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DU Hands UND First Back to Back Loss of the Season
Grand Forks -- Parity, a word that can be defined without being defined. It was also the goal of the NCHC when it was formed; and for the second-consecutive season, parity was achieved. For the second-consecutive season the NCHC Frozen Faceoff showed why on any given night, anyone in this conference could compete for its crown. This afternoon, it was Denver’s time as the Pioneers handed UND a 5-1 defeat in the third-place game at the Target Center. “We couldn’t ever really get ourselves into a rhythm,” said UND head coach Dave Hasktol. “We were a bit off this weekend and we got beat by two pretty good teams.” With the loss, No. 1 ranked North Dakota was faced with a reality that it had not faced since November 2013, its first winless streak longer than one game. The streak lasted a span of 68 games for UND, but in the NCHC third-place game, it came to a screeching halt. North Dakota will return home facing a slightly different situation than it saw last season, as UND was the final at-large team into the NCAA Tournament. This season, UND will head back to Grand Forks knowing it will head to Fargo, N.D. as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA West Regional with its opponent to be determined Sunday morning.  FULL STORY

No. 7 Gonzaga Holds Off Bison
in NCAA Second Round, 86-76

Fargo -- No. 15 seed North Dakota State fell 86-76 to second-seeded Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament Friday, March 20, before a crowd of 14,852 at KeyArena. Dexter Werner scored a career-high 22 points and Lawrence Alexander had 19 for NDSU, which ended its season 23-10 overall.  It was the third NCAA tournament in seven years for the Bison. Gonzaga led by as many as 18 midway through the second half, but North Dakota State went on a 16-4 run to trim the deficit to 57-51 on Werner's three-point play with 11:13 to go. Werner's back to back field goals made it 68-62 with six minutes left, but Gonzaga pulled away behind West Coast Conference MVP Kevin Pangos, who scored 12 of his team's final 18 points. Kyle Wiltjer scored a game-high 23 points and Pangos finished with 18 for the Bulldogs, who improved to 33-2 and will face Iowa in the third round. North Dakota State made three straight 3-pointers to start the game, but Gonzaga went on a 20-4 run and opened up a 43-30 lead by halftime. NDSU shot 59 percent in the second half and finished the game 29 of 54 overall for 54 percent, outshooting the nation's No. 1 field goal percentage team. Gonzaga was 30 of 58 overall for 52 percent and outscored NDSU 19-8 at the foul line. The taller Zags had a 35-24 advantage on the glass with Domantas Sabonis grabbing 11 rebounds. Kory Brown had six boards to lead NDSU.  FULL STORY

Perfect Penalty Kill Keys Road
Win as Cats Clinch Third

Bismarck -- The Bismarck Bobcats killed off five third-period penalties and hung on late for a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wilderness Saturday at Northwoods Credit Union Arena, snapping a season-long five-game losing streak and locking in the third seed in the upcoming Central Division playoffs. Leading 2-1 after two periods, the Bobcats were besieged in the final frame by four consecutive Wilderness power plays that saw the home side take 13 shots in a row, but goalie Hunter Shepard had the answer each and every time to keep the Cats ahead. After the black and gold wiped out a hooking minor on Matt Perry, the visitors got their only shot of the period—and made it count—when Tony German buried a back-door pass from Evan Giesler on a 2-on-1 rush to run the score to 3-1 with 3:44 remaining in regulation. Minnesota clawed back into the game with 1:07 to go as Wayland Williams threaded a low shot through a cluster of bodies that beat Shepard five-hole. The goal was initially waved off but eventually allowed after extensive discussion among the referees and goal judge. One goal, however, would be as close as the Wilderness would get: the Bobcat defense allowed just one shot on Shepard in the final minute—despite one last penalty kill on an Oskars Batna roughing infraction—to secure the 3-2 win.  FULL STORY

