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Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student

The student news site of University of North Dakota

Dakota Student


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UND Men’s Basketball Season Ends in Agony

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The UND men’s basketball team’s season ended in agony on March 3 when the Omaha Mavericks were able to hit a game-winning shot with three seconds to play in the Summit League quarterfinals. UND lost 73-72. 

The Hawks started quickly, jumping out to an 8-3 lead with the help of three-pointers from BJ Omot (So.) and Treysen Eaglestaff (So.). 

Tsotne Tsartsidze (5th) joined the three-point party a few minutes later, hitting a deep shot to give UND a 15-11 lead.  

Trailing 18-14, the Mavericks were able to rattle off a 9-0 run to prevent the Hawks from pulling away early. 

The two sides traded baskets for the rest of the half, and UND held a 36-32 lead going into the break. 

Eaglestaff hit the opening shot of the second half, burying another triple. Needing a few more stops and scores to take firm control of the game, UND surrendered a 6-0 run to let Omaha right back into the contest. 

Midway through the final 20, Eaglestaff canned yet another three to give the Hawks their largest lead of the game at 48-38. 

UND was able to keep Omaha at an arm’s length until there were three minutes left in the last Summit League Quarterfinal. 

The Hawks led the Mavericks 72-63 following two Tsartsidze free throws with 2:53 left in the game, and ESPN’s BPI (Basketball Power Index) gave UND a 94.6% chance of advancing to the Semifinals. 

UND would not score for the rest of the game. After an Omaha triple cut the lead to three, UND needed a basket in the worst of ways. With under two minutes to play, Omot missed a triple and Omaha was on the hunt. 

The Hawks forced two misses on the ensuing possession but surrendered offensive rebounds on both. The Mavericks were able to capitalize on UND’s miscues and made the game 72-71. 

UND called a timeout to regroup but settled for a three-pointer from Eaglestaff, who missed. 

Omaha grabbed the rebound with 35 seconds to play and the chance to win. 

Frankie Fidler had scored 32 points for the Mavericks. Everybody and their mother knew who the ball was going to. Fidler missed his first look but was able to grab his own rebound with eight seconds left. Omaha called a timeout. 

The Mavericks went right back to Fidler out of the timeout. Fidler caught the ball in the corner and got an isolation mismatch against big-man Amar Kuljuhovic (Jr.). 

Fidler dribbled and spun his way into the paint and finished over Kuljuhovic with 3.2 seconds to play, giving the Mavericks a 73-72 lead. 

UND had a timeout remaining but decided not to use it. 

Instead, the Hawks elected to take a running one-legged halfcourt shot that was missed by a country mile. 

UND lost to Omaha 73-72 in the Summit League Quarterfinals. 

Frankie Fidler had the game high in points for both teams, tying his season high of 34 points. Fidler shot an effective 15/27 from the field and notched a double-double with 10 rebounds. 

Eaglestaff led the Hawks in scoring with 18 points, making three of his shots from beyond the arc. Eaglestaff added four rebounds. 

Omot scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. 

Tsartsidze scored 13 points and made all six of his shots from the free-throw line in his final game in a UND jersey. 

Kuljuhovic led the Hawks in rebounding one last time this season, grabbing 13 rebounds. 

Eli King added eight points off the bench. 

Omaha would fall to the Denver Pioneers the following night in the Summit League Semifinals with a 66-63 score. 

The top seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits handled the Denver Pioneers in Tuesday night’s Summit League Championship. The Jackrabbits will return to the Big Dance for the first time since 2022. 


Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student Section Editor. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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