North Dakota 95, North Dakota State 77 (76 possessions):
The team formerly known as the Fighting Sioux defeated their in state rival for the second time in three years. Troy Huff, a first team all Big Sky performer in 2013, was sensational for UND, scoring 33 efficient points. Huff shot 5-6 from two, 3-6 from three and made 13 of his 17 free throws. For a player who once had efficiency issues (the Senior has never had an eFG over 50% in his career) Huff now sits 23rd in the nation in eFG despite being 17th in usage. He's also drawing the 13th most fouls in the country. And it's not just against the lower ranked teams: Huff shot 11-16 from two and 3-4 from three against Wisconsin. It's early, and I am definitely biased, but some All America buzz should be coming his way.
Elsewhere, Texas Tech transfer Jaron Nash was just 6-13 from the floor but it was clear that he was the only player on the floor to have transferred from a Big 12 school. UND point guard Jamal Webb had 5 assists and just 1 turnover, and 5'10" Aaron Anderson got 18 points in large part to going 10-12 from the line. The most impressive thing UND did all night, though, was their work defensively on Marshall Bjorklund. Bjorklund shot 67% from two two years ago, and 66.7% last year (and was 4th in eFG each of the last two years) but UND held him to just 5-11 from two. Thanks to their efforts the Bison forward is now 129th in eFG in the nation. They did allow Taylor Braun to score 34 points, but he was just 8-16 from two, didn't make a three, and had 3 turnovers. The Big Sky looks to be deeper than it's been for awhile this year, but North Dakota should be right in the mix for their first NCAA tournament berth.