North Dakota edged by Butler

Men’s basketball team loses 79-64 Saturday evening at Butler in Indianapolis.

UND and Butler prepare to face off against each other last Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, where Butler claimed the 79-64 victory. Photo submitted. 

Butler proved to be too much for the North Dakota men’s basketball squad Saturday night in Indianapolis as the Bulldogs fended off a late UND rally to secure a 79-64 victory.

The Green and White’s loss came within the confines of the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in front of an announced crowd of 6,355.

UND dropped to 2-5 on the season, but have faced several iconic opponents to include a top-10 ranked Wisconsin, Oregon and now Butler. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 6-2 on the season.

Butler picked up major offensive contributions from Kyhle Marshall, who scored 21 points in the game while Kellen Dunham led both teams with 29 points on the night.

The Green and White managed to cut Butler’s lead to 21-20 with five minutes left in the first half, but an ensuing UND dry spell and an 18-2 run by the home team wasn’t something UND could respond to.

“The big difference in the game I felt was the last four minutes of the first half,” UND coach Brian Jones said. “Butler went on their (18-2) run, which gave them separation.”

Senior Troy Huff managed 20 points to lead the Green and White in scoring in the contest while Jaron Nash added 10 of his own, as UND did not pick up its usual offensive production.  Huff also led the team with six rebounds, while Nash had three blocks to lead both teams on the night.

North Dakota was outmatched in the first half as the Bulldogs completed 43.3 percent of their field goals to UND’s 28.6 percent, but the Green and White would finish the game with a 36.9 percent completion percentage to Butler’s 51.8 percent.

The Bulldogs also bested UND on the boards in the first half, not allowing a single offensive rebound while leading the game with 44 rebounds to North Dakota’s 28.

“We battled, and we played hard, just not very smart basketball,” Jones said.

Butler went on to lead by as much as 28 in the second half, but a late defensive spark by the Green and White made the contest a much closer one.

North Dakota took off on a 13-0 run and put pressure on the Bulldogs by picking 11 steals and forcing 17 Butler turnovers in the second half. UND would manage to shave Butler’s lead to just 13 with two minutes left in the game, but the rally was too late for the Green and White.

Men’s hoops will travel to Bowling Green, Ohio on Wednesday night for a matchup against the 3-5 BGSU Falcons. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and will be one of UND’s final three games before beginning Big Sky conference play against Northern Colorado on Dec. 29.

David Butz is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].


Senior Jamal Webb bounces the ball against Eastern Washington earlier this season. File photo.