K-Heart Sports – 01/04/24


MINOT, ND – Minot High is atop both Class AA high school basketball polls this week. The polls are voted on by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NDAPSSA).
Class AA Girls Basketball Poll
Team (1st Place Votes)   Record   Polling Points   Last Week
1. Minot High (11)               7-2              81             1
2. Bismarck Century (7)      7-0              79             2
3. Bismarck Legacy            6-1              43             RV
4. West Fargo Horace        7-0              31              5
5. Fargo Davies                  4-1              23              4
Others receiving votes: Grand Forks Red River (6-2)
Class AA Boys Basketball Poll
Team (1st Place Votes)   Record   Polling Points   Last Week
1. Minot High (15)               8-0             87              3
2. Bismarck Century            7-0             64             4
3. Fargo North (3)                6-2             58             1
4. Fargo Davies                   5-1             41             2
5. Grand Forks Central        5-2             11              5
Other receiving votes: West Fargo Sheyenne (5-2), Bismarck Legacy (5-2), Bismarck High (4-5)
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU) – Montana led from wire-to-wire to claim a 96-86 victory over the North Dakota State men’s basketball team on Wednesday night inside the Scheels Center. The contest was part of the Big Sky – Summit League Challenge. NDSU fell to 7-8 on the season, while the Grizzlies improved to 9-5. The Bison shot 56 percent for the game but allowed Montana to shoot 57 percent. The Griz converted 20-of-21 attempts at the foul line. NDSU scored 55 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to erase a 12-point halftime deficit. Sophomore Tajavis Miller led five Bison scoring in double figures with 19 points. Andrew Morgan and Noah Feddersen both added 15 points for NDSU. Feddersen grabbed eight rebounds. Senior Aanen Moody led Montana with 36 points. NDSU freshman, and former Minot High standout, Darik Dissette made the first start of his college career and finished with nine points. The Bison will travel to Cheney, Wash., to take on Eastern Washington on Saturday for the final round of the Big Sky – Summit League Challenge.
BOZEMAN, Mont. (NDSU) – Montana State took advantage of six NDSU turnovers and outscored the Bison, 21-7, in the first quarter to pick up a 65-45 win at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in the Big Sky-Summit Challenge on Wednesday night. Abbie Draper paced NDSU (6-7, 1-0 Summit) with a team-best 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. The Waverly, Iowa native also added three rebounds, two blocks and one steal to her stat line. Abby Graham chipped in a season-best 12 points to go along with three rebounds, while Avery Koenen hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds with five points to round out the top performers. As a team, NDSU shot 26.0 percent (13-50) from the field and 76.2 percent (16-21) from the free throw line. The Bison also created eight steals, including a team-best three from Abby Schulte. NDSU will wrap up play in the Big Sky-Summit Challenge hosting Northern Arizona on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m., at Scheels Center.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND) – The North Dakota men’s basketball team played a thrilling game Wednesday night against Northern Colorado as part of the Big Sky-Summit League challenge, but despite 24 from Treysen Eaglestaff and a career high 23 points from Tyree Ihenacho; the Fighting Hawks fell 97-87 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Ihenacho also led the team with six assists, while B.J. Omot led with seven rebounds and poured in 19 points. Omot blocked two shots while Ihenacho picked up two steals.
Early on both offenses were clicking, the NoDak offense setting the pace. The green and white started 6-7 from the field, taking a 13-6 lead shortly after the first media timeout. Over the next four plus minutes both teams shot north of 66% from the field, with UND still holding a narrow lead at 21-17. Omot provided offense early for the Fighting Hawks as he made his first four shots from the field—including two threes. Eaglestaff came on strong as the half went on as he made all four of his threes in the first frame, finishing with 17 points at half. But it was the Bears who went into halftime with the lead, up 51-49. Brady Danielson made a basket to start the second half, knotting the game up at 51. Later the game would be tied at 55, but the Fighting Hawks could not take the lead at any point during the second half. A layup from Ihenacho made it a three point game at 65-62, but from there UNC expanded their lead. The Fighting Hawks closed the game on a 10-6 run, but could not close the gap as the Bears were solid from the line and prevented the Fighting Hawks from coming back. North Dakota will travel to Flagstaff, Ariz. to take on former Big Sky foe Northern Arizona in the second game of the Big Sky-Summit League challenge this Saturday. Tip off is at 2 p.m.
POCATELLO, Idaho (UND) – The North Dakota women’s basketball team led nearly wire-to-wire as they earned a 78-72 win over Idaho State in its first game of the Summit League – Big Sky Challenge Wednesday. Miranda VanderWal did a little bit of everything for the Fighting Hawks, totaling a career-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks. The 6-7 center’s first career three-pointer could not have come at a better time, as it sparked a 10-2 UND run to go up by 11 points with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter. Between the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, the Bengals cut the UND lead from 10 down to one point before VanderWal’s three-point basket ignited the UND run. Back-to-back layups from VanderWal gave NoDak its largest lead of the fourth quarter, 74-61, with 2:00 minutes remaining. ISU pulled within six in the final minute, but UND iced the game by going 4-for-4 from the free throw line to close out the win.
The Fighting Hawks earned 32 trips to the free throw line in the contest and took advantage of the freebies by converting 26 of their attempts. Kiyah Hurst and Sammiyah Hoskin combined to shoot a perfect 11-for-11, while Kacie Borowicz went 9-for-10. UND extended their advantage to double-digits for the first time in the second quarter behind a strong defensive performance. The Hawks held ISU to 4-of-14 from the field and forced six turnovers in the frame. On the other end of the floor, UND scored 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting and took advantage of their trips to the charity stripe going 8-for-10 on free throws. After connecting on four treys in the first quarter, the Hawks went to work down low in the second with 12 of their points coming from the paint. The Fighting Hawks had a 1-0 lead before the ball was even tipped, as the Bengals were called for a technical foul pregame. Idaho State scored the first basket of the game, but the Hawks jumped out to a 10-4 lead behind three straight three-pointers to begin the game. Hurst connected on two triples, while Borowicz made the other trey. With the Hawks leading by seven late in the period, it was the Bengals who closed out the quarter strong with a 7-0 run to cut the NoDak lead to 21-20 after 10 minutes. Borowicz paced the Fighting Hawks in the first half with 12 points, while VanderWal led the team in the final 20 minutes with 12 points and four rebounds. North Dakota returns to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center to host Eastern Washington at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Zion Williamson scored 27 points and the New Orleans Pelicans kept rolling with a 117-106 victory over the West-leading Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. CJ McCollum added 24 points and Brandon Ingram had 19. The Pelicans pulled away in the second half for their fourth straight victory and ninth in 12 games. On the second night of a back-to-back after beating Brooklyn 112-85, a game that allowed Williamson and Ingram to both play under 30 minutes, New Orleans went on the road and shot 55.6% from the field. Williamson and Ingram combined to shoot 18 of 26. Anthony Edwards scored 35 points for Minnesota, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 22. Minnesota dropped to 14-2 at home and lost consecutive games for the first time this season. The Timberwolves were the last team in the NBA to lose two in a row. The Timberwolves shot just 38.7% through three quarters. They finished with 13 turnovers, leading to 16 points for the Pelicans. Edwards had six turnovers and Towns shot 8 of 19 from the field, including 0 of 4 from 3-point territory. The Timberwolves play at Houston on Friday night.

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