Marauders Head Basketball Coach Jevin Budde Resigns Position
-- After four seasons leading the University of Mary men's basketball team, head coach Jevin Budde has resigned, announced Marauders Athletic Director Roger Thomas. "We appreciate everything Jevin Budde has done for the men's basketball program, the University of Mary and our community," said Thomas. "We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors." During Budde's tenure as Marauders head coach, U-Mary posted a record of 28-79 overall and 22-66 in Northern Sun contests. U-Mary's top finish in the NSIC was 11th in 2011-12 when the league featured 14 teams. This season the Marauders finished 9-18 overall and 7-15 in the NSIC. U-Mary placed 12th in the 16-team league. As head coach, Budde's players earned seven NSIC All-Academic Team citations, one received All-NSIC honors, and one was selected as the NSIC Player of the Week. Two players, Damon Smith and Alex Dorr, are playing professionally in Europe. Budde originally joined U-Mary as an assistant coach prior to the 2009-10 season and helped rejuvenate the men's basketball program. U-Mary posted its first winning season in NCAA Division II his inaugural year on campus. The Marauders then went 23-6 behind the strength of four senior starters and advanced to the school's first NCAA tournament in 2010-11.  FULL STORY
DSU Defeats Carleton in Final Game of Spring Trip
-- The Dickinson State Baseball Team defeated Carleton College (MN) 7-6 in their final game of the 2015 spring trip. The Blue Hawks finished the 12 game trip with a record of 5-7 with the key victory over the University of North Dakota on Tuesday night. Dickinson native, Eric Seiler, pitched a complete game to earn the victory. Seiler also had the game winning RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Seiler threw ten innings allowing six runs (five earned) on 16 hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts.  MORE 

By Jeff Baranick
Beulah -- The North Dakota winter sports season for prep athletes officially concluded this past weekend with the Capital City's hosting of the Class B Boys' Basketball State Tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. A new champion in 2015 was assured when last year's state runner-up--the Rugby Panthers--blitzed the defending champion Fargo Oak Grove Grovers 81-65 in a Friday evening semifinal-round showdown. The Panthers, sparked by the trio of Brad Heidelbaugh (a Mr. Basketball candidate and perennial All-Stater), Tanner Bernhardt, and Zach Miller, claimed the coveted state title that eluded them last year in overtime by drilling top-seeded Four Winds-Minnewauken (FWM) 54-40. Rugby held the Indians to more than 40 points below their season per-game scoring average. Besides defeating FWM and the Grovers in Bismarck, the Panthers--25-2 on the season--had also routed Parshall in an opening-round state tourney matchup, 80-39. In other first-day games at the Event Center, Oak Grove spanked Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg (MPCG)70-58, FWM held off Shiloh Christian 61-55, and LaMoure-Litchville-Marion (LLM) outlasted New England in double overtime 71-61. In that particular encounter, the Loboes' stalwart F Anthony Olson poured in 29 points and snatched 15 rebounds. In defeat, the Tigers' Sr G Dan Prince tallied 22 markers--all of them after the intermission. In Friday state-tournament action, in consolation-bracket contests, Parshall downed MPCG 47-44 and Shiloh Christian outpointed New England 61-58 in overtime. In Friday night's 2nd semifinal, FWM rallied late to slip past LLM 51-47. In Saturday's placement games, MPCG rallied past New England 51-47 for 7th place; Shiloh Christian outpaced Parshall 60-48 for 5th place, and Oak Grove blasted LLM 63-45 for 3rd place. At the conclusion of the state tourney Saturday night, North Dakota's Mr. Basketball for 2014-15 was announced. The annual award, sponsored by the ND Associated Press Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association was presented to Rugby's Brad Heidelbaugh. Heidelbaugh, who averaged over 20 points and 9 rebounds and nearly 4 assists and 2 steals per contest, swept the trifecta of individual honors in Class B boys' hoops in 2015 as he was also chosen state tournament MVP and the high school coaches' association Senior Athlete of the Year. Although a standout on the hardwood and also defending state runner-up in the Class B triple jump in track-&-field, Heidelbaugh has signed a national letter-of-intent to play college football this upcoming fall at UND. He was an All-State quarterback for Rugby in the ND Class A gridiron ranks these past two autumns. The other two finalists for Mr. Basketball were Carter Kretchman of Oak Grove and Dakota Halvorson of Class A state champion Minot. Chosen by his peers as ND Class B basketball's Coach of the Year was New England head mentor Luke Powers.

Filed by Veteran KDKT Sportscaster Jeff Baranick

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