Pay back time

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The last time Montana went to North Dakota for basketball it was a nightmare that still took an extra five minutes to decide.

And don't think the Grizzlies have forgotten the overtime defeat.

I'm looking ahead to Thursday's league encounter with North Dakota, but fresh on my mind was last year's bitter defeat in non-conference play, just one of seven total losses, when North Dakota visited the charity stripe an incredible 56 times in claiming an 88-81 victory.

That they connected just 37 times on 33 Grizzly fouls while Montana was 21 of 31 speaks to the kind of contest it became.

Both Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar posted career highs combining for 64 points as Keron DeShields was the only other Grizzly in doubles with 10 while five of the no-nicks scored in doubles.

North Dakota returns four starters from the team that finished second in the Great West last season including junior guard Troy Huff who contributed 15 in last season's matchup.

He has missed eight games.

North Dakota's sole league win is over Idaho State with circuit losses to Northern Colorado, Weber State and Southern Utah while beating Bowling Green in late December in Grand Forks.

The No-Nicks, they have not chosen a moniker since dropping the Fighting Sioux, are the poorest shooting team in the league (.330).

They have been outscored in league by 10 a game and defensively they stand last in points allowed (75.5), and rank last in field goal defense (.488).

But with such a paltry field goal percentage there have been plenty of offensive rebounding opportunities and North Dakota leads the league grabbing more than 13 offensive caroms an outing.

But junior Aaron Anderson leads the league in scoring at 19 while Huff is contributing almost 15 in the three league games he's seen action.

Huff also is corralling six rebounds a game while North Dakota is led in that category by senior Mitch Wilmer with 6.3 an outing.

Junior Jamal Webb even leads Will Cherry grabbing nine steals in four games while Anderson and junior Josh Shuler are among the league leaders from the free throw line where Jordan Gregory sets the pace not missing in a dozen attempts.

Remember fans this pay-back matchup gets underway at 6:05 Mountain with pre-game set at 5:30 Thursday.

And join us for the Wayne Tinkle and Robin Selvig Show from Paradise Falls Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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