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

GRAND FORKS — When UND’s Treysen Eaglestaff walked into the media room at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, he finally heard the news — even though he had been instrumental in breaking the news just minutes earlier.

Eaglestaff and teammates connected for a school-record single-game 18 three-pointers as UND earned their first Summit League men’s basketball win on Thursday, beating Kansas City 77-60 in front of a home crowd who finally had the chance to see the potential of the Hawks heading into the second half of the championship season.

Eaglestaff, a true freshman, hit five of the 3-pointers, the last of which set the record with 1:21 left.

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

“It’s cool,” Eaglestaff said of the record. “I didn’t even know it happened until I came into the media room. It’s a good feeling to know that I reached the 18th. Everyone shared the ball and we made some good shots. Now we know how to win a game in the second half and now we have to keep that momentum going.

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

UND did not schedule a game on a 3-point shooting night; it just happened as Kansas City’s length made it difficult for the Hawks to maneuver in the paint.

“We made the first 3 and kept shooting,” Omot said. “We really saw the open man and we had a pretty good day. We just kept shooting and we played pretty good defense.

UND didn’t hit their first deuce until 2:01 into the first half. A big plus for UND was that the Hawks held off two mini-surges from the Roos in the second half. The first saw Kansas City (3-4, 7-13) close at 42-35 and the second brought the Roos down to 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 had remained united throughout the difficult start to the league season. And it paid off.

“For a while we’ve been knocking on some doors, but it seems others are closing,” Sather said. “Through it all, our guys have stuck together. They believed. And they continued to adhere. It has been a process and it will continue to be a process.

“But I’m so happy for the team because they tasted it and felt it. And you can really build on that because it’s a good Kansas City team.

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

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

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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 game against the Kansas City Roos at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

Nick Nelson/Grand Forks Herald

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

Nick Nelson/Grand Forks Herald

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