OGDEN - North Dakota shot 65 percent from the field in the second half to beat Weber State 77-68 Saturday night at the Dee Events Center in a first-place Big Sky showdown. The Fighting Hawks move into first in the conference standings at 12-3, while Weber State moves a half-game behind at 11-3 with four conference games remaining.
North Dakota shot 51 percent for the game and was 19-of-29 from the field in the second half for 65 percent shooting.
UND jumped out to a six-point lead with 6:04 to play in the first half when Weber State closed the half on an 11-2 run to take a 32-29 lead at the break.
But the Fighting Haws took control in the second half as they started the half on a 16-4 run and would never trail again. They led by as many as 13 points with 9:25 to play when Weber State fought back with a 10-0 run to cut the lead to three with seven minutes remaining. WSU got as close as two points with four minutes left before UND scored seven-straight points to seal the win.
“North Dakota is a very good team and they played better than us and just beat us,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “That’s a really good basketball team and they played better. We were not as sharp and crisp on offense in the second half and seemed to get a little mentally fatigued, but North Dakota had a lot to do with that.”
The Wildcats shot 45 percent for the game but were just 2-of-12 from 3-point range. UND outrebounded the Wildcats 38-28, with 12 offensive rebounds and 11 second chance points.
Quinton Hooker led North Dakota with 22 points and UND beat Weber State in Ogden for the first time in five tries.
The Wildcats have four conference games remaining in the regular season. Weber State plays at Eastern Washington Thursday and at Idaho on Saturday before returning home to host Montana and Montana State in the final two regular season games.
North Dakota moves into first in the league standings at 12-3 with three games remaining.
The Big Sky Tournament will be held March 7-11 in Reno, Nevada.