North Dakota Wins Big Sky Tournament; Advances to the ‘Big Dance’
The Fighting Hawks men’s basketball team will make their first Division I NCAA Tournament appearance after defeating Weber St. 93-89 in an overtime thriller.
North Dakota (22-9) won its first Big Sky Conference Tournament championship, as they beat the team that’s been in their way from doing so in recent history. Weber St. has eliminated UND in each of the previous three season in the conference tournament, but this time, the Fighting Hawks changed the script.
Senior Quinton Hooker led all scorers with 28 points, while adding 5 assists, to lead the way for UND. The Fighting Hawks also had five other players hit double figures in scoring to edge out the Weber St. Wildcats (19-13).
UND trailed 72-61 with just 7:26 remaining before a 20-9 run, capped off by a game-tying layup from Geno Crandall with 7 seconds remaining, tied the score at 81-81.
In overtime, Crandall and Hooker scored 10 of the Fighting Hawks’ 12 points on their way to victory. Crandall finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Jeremy Senglin led Weber St. with 26 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.
North Dakota will now wait to see where they play this week in the NCAA Tournament.