The Fighting Hawks are just one win away from their first Division I NCAA Tournament appearance after a 69-64 win over the Idaho Vandals in men's basketball.

UND came one step closer to a spot in the 'Big Dance' with the victory as they advance on to the Big Sky Conference Tournament championship game.

North Dakota (21-9) got off to a fast start going up 21-7, and then held a halftime lead of 37-31. The Vandals (19-12) used a 15-0 run to take 50-44 lead with 12 minutes to play in the 2nd half. UND would then respond with a 18-1 run of their own that saw them grab a double-digit lead at 62-51 with 7:25 remaining.

Idaho would tie the game at 63-63. Then after UND went up 65-63 on two free throws by Geno Crandall, senior Corey Baldwin hit a 3-point shot from the corner that gave the Fighting Hawks a 68-63 lead, as it might as well have been the nail in the coffin.

Crandal and Baldwin both had 16 points to lead North Dakota. Quinton Hooker and Conner Avants also both added 13 points each. Idaho's Victor Sanders led all scorers with 20 points in the loss.

North Dakota now advances to play Weber St. in the tournament championship. Weber St. defeated Eastern Washington on Friday night, 80-72.

The championship game between UND and Weber St. is tonight at 7:30 on ESPNU. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Source: Inforum

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