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Home Fashion In record-breaking fashion, Hawks finally break through - Grand Forks Herald

In record-breaking fashion, Hawks finally break through – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – When UND’s Treysen Eaglestaff entered the media room at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, he finally heard the news – even though he was a big part of making the news a few minutes early.

Eaglestaff and his teammates connected for a single-game school record 18 three-pointers as UND picked up its first Summit League men’s basketball win Thursday, downing Kansas City 77-60 before a home crowd that finally got a chance to see the Hawks’ potential as the second half of the league season approaches.

Eaglestaff, a true freshman, hit five of the 3-pointers, the final one that set the record with 1:21 to play.

Seconds later, he came up with a steal and a slam dunk that brought the crowd at The Betty to its feet. Finally, UND’s winless streak in the league was over as the Hawks improved to 1-6 and 7-13 overall.

“That’s cool,” 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 that I hit the 18th. Everyone was sharing the ball and we got good shots. Now we know how to win a game in the second half and now we have to keep up this momentum.”

Eaglestaff finished with 19 points while Matt Norman (five 3-pointers) ended with 17. Tsotne Tsartsidze (16 points, four 3-pointers) and B.J. Omot (16 points, three 3-pointers) also were in double figures.

UND didn’t game plan a night of 3-point shooting; it just happened as Kansas City’s length made it difficult for the Hawks to maneuver in the paint.

“We made the first couple of 3s and just kept shooting,” said Omot. “We really saw the open man and we had a pretty good day. We just kept making shots and we played pretty 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 mini-surges by the Roos in the second half. The first saw Kansas City (3-4, 7-13) close to within 42-35 and the second pulled the Roos to within 64-58 with 2:34 to go.

UND then responded with three straight 3-pointers – from Tsartsidze and Eaglestaff to put an exclamation point on the win and the record.

UND coach Paul Sather said his team stuck together throughout the rough start to the league season. And it paid off.

“For a while, we’ve beaten some doors but it seems like the other ones close,” said Sather. “Through it all, our guys stuck together. They believed. And they kept buying in. It’s been a process and it’s going to continue to be a process.

“But I’m so happy for the team because they got a taste of it and the feel of it. And you can really build on this because that’s a good Kansas City team.”

It won’t get any easier for UND on Saturday as league-leader Oral Roberts will take on the Hawks.

“We’re going to have our hands full,” said Sather. “But it’s about us. And we have guys that can make plays, too.”

012023 S GFH UNDMBB0116.jpg

UND men’s basketball head coach Paul Sather, center, and the Fighting Hawks bench celebrate a three-pointer in the first half of a home matchup versus the Kansas City Roos at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

012023 S GFH UNDMBB0303.jpg

Fighting Hawks forward Tsotne Tsartsidze (10) weaves around Kansas City center Sidy Diallo (15) on a first hlf layup during a Summit League men’s basketball matchup at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

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