Hoops team hard at work

UND men’s basketball team competes over break, prepares for Montana.

While the UND student body enjoyed time off during winter break, the men’s hoops squad was hard at work in the middle of its season and the opening of 2014 Big Sky Conference play.

The Green and White entered play this week at 2-2 in the Sky (5-9 overall) after picking up victories against Southern Utah and Idaho State, while falling to Northern Colorado and Weber State.

North Dakota’s offense has been carried throughout the 2014 campaign by All-American Troy Huff, who has led the squad in points with 294, while also leading in average points per game with 21.0.

UND also has picked up major contributions offensively from Jaron Nash, who has added 12.4 points per game, and Aaron Anderson, who has averaged 9.9 points per game. Huff also led the team off of the boards as he has pulled down 7.2 rebounds per game in addition to leading the team in steals with 36 on the season.

North Dakota opened conference play with a loss against Northern Colorado 84-64 on Dec. 29 in Greeley, Colo. Senior Jaron Nash finished with a career high 22 points that led both teams in the contest, but the performance was not enough to lift the Green and White over a UNC team that used an early 25-0 run to hold on throughout the contest.

UND kicked off the new year by picking up its first conference win against Southern Utah on Jan. 2, 65-61. Troy Huff had a game-high 25 points while Jamal Webb added 14 of his own to help the Green and White hold on to the victory late in the game at the first conference game of the year at the Betty.

“Our defense in the second half is what turned the game around,” UND coach Brian Jones said. “Our guys were dialed in, and showed what we are capable of if we focus on that end of the floor.”

Jan. 9 saw the Green and White hold off a late Idaho State rally for the 66-62 victory, before falling to Weber State 72-60.

North Dakota basketball travels west this week to take on a Montana team that has started out 1-3 in Big Sky play at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont.

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