Senior Mike Mathison and his Fighting Sioux teammates play Drake in the opening round of the CIT on Wednesday.
Sioux take another crack at the CIT
Courtesy: Ryan Powell, UND Media Relations
Release: 03/13/2012
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DES MOINES, Iowa - The North Dakota men’s basketball teams takes a six-game winning streak into the Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Sioux will take on a Drake team that owns 17 wins as well and tied for third (9-9) in the Missouri Valley Conference. Tipoff for the opening round matchup is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Knapp Center on Wednesday. 

All-time: Series tied 4-4
Postseason: Drake leads 1-0
In Des Moines: Series tied 2-2
Last Meeting: Drake won 72-63 (Dec. 5, 2009)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Drake: 0-1
Drake Head Coach Mark Phelps vs. UND: 1-0

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• This is the second postseason meeting between UND and Drake. The two teams met in the District 6 Olympic Tournament on March 12, 1936 in Minneapolis. The Bulldogs prevailed that day with a 49-46 victory.
• UND’s current six-game winning streak equals the longest in head coach Brian Jones’ tenure at the school. Jones owns a 13-6 record in March during his head coaching career.
• The Sioux earned their second straight automatic bid to the CIT by securing back-to-back Great West Conference Tournament titles with a 75-60 victory over NJIT in the championship game.
• UND closed out its three-year run in the GWC with an 18-14 record in regular season play and a 5-1 record in the league tournament (two titles).
• Seven teams on UND’s 2011-12 advanced to postseason tournaments, including four to the NCAA Tournament (Kansas, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota State). The Sioux beat two of those teams at home (Montana and South Dakota State). 
• North Dakota State and Western Illinois both made the CBI Invitational, while GWC foe Utah Valley earned an at-large bid to join UND in the CIT Tournament.
• The Sioux went 4-6 in 10 games against opponents playing in postseason events.
• UND, who had only overcome a halftime deficit to win once during the regular season, rallied from halftime deficits in both 2012 GWC Tournament wins. 
• The Sioux trailed by 14 to No. 3 seed Texas-Pan American before storming back to post a 63-59 victory. And, against the fourth-seeded Highlanders, UND trailed by two before outscoring NJIT 48-31 after the break.
• Sophomore Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) earned GWC Tournament MVP honors after averaging 15.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 spg and 2.0 apg in Chicago. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with six rebounds and three steals in leading the rally past the Broncs in the semifinals. Webb, then added 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the title tilt with NJIT. 
• Webb was joined on the All-GWC Tournament team by classmate Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.), who had a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds in the title game. Huff also averaged 3.5 apg and 3.5 spg in tournament play.
• Huff and senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) were named to the All-Great West second team following the regular season. Huff earned the accolade for the second straight year after leading UND in scoring in GWC play at 13.2 ppg. 
• Huff’s 857 career points are the second most in UND history for a sophomore. Only Scott Guldseth (1989-93), who is UND’s all-time leading scorer with 2,190 points, had more through his sophomore season (981).
• With a trio of 3-pointers in the GWC Tournament title game, Mitchell became just the third player in UND history to make 200 career 3-pointers. He is third on that list with 202 makes for his career.
• Mitchell, who was the 2011 GWC Tournament MVP, scored all 12 of his points in the second half against the Highlanders.
• Mitchell is returning to play in his home town for the second time in his collegiate career.  He had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore the last time UND and Drake played at the 2009 Hy-Vee Classic. The teams are tied at four wins a piece in the all-time series that dates back to 1925.
• UND fell at Air Force 77-67 in last year’s opening round of the CIT.
• Huff had 20 points in that contest, while classmate Josh Schuler (Urbana, Ohio) led UND with 21 points. Mitchell scored 12 in the season-ending setback.
• Webb along with classmates Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, Minn.) collected All-Great West honorable mention honors for their play during the regular season. 
• Webb was the top 3-point shooter in GWC games, knocking down 48.6 percent of his attempts (18-for-37). He also ranks third in assists (3.4/g; 102) and first in steals (1.9/g; 57) in overall games. 
• Webb’s career-high 57 steals are tied for the fifth most in a single season, while his two-year total of 108 is already the eighth most in school history.
• Anderson is averaging 11.1 ppg in his first season as a starter – a clip that ranks second on the squad. He led the GWC with a 48.6 percent clip from 3-point range in overall games  (36-for-74). 
• Anderson went 9-for-9 from the foul line in the GWC Tournament, averaging 10.0 ppg in the two wins. He is the top free-throw shooter on the team (88-for-144; 77.2 percent) for the second straight season.
• Brekke led the GWC in field-goal percentage this season with a 67.9 percent clip (108-for-159). That total ranks fifth in the country according to Brekke also led the club with four double-doubles and averages 9.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg.
• The Sioux advanced to the championship game by posting their largest comeback of the season (down 16 points). The four-point margin of victory equaled the total number of points UND won its three games by last season in the tournament.
• Schuler capped last year’s memorable run by drilling a 3-pointer with under two seconds to play in double overtime to lift the Sioux over the fourth-seeded Coyotes 77-76. 
• After not taking a shot in the semifinals against UTPA, Schuler responded with 11 points off the bench in the championship game.
• UND outscored the Broncs 40-22 in the second half. The 22 points were a season-low allowed by the Sioux in a game this season after the break.
• Webb led all scorers with 19 points and his back-to-back baskets with under two minutes to play put UND back on top 58-57. He went 9-for-13 from the field to match his career high in field goals made. 
• The Sioux never trailed again as Anderson iced the game with a three-point play and a pair of free throws in the final 11 seconds. Anderson finished with 12 points.
• Huff was impressive on both ends of the floor against UTPA, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. Defensively, he equaled his career-high with five steals. He also had five in the regular-season finale vs. Utah Valley. 
• Huff leads the team with 22 double-figure scoring games. He had 25 as a freshman.
• The Sioux wrapped up their home slate with a 13-1 record and 10 straight wins thanks to the thrilling victory over the Wolverines. The last time a UND team finished with only one home loss was the 2001-02 team that went 14-1 at the Hyslop Sports Center. 
• The 1989-90 (16-0) and 1990-91 (18-0) teams were the last to go undefeated at home. UND is 896-256 all-time at home.
• The last home triumph of the season came on Senior Day as Mitchell and classmate Mike Mathison (Walhalla, N.D.) were honored in a pre-game ceremony. The real celebrating did not start until Mitchell’s 12-footer swished through the nets as the buzzer sounded, giving UND a 57-56 victory and snapping a three-game losing skid to UVU. 

