Crandall, Walter lead UND to fourth-straight win over Weber State

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) -- Junior Geno Crandall scored a game-high 25 points and sophomore Kienan Walter added a career-high 16 off the bench to lead North Dakota to an 89-79 victory over Weber State in Big Sky play Saturday at The Betty.

Crandall had 16 points in the second half that saw the Wildcats trim their nine-point halftime deficit down to two, but the visitors could never regain the lead. He also added a game-high nine rebounds and season-high eight assists in the victory that gave UND (6-11, 2-4 BSC) back-to-back wins for the first time this season and its fourth-straight triumph over the Wildcats (10-7, 3-2 BSC).

"Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you start making you way forward," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "Like in Thursday's win, it started with our urgency and effort on the defensive end."

The Fighting Hawks built their 36-27 halftime lead at the break, while holding the Big Sky's top-shooting team to a 33 percent clip in the opening 20 minutes.

Walter provided some pop off the bench, burying a pair of 3-pointers, including one in the closing seconds of the first half that capped an 11-0 run for the home team.

The Wildcats found their shooting range in the second half, opening the stanza by making 10 of their first 13 shots from the floor. That stretch helped them trim the deficit down to 55-53, but Marlon Stewart answered with a 3-pointer to spark a 9-2 run.

UND would never let Weber State get closer than four points in the final nine minutes.

Stewart would add 14 points and Cortez Seales would contribute 15 for the Fighting Hawks, who shot season-highs from the field (54.4; 31-for-57) and 3-point line (52.4; 11-for-21).

Seales connected on his first two 3-pointers of the season after starting the year 0-for-9, while Dale Jones and Walter each added a trio as UND shot well once again from distance. Jones finished with nine points.

The Fighting Hawks did struggle from the charity stripe, finishing 16-for-30, while the Wildcats stayed in the contest with a 21-for-24 effort.

Sophomore Jerrick Harding, who leads the Big Sky in scoring, ended up right on his average of 22 points, while Michal Kozak added 18 for the Wildcats.

UND will return to action on Tuesday in a non-conference affair at North Dakota State. Tip-off against the Bison is set for 7 p.m. in Fargo.