Strong first half leads Nebraska past UND

LINCOLN, Neb. (UND Athletics) -- Junior Isaac Copeland scored a season-high 30 points to lead Nebraska to a 92-70 victory over North Dakota Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Copeland scored 19 of those in the opening 20 minutes to help the Huskers (3-1) build a 17-point halftime lead.

Marlon Stewart scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor for UND (2-2), but the Fighting Hawks could never recover from a slow start. Junior Conner Avants added a seaosn-high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

"There were some bright spots, but we didn't value the ball in the first half and that really hurt us," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "They had 18 transition points in the first half and you can't allow a team like that to get going with easy baskets."

After Avants got the opening basket of the game, Nebraska reeled off the next 11 points to build an early advantage that the Huskers would never relinquish.

The Huskers started 8-for-12 from the field to push their advantage to 21-7, while UND started just 3-for-10.

Nebraska turned 12 first-half turnovers by UND into 16 points to help stake itself to a 49-32 lead at the break. The Huskers also shot 60 percent from the floor (20-for-33) with Copeland leading that charge. The Georgetown transfer made 8-of-9 field goals and had a season-high point total by halftime.

UND used a 14-6 run to open the second half and trim the deficit down to single digits after Seales made a driving layup, but that would be as close as the visitors would get.

Junior Geno Crandall scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half and Dale Jones rounded out a quartet of double-figure scores for the Fighting Hawks with 11 points.

Anton Gill added 16 points off the bench and paced the Huskers' reservers, who outscored UND's 31-2. Gill went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, knocking down half of his team's eight makes from distance.

UND finished with a season-high 20 turnovers, while forcing the Huskers into 13. Copeland and Avants shared game-high honors with eight boards, but Nebraska won that category 41-30.

The Fighting Hawks will embark on a three-game homestand next, which starts on Tuesday against Northland College. Tip-off for the home opener is set for 7 p.m. at The Betty.