PULLMAN, Wash. — Friday night’s contest between the visiting Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the host Washington Cougars marks the end of non-conference play for both programs.
With the way both teams have been playing as of late, a win would do wonders as conference is set to begin following the Christmas break.
For Bethune-Cookman, Friday night marks their final game of the 2017 calendar year. They open up MEAC play on January 3rd against the South Carolina State Bulldogs at home in Daytona Beach, FL. As for the Cougars, they head on the road to face the UCLA Bruins on December 29th.
The road gets considerably tougher for both teams, as conference play is always full of surprises. Bethune-Cookman will look to close out their four game road swing with a win over Washington State, while the Cougars will look to bounce back from a loss in their last outing.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — What a year it was in 2016-17 for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in the Big Sky Conference.
Led by guards Quinton Hooker and Geno Crandall, the Hawks took home the Big Sky regular season and tournament titles, punching their first-ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament in the process. Despite an opening round loss to the Arizona Wildcats, the 2016-17 season was seen as a big success for the program on the national scene.
Fast forward to the 2017-18 season, and the team will look quite different than it did a year ago. Hooker and Corey Baldwin have graduated, while Carson Shanks has transferred to the Loyola (IL) Ramblers for his final year of eligibility.
On Friday morning, it was announced that another big piece from North Dakota’s run to the Big Dance would no longer be in the mix next season.
POCATELLO, ID. — The 2016-17 season hasn’t been too kind to the Idaho State Bengals, especially after how they fared a season ago.
The arrival of guard Ethan Telfair last year changed the fortunes for the Bengals, and they vaulted up into fourth spot in the Big Sky standings. Entering this year, the Bengals were a trendy pick in the race for the Big Sky crown, but they have been unable to build off the momentum they created last season.
On Thursday night, Idaho State welcomed the North Dakota Fighting Hawks to town. A win over North Dakota would give the Bengals a big boost of momentum heading into the conference in just a couple of weeks.
While the Bengals would hold a slim lead early on, the Fighting Hawks would pull away as the opening half ticked away. After taking a seven-point lead into the break, North Dakota wouldn’t trail in the second half.