NDSU-UND Men’s Basketball Take Rivalry to Grand Forks for Two-Game Set

What to expect from both teams as the match-up approaches

FARGO, N.D. — Last time North Dakota and North Dakota state met in Grand Forks it was a Fighting Hawks buzzer beater by guard Marlon Stewart clinching the dub. However, this time both sides look a lot different.

The Bison won seven straight before that meeting and went on to take the Summit League Title. This time around, its a four-game winning streak three series into conference play with some fresh faces.

Having an earlier match-up, the focus for NDSU is less on what happened in the past and more on how to keep building off their success.

“There’s a little bit of that unfinished business and that narrative,” head coach Dave Richman said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t bring that up real quick but I think the biggest thing for us is where were at. As much as we’re happy with being 4-0 and excited and that’s built some confidence and swagger with in our group, it’s really all about what is even more exciting which is another opportunity to grow. We still have so much room for it. It’s another opportunity to compete. Another opportunity to be together and do something we love.”

“We’ve been reiterating the fact that it’s just another week for us,” guard Sam Griesel said. “Let’s take each week and have the same routine. At the end of the day, it’s just two teams that really want to win and it’ll be a really fun weekend.”

UND men’s basketball continues to work through a new line-up. Four of the five starters are brand new to Summit League play. Through four conference games, the fighting hawks are 2-2 splitting their first two series with Kansas City and Oral Roberts. The Hawks have seen the Bison one time this season back in December at the Dakota Showcase in Sioux Falls. That result, a close one just a one-point loss.

In order to turn that outcome into a pair of wins, its beneficial to know what they’re getting in to.

“Those games definitely had a conference feel to them in December, head coach Paul Sather said. “For guys like Seybian (Sims), Caleb (Nero) and others are playing North Dakota State for the first time in a league setting. Just to have that under your belt, there’s no question it helps but we have to go out and understand its going to be comparably different now from when it was then a few weeks back.”

Both men’s games tip off Friday and Saturday at 7:30 from the Betty. Jackson Roberts will be there live for game one.

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