North Dakota senior guard Troy Huff was one of seven players honored by the program before Saturday’s game against Eastern Washington, and he’ll leave the Big Sky school as one of the best players in program history. Huff entered the game having scored 1,883 points in his North Dakota career, ranking fourth in school history while also ranking second in steals.
Saturday’s game was a matchup of the top two scorers in the Big Sky, with EWU’s Tyler Harvey averaging 22.1 points per game and Huff 19.6. Both were held in check in the first half, with Huff failing to score a single point. He would bounce back to score 14 in the second half, with his final points of the afternoon coming on a basket as time expired, giving North Dakota the 69-67 win.
And he even did a celebratory cartwheel.
As a result of the win North Dakota moves closer to locking up a spot in the Big Sky conference tournament, with the top seven teams in the 11-team conference being eligible for a shot at the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: