Nov. 21—STOCKTON, Calif. — UND basketball fans staying up until almost midnight in Grand Forks were rewarded with an impressive victory late Monday night.
Pacific beat UND by 30 in Grand Forks last season.
"Total team effort, total team win," UND coach Paul Sather told UND men's play-by-play radio broadcaster Paul Ralston after the game. "The improvements we can make from the mistakes we were making ... it's good to know we can come out, maybe not play our best but compete hard and find a way to win."
The last three minutes were tight. Treysen Eaglestaff hit a tough runner with 2:40 to play to tie the game at 65-65.
A minute later, a Burke Smith dunk for Pacific made the UND deficit three at 69-66.
Two Brady Danielson free throws brought UND within 69-68 with 1:25 to go. Eli King tacked on two free throws with 57 seconds to give UND a 70-69 advantage.
Smith answered again for Pacific underneath at the end of a frantic possession to give Pacific a 71-70 lead.
With 21 seconds left, UND isolated Tsartsidze at the top of the key. Tsartsidze took his defender off the dribble to his right hand and scored at the basket for a 72-71 lead.
Pacific's rebuttal was well-defended by UND and resulted in a turnover thanks to the defense of King and Tsartsidze. On the turnover, Tsartsidze was fouled and made 1-of-2 from the foul line for a 73-71 lead with 3 seconds to go.
Pacific's halfcourt heave was well off the mark to give UND the win.
Pacific led by as many as eight in the second half.
"What a response," Sather said on the radio interview. "I thought our guys really responded and had to make a change on the go a few different times. They did an awesome job figuring things out as the game went on."
King and Omot both had 12 points while Amir Kuljuhovic added 10 points off the bench. King finished with eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and one turnover.
"He's a warrior," Sather said of the Iowa State transfer King. "Eli and Brady showed some of that resilience tonight. They relish when things are hard. That's in their makeup."
Omot was 4-for-12 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3-point range. Eaglestaff was 3-for-11 from the field and 0-for-4 from 3-point range.
"They were going after B.J. and Trey," Sather said. "They're learning to be the targets and the adversity of being the target. They kept fighting and making plays. They didn't sit and pout and mope about it."
Sather also complimented Kuljuhovic and Elijah Brooks, who added four points and played strong defense.
Pacific was led by Donovan Williams' 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting and 4-for-5 shooting from the 3-point line.
Pacific shot 52.7 percent from the field. UND had the advantage at the foul line, going 14-for-22 to Pacific's 8-for-13.
UND now plays New Orleans at noon Saturday at the Central Arkansas Classic in Conway, Ark.