Webb puts up 1,000th point in first road win

UND senior nets 1,000, team prepares for Saturday matchup vs. Northern Arizona.

The North Dakota men’s basketball team returned home to Grand Forks this week with a two-game home stand against Sacramento State on Thursday night and Northern Arizona on Saturday.

In its first road win this season, the UND men’s basketball team put up a 72-69 victory over Montana State last Saturday — but Jamal Webb racked up more points than that.

Webb, a senior from Buffalo, N.Y., netted his 1,000 point in a green and white jersey in the first half, before tallying two assists to claim second-place on UND’s all-time charts in that category.

“Some other guys have got more points than him, but I think he’s kind of been the card for us — the thing that makes us go,” UND coach Brian Jones said. “He doesn’t demand a whole lot of anything. He just wants to go out and do whatever he needs to do to help us win, and that’s why I truly appreciate him.”

It was a night for veteran players to shine as senior Troy Huff posted 13 points, and grabbed nine rebounds, to help UND hold a 33-26 advantage — its first this season over a Division I opponent.

“Those are veteran guys and they want to win,” Jones said. “I think as long as they continue that mindset and guys serving one another, and be ready to contribute when their opportunity arises — which happened tonight with a bunch of different people — we’re going to be fine. I was really proud of their mindset, but more importantly, their togetherness.”

The 3-3 Green and White (6-10 overall) before Thursday’s game will be in a position to overcome the .500 mark in Big Sky Conference play for the first time this season when it takes on Northern Arizona.

Heading into the week’s play, UND has relied heavily on the scoring output of senior Troy Huff. Huff, whose scoring average of 20.7 points per game, leads the team and has placed him at No. 20 overall in the nation in that category. Huff also sits in sixth place among UND’s all-time scoring list with 1,708 points, just 24 points shy of legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson’s mark.

North Dakota also has picked up major offensive contributions on the season from Aaron Anderson and Jaron Nash. Nash’s scoring average of 11.3 points per game sits second on the team, while Anderson has added 10.7 of his own.

UND’s offense is not limited to its dynamic double-digit trio as a number of players have stepped up off the bench to produce points.

“I think this is the deepest the team has been since I’ve been here,” Huff said. “It’s a good feeling knowing you can go anywhere down the bench, one to seven knowing that all of those guys are capable of scoring the ball.”

The last time the Lumberjacks and the Green and White met, NAU took the 74-72 win in overtime. The all-time series between the two teams is split 1-1 in the teams’ sophomore season of competition against each other.

Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Sports editor Elizabeth Erickson contributed to this report.

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