After briefly giving up a six-point halftime lead, the North Dakota men's basketball team dominated the final 12 minutes of the game to defeat Eastern Washington 73-61 in Big Sky play at Reese Court on Thursday.
UND (9-10, 6-3 Big Sky) held Big Sky scoring leader Tyler Harvey to just seven points, but it was his 3-pointer with 12 minutes to go that capped a 9-0 run and gave the home team a brief lead again at 45-44.
That would be the last advantage for the home team, however, as UND would answer with an 8-0 run and never trail again, outscoring the Eagles (8-12, 3-6 Big Sky) 29-16 in that closing stretch.
"This was another complete team effort and that is why we've won four straight," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "We let them back in it there in the second half, but our guys showed toughness and that will to win."
A quartet of seniors reached double figures for UND as Aaron Anderson led all scorers with 17 points. Troy Huff added 15, while Alonzo Traylor and Jaron Nash each added 11 off the UND bench. Huff also had a team-high nine rebounds as UND and EWU were even in that category with 38 apiece.
Traylor and Nash both came up big in the first half as the UND reserves sparked the Green and White to a 37-31 lead at halftime. The UND bench outscored Eastern Washington's reserves 25-4 behind a 9-for-13 effort from the field for that group.
Traylor had seven first-half points, while Nash, Cole Stefan and Jamal Webb added five. Webb also added a game-high five assists.
The lead changed seven times in the opening 20 minutes but after a free-throw line floater by Josh Schuler sparked an 8-0 run by the visitors that gave them the lead for the remainder of the half. Traylor capped the run with a layup.
UND shot 50 percent from the field as a team, going 14-for-28, while holding the Eagles to a 12-for-29 effort (41.4 percent). The Green and White also went 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. The visitors also forced EWU into 10 first-half turnovers and turned those miscues into 10 points.
Huff would give UND its first double-digit lead of the game with a 3-point play with just under six minutes to go and some more high-flying dunks by Nash and Traylor pushed that lead to as many as 15 late in the contest.
UND will look for a weekend road sweep on Saturday at Portland State. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. CT.
-- UND --