NCAA Tournament Field: 2-3
CBI Invitational: 1-2
CIT Tournament: 1-1

Kansas (NCAA Tournament)
2 seed Midwest Region
vs. (15) Detroit
L, 84-58 12/31/11 (A)

Montana (NCAA Tournament)
13 seed East Region
vs. (4) Wisconsin
W, 88-81 (ot) 11/23/11 (H)

New Mexico (NCAA Tournament)
5 seed West Region
vs. (12) Long Beach State
L, 85-57 1/7/12 (A)

South Dakota State (NCAA Tournament)
14 seed South Region
vs. (3) Baylor
L, 92-54 12/10/11 (A) 
W, 89-70 12/15/11 (H)

North Dakota State (CBI Invitational)
at Wyoming
W, 59-54 1/17/12 (H)

Western Illinois (CBI Invitational)
at Oregon State
L, 65-62 11/26/11 (H)
L, 68-46 12/22/11 (A)

Utah Valley (CIT Tournament)
at Weber State
L, 72-64 1/21/12 (A)
W, 57-56 3/3/12 (H)

NOTING THE BULLDOGS:  Drake was one of five Missouri Valley Conference teams to tie for third in the league standings with a 9-9 record ... After all the tiebreakers were figured out, the Bulldogs earned the No. 7 seed at the MVC Tournament in St. Louis ... Drake defeated No. 10 seed Bradley 65-49 for the third time during the season to reach the quarterfinals ... The Braves were the only common opponent that Drake and UND both played this season ... No. 2 seed Creighton would end the Bulldogs’ MVC Tournament run with a 68-61 victory in their quarterfinal matchup ... With 17 wins, head coach Mark Phelps has equaled his highest-win total in four seasons leading the Drake program ... The Bulldogs have clinched their second winning season under his leadership ... His 61 career wins are the most by any Drake head coach in his first four seasons at the school ... The Bulldogs have held opponents to under 50 percent shooting in 17 straight games and are 9-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better from the field ... Drake boasts two of the top four scorers in the MVC this season ... Sophomore guard Rayvonte Rice leads the team and ranks third at 16.5 ppg, while junior forward Ben Simons ranks fourth at 16.0 ppg ... Rice also leads the MVC in steals at 2.0/g (61 total) ... Simons Forward Jordan Clarke ranks among the top rebounders in the MVC (seventh; 6.7/g) and had his fourth double-double of the season in the MVC Quarterfinals vs. Creigthon with 11 points and 11 rebounds ... Senior guard Kurt Alexander is averaging 8.1 ppg off the bench to lead all Drake reserves. 

Drake 72, UND 63: Dec. 5, 2009 (Knapp Center)
Des Moines, Iowa – The University of North Dakota men’s basketball team was defeated by Drake, 72-63, in the consolation game of the Drake Hy-Vee Classic on Saturday at the Knapp Center. The Bulldogs (3-5) used sizeable runs to open each half to take control of the contest and send the Sioux (1-8) to their fourth straight lost.

