Minnesota ties shared in Gopher matchup against North Dakota

The University of North Dakota and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers have not faced in basketball since a five-point Gopher victory back in 1983, however, the former squared off against my University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars (Division III U of MN affiliate) back last November in Grand Forks. North Dakota cruised to 110-69 win, but do not expect that trend to continue against the program's big Division I brother on Monday night.

North Dakota head coach Brian Jones leads his 3-4 troops into The Barn tonight coming off of a down to the wire one-point win against Drake on Saturday to halt a two-game losing skid. They look to give the Gophers (6-2) a competitive game on the road with in-state rival North Dakota State University in Fargo lying in wait. The NDSU Bison have fared better than North Dakota in recent years, establishing the program as a Summit League contender with two NCAA Tournament visits in the past five years, including a win against #5 seed Oklahoma in the second round last season.

Forward Jaron Nash, a sixth-year senior out of Waterloo, Iowa, leads North Dakota averaging just under 14 points a game and nearly nine rebounds. Nash was granted a hardship waiver in July due to several injuries in his collegiate career and to take care of his sick father. Sophomore guard Quinton Hooker gave North Dakota a scoring punch hitting the game-winner over Drake with 14 seconds remaining, but has struggled from the field this season at a 38.7% clip. Junior guard Estan Tyler comes off the bench, but provides starter contributions logging just under thirty minutes a contest. Both guards are Minnesota products, with Hooker from Brooklyn Park and Tyler coming out of St. Paul.

For the Gophers, one encouraging sign is the recent improved by out of veteran guard Andre Hollins. He recorded 15 points on Friday against Western Carolina, and had a monster night at Wake Forest in the ACC/B1G Ten Challenge, going 7-10 from three-point range and finishing with 27 points. Joey King has been consistent of late, putting up a 14-point per game in the past three match-ups. 6'5'' junior transfer shooting guard Carlos Morris probably has the most potential on the roster. Morris attacks the rim aggressively, and has the length to create havoc on the defensive end for oppositions. Based on physical attributes and potential, Morris could develop into an NBA prospect down the road.

Tip is at 9:00 pm ET at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Coverage of the game is on ESPNU.

North Dakota vs Golden Gophers coverage

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