Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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GRAND FORKS — North Dakota just played two of the more dynamic offensive players in the Big Sky Conference — Eastern Washington's Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk. The trend of high-scoring league players facing UND, however, continues today as the Fighting Hawks host Idaho — led by junior Victor Sanders, who is averaging 25.5 points in Big Sky play.
GRAND FORKS — Quinton Hooker realizes he has a limited amount of home games remaining in his North Dakota men's basketball career. So he wants to make the most of his remaining appearances left at The Betty. Few will forget his latest performance, one that led UND past Eastern Washington 95-86 on Thursday night before 1,891 fans. The game was a showdown of sorts, with both UND and EWU tied for second place in the Big Sky Conference entering the night. The win improved UND to 9-3 in the league and 14-8 overall while EWU slipped to 8-4 and 16-9.
GRAND FORKS — On Thursday, Feb. 9, there are 97 Division I men's basketball games scheduled in the country. Only four of the 97 contests feature matchups between conference opponents with eight more more league wins. One of the four is set for The Betty, where North Dakota hosts Eastern Washington. Both teams are 8-3 in the Big Sky Conference. UND is 13-8 overall while Eastern Washington is 16-8.
GRAND FORKS — For nearly 35 minutes, North Dakota didn't give its fans much to cheer about. That changed drastically in the closing minutes. Led by another surge from Quinton Hooker — the Big Sky Conference preseason player of the year — UND somehow managed to overcome a subpar 35-minute performance and rally for an 87-77 overtime win over Northern Colorado on Saturday before 2,352 fans at The Betty.
GRAND FORKS — When it comes to scenery, there aren't many better trips for the University of North Dakota men's basketball than the one that takes the Fighting Hawks each season to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. But we're talking scenery, not the demands of travel and two games in three days with vastly different altitudes.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota’s start against Idaho State was anything but ideal. The Fighting Hawks found themselves trailing by 15 points nine minutes into the game against a Big Sky Conference opponent that had won only one road game this season. The reason for UND’s slow start? Perhaps the Hawks’ emotional win over league power Weber State two days earlier had something to do with it.
GRAND FORKS - Since the University of North Dakota joined the Big Sky Conference in 2012, the schedule-makers haven't been necessarily kind to the Fighting Hawks. Each season, it seems, UND plays traditional Big Sky powers Montana and Weber State on back-to-back weekends. And that's happened again this season. Weber State will play UND at the Betty Engelstad Arena Thursday night in what could be the marquee home game of the season for the Fighting Hawks.
GRAND FORKS — With six minutes to play, Quinton Hooker — North Dakota's best player and arguably the best in the Big Sky Conference — headed to the bench. His day was done. That rarely happens in any league game. Yet, Hooker was done after scoring 23 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists in leading UND to dominating 95-65 Big Sky win over Southern Utah on Saturday before 1,749 fans at The Betty. UND improved to 3-1 in the Big Sky and 8-6 overall while SUU, which had won two straight on the road, dropped to 2-1 and 4-12.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—During the postgame handshakes, Northern Arizona coach Jack Murphy asked the Univerisity of North Dakota's Quinton Hooker when he's going to graduate. He knew the answer. Still, Hooker's graduation isn't soon enough for NAU and the rest of the Big Sky Conference. For UND, Hooker's graduation will be too soon as the senior guard again made the big plays down the stretch in leading the Fighting Hawks to a 68-63 Big Sky win over NAU on Thursday night before 1,518 fans at The Betty.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—It's still early but it never hurts when ESPN's Joe Lunardi mentions your team when projecting the bracket for this season's March Madness. At least that's how University of North Dakota men's basketball coach Brian Jones looks at things after Lunardi's latest NCAA Tournament bracket predicts UND will reach this season's March Madness by winning the Big Sky Conference postseason title. The Big Sky season starts Thursday night as UND will open at Portland State, a team that has won its past four games.