SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In a game that featured 18 lead changes and four ties, North Dakota (1-0) defeated Incarnate Word (0-1), 65-57, inside the McDermott Center on Monday night.
The Fighting Hawks looked to be in control of the game late after an 18-3 run put North Dakota up 58-47 following a steal and dunk from Elijah Brooks. Four turnovers for UND over the next two minutes made the game interesting, with UIW going on a 10-2 run to trim the lead down to 60-57 with 2:01 remaining.
A shot rejection from B.J. Omot helped North Dakota hold a 62-57 lead with 1:28 left. On the next UND possession, the Hawks missed a triple, but Brady Danielson showed his toughness, grabbing the rebound while being corralled by four Cardinals. Danielson sealed the win with a layup while being fouled and made the and-one free throw to put UND up 65-57 with 31.4 seconds left.
Matt Norman was the leading scorer for North Dakota, netting 14 points. He knocked down a game-high three triples while also pulling down five rebounds.
Omot was next for UND, pouring in 11 points and grabbing five boards. He had one of the five blocks for the Fighting Hawks, with his coming in the final moments of the contest.
Brooks just missed double digits and had nine points and a team-high two steals.
Tsotne Tsartsidze was next in scoring with seven. Both Brooks and Tsartsidze corralled a team leading seven rebounds.
Danielson added six points and had his lone rebound in the final moments of the game, helping the Hawks to victory.
North Dakota shot 42.0 percent from the field, made 5-of-20 shots from deep and made 18-of-27 free throws. Comparatively, Incarnate Word went 36.1 percent from the floor, only made three triples in 20 attempts and finished 10-of-15 at the line.
The Fighting Hawks out-rebounded the Cardinals by a 38-35 margin. UND also held a 30-24 edge in points in the paint. UIW scored 13 points off 13 UND turnovers. Meanwhile, the Hawks exchanged 12 Cardinal turnovers for 15 points.
North Dakota led 14-8 midway through the first half, with Norman scoring eight of his points in the first 9:25 of the game. A Tsartsidze layup late in the half would put the Fighting Hawks up 28-22, giving North Dakota its biggest lead of the half. The Cardinals would close the opening 20-minute period on a 6-0 run to knot the game up at 28-28 at intermission.
Neither team would lead by more than two points in the second half until the 11:07 mark, when Incarnate Word used a 5-0 run to go up 44-40. After that point, North Dakota would go on an 18-3 run, capped by a steal from Brooks and a dunk to put UND up 58-47 with 5:23 left in the game.
North Dakota will continue its road slate on Thursday, squaring off with Creighton inside the CHI Health Center Omaha at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and carried on the Home of Economy Radio Network.