Weber State made a series of timely runs as the Wildcats held off North Dakota 84-72 on Thursday in Big Sky play. The Wildcats (12-7, 9-2 BSC) have now won 25 straight Big Sky regular season home games dating back to the 2011 season.
UND (9-12, 6-5 BSC) dropped its second straight on the road despite a career-high 27 point effort from senior Jaron Nash. The Texas Tech transfer came off the bench and made 12-of-21 field goals in the contest, while classmate Troy Huff posted his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
"The difference in this one was turnovers and that they were able to turn our mistakes into 22 points," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "Our half-court defense was good and I thought our half-court offense was good, but those turnovers were costly and they made their free throws down the stretch."
Senior Davion Berry led the Wildcats with 21 points, including a 12-for-13 effort from the foul line as Weber State increased its lead in the Big Sky standings to two games with the victory. The Wildcats went 24-for-27 from the stripe for the game, while UND managed to make just 12-of-21 attempts.
Nash and Huff helped UND hold a 35-34 advantage on the glass, but Bolomboy went for 20 points and 10 rebounds and Tresnak added 16 points in the victory.
The first half started well and ended well for UND, but in between it was all Weber State. UND started the game 7-for-10 from the field and built a 17-10 lead thanks to a quick 7-0 run that forced a timeout by WSU head coach Randy Rahe.
His Wildcats responded that stoppage of play and surged ahead with a 19-4 run that spanned just over six minutes. Nash ended that spurt with back-to-back baskets that cut UND's deficit to 29-25 late in the half, but Berry would spark a 9-0 run that included a rare 4-point play by the senior. That spurt saw the Wildcats' lead grow to its largest margin at 38-25 with 90 seconds to play.
But once again, Nash came through in the clutch as UND closed the half on a 7-0 run. The senior transfer from Texas Tech hit a 3-pointer and assisted on a dunk by Chad Calcaterra in the closing seconds that brought the deficit back to 38-32 at the break.
Tresnak, who had just four first-half points, announced his presence early in the second half with a trio of dunks, but UND was right there until a spurt by the Wildcats midway through the half put the game out of reach with a 9-0 run, pushing its lead to 15.
UND made a late charge led by Huff and Nash, but the duo could not get the visitors any closer than eight down the stretch.
The Wildcats turned 13 UND turnovers into 22 points, while the visitors managed just eight points off of 10 Weber State miscues.
UND will return to action and wrap up a four-game Big Sky road trip on Saturday at Idaho State. Tip is set for 8 p.m. CT. in Pocatello.
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