UND pounds Valley City State 69-46 - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

UND pounds Valley City State 69-46

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Sophomore Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, Minn.) scored 15 points to lead the University of North Dakota to a 69-46 victory over Valley City State on Thursday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Classmate Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) added 13 points for UND (7-9), who held the Vikings (14-6) to a season-low point total. 

UND closed the first half on a 14-3 run after the Vikings did not make a field goal over the final seven minutes, 35 seconds. VCSU missed their last nine field goals attempts after starting the game 7-for-14, allowing the home team to take a 35-21 advantage into the lockerroom. 

Brekke led the way in the first 20 minutes with nine points and finished the game 6-for-7 from the floor, doing most of his work in the paint where UND outscored VCSU 40-14. The Vikings, who found themselves ranked for the first time in three seasons at No. 23 in the latest NAIA Division II poll, struggled from the floor throughout, shooting just 25.4 percent for the game (15-for-59).

"I said after the New Mexico game that I thought we took a step forward as far as a team together approach and I thought we saw that again tonight," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "I thought offensive we were very unselfish and stuck to the game plan, which was to get post touches and we wanted to attack the paint do to Valley City State's lack of size."

The Green and White had nine steals in the opening 20 minutes as well, turning 14 Vikings' miscues into 14 points. The squad finished 26-for-54 from the field (48.1 percent) as Brekke and Anderson combined to go 12-for-19.

Reserve guard A.J. McDonald pulled the Vikings to within 11 after scoring eight straight for the visitors midway through the second half, but that would be as close as VCSU would get in the contest. UND held their leading scorer Sekani Milligen to just 12 points on 4-for-20 shooting from the floor.

Milligen had a string of nine 20-plus point scoring efforts come to a close as neither team could get on track from beyond the arc.  The Vikings went just 4-for-27 from deep, while UND managed just a 2-for-13 clip. 

Sophomore Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) put together a nice all-around stat line with seven points, six rebounds and six assists. Classmate Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds as UND turned around a first-half deficit on the glass to post a 43-39 advantage by the final whistle.

UND will move next door to the Ralph Engelstad Arena for its next home game on Tuesday against in-state foe North Dakota State. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in Grand Forks since the 2003-04 season.
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