Drake guard Josh Young led all scorers with 17 points, while freshman forward Aaron Hawley added 16 points. 

Senior Travis Mertens (Devils Lake, N.D.) led a quartet of Sioux in double figures with 13 points and was named to the all-tournament team. He added 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. 

Sophomore Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) also posted a double-double for UND, which was the first of his career. Redshirt freshman Spencer Goodman (Jackson, Mo.) scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and Chris Clausen (Adelaida, Australia) added 11 points to round out the double-figure scorers for UND.

The Sioux trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half, but closed to within six points in the final minutes to make things interesting.

“That is one thing about this team,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “Our guys are not quitting and playing to the final whistle. We just need some guys to step up and make some shots and we will start pulling out some of these close games.”

UND struggled for the second straight night from 3-point range, making only 6-of-28 attempts from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs were not much better, connecting on only 7-of-26 from deep, but they made up for it at the free throw line making 12 more than the Sioux did, going 29-for-35 in the contest. 

Feb. 24, 1925 Drake 31, UND 18 (Grand Forks)
Jan. 14, 1926 UND 17, Drake 12 (Grand Forks)
Jan. 15, 1926 UND 22, Drake 17 (Grand Forks)
Feb. 8, 1927 UND 34, Drake 26 (Des Moines)
Feb. 9, 1927 UND 48, Drake 19 (Des Moines)
Mar. 12, 1936 Drake 49, UND 46 (Minneapolis)
Dec. 1, 1959 Drake 84, UND 50 (Des Moines)
Dec. 5, 2009 Drake 72, UND 63 (Des Moines)

With the game in hand against NJIT on Jan. 26, senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) had one more matter of business to attend to in the waining moments of what would turn out to an 80-63 victory over the Highlanders. He entered the game needing 13 points to become the 31st member of UND’s 1,000-point club.  He had been stuck on nine until with just under three minutes to play when sophomore Aaron Anderson lobbed a pass for the high-flying Mitchell, who flushed it home for points 997 and 998. The alley-oop provided a 19-point cushion for the home team and the two nearly hooked up again for the milestone basket, but Mitchell would have to earn the illusive point from the foul line where he went with 57 seconds left to play. He calmly sank both charity shots and left the court with the milestone under his belt and to a standing ovation from the home crowd. The last player to reach the elite club was a teammate of Mitchell’s during his freshman and sophomore seasons - Travis Bledsoe (21st on the list; 1,130 points). 

For 18 seasons, Chris Gardner was the only player in UND history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks in a career. But, the former Sioux great now has company after senior Patrick Mitchell swatted away two shots in the 67-59 victory at Longwood (Feb. 20). Mitchell had already secured the 1,000-point total and 500-rebound total earlier in the season before getting to the magic number of blocks against the Lancers.  

UND’s quintet of Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.), Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, N.D.), Josh Schuler (Urbana, Ohio), Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) produced 65.4 percent of UND’s points a season ago, which was tops among any freshman class in the country. This season, that unit has upped that number to 70.8 percent of the team’s scoring (1,480 of 2,089), but that sophomore unit has company at the top of the national charts. The Memphis sophomores, a unit UND edged out last season (63.9 percent as freshmen), is producing 73.5 percent (1,882 of 2,560) and North Dakota State’s sophomores concluded the Bison season scoring 71.3 percent (1,564 of 2,194) of their team’s points.  UND and the Bison squared off on Jan. 17 with the home team picking up a 59-54 victory. UND’s sophomores scored 45 points (76.3 percent) in the contest, while NDSU’s tallied 48 (88.8 percent).

With three blocks against Sacramento State on Dec. 18, senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) moved into sole possession of second place on the UND career charts for blocked shots. Mitchell now has 157 for his career and ranks second in the GWC with a 1.4 bpg average (43 total). Former UND standout Chris Gardner has a firm grip on the top spot after netting 313 blocks during his career from 1990-94. The sharp-shooting forward has also moved into third in career 3-pointers made this season, adding 59 more makes to bring his total up to 202.

Sophomore Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) and senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) were both named to the All-Great West second team in an announcement made by league officials on the eve of the 2012 GWC Tournament in Chicago.

For Huff, the honor marks the second straight season he was named to the second team, while Mitchell collects his first career all-conference accolade. Huff ranked ninth in the league in scoring in GWC games with a 13.2 ppg average and seventh in rebounding at 6.1 rpg. He led UND with 20 double-figure scoring games during the regular season.

Mitchell averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg in GWC play, while ranking second in blocks with 14 (1.4/g). He became just the second player in school history to score 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds and block 150 shots during his career.

Fellow starters Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, Minn.) and Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) were named honorable mention All-Great West after receiving votes on the all-conference ballot.
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