Five Fighting Hawk scorers reached double figures, led by the combination of Bentiu Panoam and Elijah Hazekamp who each scored 18 points. Panoam, who had not converted a field goal all season, dominated at the point guard position with a 7-for-11 shooting afternoon, including a 3-for-6 effort from deep. The Anchorage native also dished out a game-high five assists, grabbed two boards, and blocked a shot in the victory.
Hazekamp continued to provide strong offense off the bench, scoring 18 points on a near-perfect 7-of-8 from the field. The freshman nailed all four of his attempts from beyond-the-arc, collected three boards, had two assists, and a pair of steals.
Cortez Seales only needed 15 minutes of action to eclipse the 10-point plateau for the third time in four games this season, scoring 15 points on a 6-of-7 shooting effort. The senior also dished out four assists and had four rebounds in the win.
Jal Bijiek had his first-career contest in double figures with 12 points on a sparkling 5-for-7 day from the field. The freshman was strong on the glass as well with a tetrad of boards, three coming on the offensive side, and a pair of blocks.
After bursting onto the scene with a strong performance at No. 10 Kentucky, Filip Rebaca failed to disappoint in his first-career start. The Serbian finished a perfect 4-for-4 from the field to score 10 points, while also adding a team-high eight rebounds, two rejections, and a steal.
After Minnesota Morris (1-1) jumped out to a 9-3 lead just four minutes into the contest, UND turned to its bench to provide a spark. Aanen Moody started the early comeback with a triple that sparked a 10-0 spurt by the hosts to propel the Hawks in front, 13-9, and gave them the lead for good.
UND kept up the pressure as the half wore on, using another 14-3 run to push the advantage to 11, 25-14, thanks to strong shooting. After the Cougars had cut the deficit to nine with 7:31 to play in the first half, the Hawks responded again with 14 straight points to open up a 43-20 lead with just minutes to play in the opening frame. Seales was the catalyst offensively of the run, scoring seven of the 14 points, dishing out a pair of assists, and grabbing two offensive boards.
Seales polished off the first half with a pair of made free throws just before the buzzer to send the Hawks to the locker room with a 47-27 advantage.
The second half belonged to Hazekamp and Panoam as the duo combined to score 27 of UND’s 65 points in that frame, missing only two combined shots from the field during the 20 minutes.
As a team, the Hawks missed only nine shots from the field (26-35) for a 74.3 shooting percentage to tally 65 points in the frame. UND was also lights out from deep, connecting on 9-of-12 from beyond-the-arc to outscore the Cougars, 65-31, in the period.
While the offense stole the headlines, the defense was strong throughout the entire game by holding its opponent below 65 points for the third time in four games this season.
North Dakota returns to action on Tuesday evening, wrapping up the Ohio River Valley Showcase against Concordia University (Neb.) at 7 p.m. from the Betty. Fans can catch the action live on FOX Sports North.