Comeback Falls Short at Kansas City, 79-74

UND Men's basketball, Ethan Igbanugo
UND Men's basketball, Ethan Igbanugo(KVLY)
Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 4:43 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UND Athletics) - North Dakota found itself down 17 points (71-54) with under seven minutes remaining and used a 14-0 run to come within two at 74-72, but ultimately fell 79-74 to Kansas City inside the Swinney Center on Saturday night.

Ethan Igbanugo led the Fighting Hawks (4-16, 0-7 SL) with a career-high tying 18 points while shooting 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from the field. Igbanugo also dished out two assists and was responsible for one block.

Paul Bruns and Brian Mathews were on double-double watch late in the second half, both finishing with 16 points. Bruns grabbed eight rebounds and was a perfect 7-of-7 at the charity stripe to go with a steal and one block. Mathews’ 16 points was one shy of a career-high and he finished 12-of-13 at the charity stripe, while also grabbing seven boards and adding a block.

Matt Norman paced the offense with four assists, while also netting seven points and creating a steal.

Evan Gilyard II from the Roos (10-8, 4-3 SL) led all scorers with 30 points and four assists. Arkel Lamar just missed out on a double-double for KC with 10 points and nine rebounds.

In the game, North Dakota shot an impressive 87.1 percent (27-of-31) at the free throw line. From the floor, UND hit 42.0 percent (21-of-50) of its shots. Comparatively, Kansas City finished 66.7 percent (18 of 27) at the charity stripe and 45.0 percent (27-of-60) from the floor.

The Roos finished with the edge in rebounds (35-34) and points in the paint (32-30). Both teams dished out 12 assists. In total, the game featured six lead changes and four ties.

After trailing 34-33 at intermission, the teams battled in the second half and North Dakota claimed a 44-43 lead with 14:09 left after an Igbanugo layup and made free throw.

The teams then traded buckets and were knotted up at 45-45 before Kansas City went on a 13-0 run to claim the 58-45 advantage with under 11 minutes to go.

With 6:57 remaining in the contest, Kansas City looked to be in control with its biggest lead of the game at 17 points (71-54).

Over the span of the next five minutes, North Dakota caught fire from the field and shot 100.0 percent, making five shots from the floor, one from deep and all five at the charity stripe en route to an 18-3 run to trim the deficit down to 74-72 with 1:46 left in the game. During the run, Bruns and Igbanugo each chipped in seven points, while Mathews and Brady Danielson both added two points apiece.

The Roos ended the Fighting Hawk run on the following possession with a Marvin Nesbitt Jr. dunk to push the lead back up to 76-72. Following a free throw make from KC, Norman made a driving layup with 13 seconds left to trim the deficit to 77-74. Kansas City buried two free throws in the final seconds to hold on for the 79-74 victory.

Kansas City led for most of the first half until a 5-0 North Dakota run, highlighted by two free throw makes from Mathews and an Igbanugo triple put UND up 29-28 with just over two minutes before halftime.

The Roos then went on a 6-2 run before an Igbanugo layup before the break trimmed the deficit to 34-33. At intermission, the Hawks were led by Mathews with 10 points and Igbanugo with eight.

North Dakota will continue its Summit League schedule on Thursday at South Dakota State. The Fighting Hawks and Jackrabbits are slated for a 7 p.m. (CT) tip-off in Brookings.

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