Grand Forks – UND’s Treysen Eaglestaff finally heard the news when he walked into the media room at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
The Eaglestaff and his teammates recorded 18 3-pointers in one game as UND earned its first Summit League men’s basketball win on Thursday, defeating Kansas City 77-60 and ultimately leading the Hawks to victory. We won in front of our home crowd who got the chance to see what we could do. As the second half of the league season approaches.
A true freshman, Eaglestaff hit 5 of his 3-pointers and was the final shot to set the record with 1:21 remaining.
Seconds later, he came up with a steal and a slam dunk that brought the Betty crowd to their feet. Finally, UND’s winning streak in the league ended as the Hawks improved to 1-6 and 7-13 overall.
“That’s cool,” Eaglestaff said of the record. “I didn’t even know it happened until I came to the media room. It feels good to hit the 18th. We all shared the ball and had some good shots. How to win the second half. Now that we know, we have to keep this momentum going.”
The Eaglestaff finished with 19 points and Matt Norman (five 3-pointers) finished with 17. Tsotne Tsartidze (16 points, 4 3-pointers) and BJ Omot (16 points, 3 3-pointers) were also in double figures.
UND didn’t have a game plan for the 3-point shooter night. It just happened because the length of Kansas City made it difficult for the Hawks to steer in the paint.
“We hit the first few 3s and just kept shooting,” says Omot. “We really saw the open man and had a really good day. We just kept shooting and defended well.”
UND didn’t hit the first two pointers until the 2:01 mark in the first half. A big plus for UND was that the Hawks held off two mini-surges by Ruth in the second half. The first Kansas City (3-4, 7-13) came within 42-35 of him, and the second drew Ruth within 64-58 of him with 2:34 remaining.
UND then responded with three straight 3-pointers from Tsartisze and Eagle Staff to add an exclamation point to the win and record.
UND coach Paul Sather said his team remained united through a rough start to the league season. And it paid off.
“For a while we’ve beaten some doors, but others seem to be closing,” Sather says. “Through it all, our buddies went together. They believed. And they kept buying. It was and will continue to be a process.”
“But I’m so happy the team tasted it and felt it. It’s a great team in Kansas City, so we can take this further.”
Nothing gets any easier for UND on Saturday when league leader Oral Roberts takes on the Hawks.
“We have our hands full,” Sather said. “But it’s about us. And we have players who can play.”