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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL DROPS ANOTHER CLOSE GAME, THIS TIME AT NORTH DAKOTA
Sultan Toles-Bey led all scorers with 19 points, including a career-high five three-pointers
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- North Dakota used a 14-2 run to begin the second half and hung on late to defeat Sacramento State, 64-60, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Friday evening at the Sioux Center.
A three-pointer from senior Sultan Toles-Bey gave the Hornets a 21-20 halftime lead, but the Fighting Sioux jumped all over Sacramento State to begin the second half. The 14-2 run gave North Dakota a game-high 11-point lead (34-23) with 15:38 remaining and was highlighted by four three-point plays, one coming the old-fashion way. Three different North Dakota players (Jamal Webb, Spencer Goodman and Patrick Mitchell) buried three-pointers during the run, and Mitchell’s three-point play on a bucket and subsequent free throw after a foul capped the run.
The Fighting Sioux never trailed the rest of the way as Sacramento State would get within striking distance on numerous occasions throughout the second half, but could never fully erase the UND lead. The Hornets were down nine points (55-46) with just 2:03 remaining, but a three-pointer from Toles-Bey and a three-point play from Jackson Carbajal sliced the lead to 55-52 with 1:10 remaining.
However, North Dakota went 9-of-10 from the free throw line over the final 1:10 to ice the game. A three-pointer from Toles-Bey got the Hornets within 60-58 with nine seconds left but Aaron Anderson made both free throws after being fouled with eight seconds remaining. The Hornets’ John Dickson was then fouled on a three-point attempt with three seconds left. After making the first two free throws to cut the deficit to 62-60, Dickson intentionally missed the third, but did not him rim giving North Dakota the ball. The Hornets fouled Anderson on the inbounds, and he sunk both free throws to put the game away.
Sacramento State (1-2) and North Dakota (2-1) were facing each other for the first time, but more meetings will follow in the future as the Fighting Sioux will join the Big Sky Conference as core members in 2012-13.
Including an 80-78 overtime loss to Cal State Bakersfield in the season opener, the Hornets have now dropped eight straight games decided by six points or less dating back to last year.
North Dakota shot just 40.9 percent (18-44) from the field, but made nine three-pointers and sunk 19 of its 22 free throw attempts (.864). Sacramento State shot 44.4 percent (20-45) from the floor, 50.0 percent (7-14) from beyond the arc and 81.3 percent (13-16) from the free throw line. North Dakota, which received 25 points from its bench, outrebounded Sacramento State by a 30-25 margin.
Toles-Bey led all players with 19 points as the senior went 6-of-10 from the field, 5-of-7 from the three-point line and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. The five three-pointers were a career high and he also added four assists and a game-high three steals. Senior Duro Bjegovic (14 points, 6-of-9 shooting) and Dickson (10 points, six rebounds) rounded out the Sacramento State players to score in double figures. Both Carbajal and Alpha N'Diaye added five points.
Webb, Mitchell and Anderson each scored 11 points, while nine of Webb’s 11 points came from the three-point line. Ten different North Dakota players grabbed at least one rebound, led by Webb and Spencer Goodman who each had five.
Sacramento State will now return home to face rival UC Davis on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. The matchup is the 106th meeting between the two teams in a series which dates back to 1948 (Sacramento State owns a 63-42 record).
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