FACTS & STATS: Site: Betty Engelstad Sioux Center (3,064) -- Grand Forks,
North Dakota. Television: None. Home Record: UNC 2-1, UND 2-1. Away Record:
UNC 0-5, UND 0-5. Neutral Record: UNC 0-0, UND 0-0. Conference Record: UNC
0-0, UND 0-0. Series Record: North Dakota leads, 40-19.
GAME NOTES: North Dakota will make its Big Sky Conference home debut as it
hosts the Northern Colorado Bears in Grand Forks.
The Bears ended a six-game losing slide with a 90-62 rout of Tabor College of
the NAIA. Northern Colorado still lacks a win over a Division I opponent this
season as its only prior victory came over Southwest, another NAIA school, in
its season opener. Coach B.J. Hill's squad has yet to find success in five
roads games, but has a healthy scoring offense average of 71.9 points per game
on 45.8 percent field goal shooting. The Bears are allowing opponents to score
73.2 ppg and convert 42.2 percent of their field goal tries.
North Dakota is coming off of a 79-67 loss to Southern Utah in its first
appearance as a member of the BSC. The team has also failed to earn a win over
a Division I opponent although it only lost to Hawaii, South Dakota State, and
UMKC by a combined nine points. Coach Brian Jones needs to get his unit
playing better on the offensive end as it produces only 65 ppg, which is 2.3
points less than it allows.
Although UND is new to the conference, this will be the 60th matchup between
these schools, which used to belong to the now extinct North Central
Conference. UND holds a 40-19 all-time series lead coming into Friday's
Northern Colorado had its second best offensive performance of the season
versus Tarbor as it knocked down 48.1 percent of its shots from the floor and
tied a season-low with eight turnovers to 19 assists. The Bears also grabbed a
season-high total of 54 rebounds. Tabor was held to 32.8 percent shooting and
never held a lead. Paul Garnica led the team with 15 points in 16 minutes
while Tim Huskisson netted 14 points. The Bears are led by sophomore guard
Tevin Svihovec, who is averaging 11.1 ppg. Tate Unruh, Derrick Barden,
Garnica, and Huskisson are all scoring more than nine per game as well.
North Dakota's conference debut was not ideal as it trailed for nearly the
entire came and was unable to climb on top due to a 30 percent accuracy rate
from the field. SUU made 47.5 percent of its field goal attempts and fended
off a late rally by making nine free throws in the final minute. Mitch Wilmer
registered a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards while Aaron Anderson
tallied a team-high 16 points. Anderson is the team's top scorer with 11.5 ppg
and Josh Schuler is providing 10 ppg.
Both these teams have a long way to go before they will be competing for
league titles. Although UND has the homecourt advantage in this one, the
Bears are a much more balanced team which gives them a slight edge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Colorado 70, North Dakota 66