GRAND FORKS — UND’s Treyson Egglestaff finally heard the news when he walked into the media room at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center — even though he was a big part of making the news just minutes earlier.
Eaglestaff and his teammates combined for a school-high 18 three-pointers in a single game as UND got its first Summit League men’s basketball win Thursday with a 77-60 win at Kansas City, getting a chance to see the Hawks’ potential. As the second half of the league approaches.
Egglestaf, a true freshman, hit five 3-pointers to record the final layup with 1:21 to play.
Seconds later, he brings a steal and a stick by Betty that brings the crowd to its feet. Ultimately, UND’s league winless streak ended as the Hawks improved to 1-6 and 7-13 overall.
“It’s great,” said Eaglestaff of the record. “I didn’t even know it happened until I came to the media room. It’s a good feeling knowing I hit the 18th. Everyone was sharing the ball and we had some good shots. Now we know how to win games in the second half and now we have to continue this momentum.
Eaglestaff finished with 19 points, while Matt Norman (five 3-pointers) had 17. Zotne Sarcize (16 points, four 3-pointers) and BJ Omott (16 points, three 3-pointers) were also in double figures.
UND Game 3-point shooting night is not the plan; That’s because Kansas City’s length made it difficult for the Hawks to move in the paint.
“We made the first couple 3s and just kept shooting,” Omot said. “We really saw the open man and had a great day. We continued to make shots and play good defense.
UND didn’t hit its first two-pointer until the 2:01 mark of the first half. A big plus for UND was that the Hawks held off two small spurts by Russ in the second half. The first pulled Kansas City (3-4, 7-13) within 42-35 and the second pulled the Russians within 64-58 with 2:34 left.
UND then responded with three straight 3-pointers — from Tsartsidze and Eaglestaff — to put an exclamation point on the win and record.
UND coach Paul Sather said his team has stuck together through a rough start to the league season. And it paid off.
“We’ve been knocking on some doors for a while, but others seem to be closed,” Sater said. “Through it all, our people stuck together. They believed. And they continued to buy.
“But I’m very happy for the team because they have the taste and the passion. And you can really build on that because that’s a good Kansas City team.
It won’t be easy for UND on Saturday when it faces the league-leading Oral Roberts Falcons.
“We’re going to have our hands full,” Sater said. But it’s about us. And we have guys who can make plays.”