(Nick Petraccione/MTN Sports)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The North Dakota men’s basketball team has a tough road trip ahead of them, facing Montana State on Thursday and undefeated Big Sky opponent Montana on Saturday. The Fighting Hawks are 2-7 in the Big Sky, however they know they can turn their season around on the back-nine.

“If we’re healthy, mentally and physically, you got a chance to beat anybody and I think that’s the case for us. We got nine regular season games left,” said UND head coach Brian Jones. “I think we can go 7-2 if our minds are right and our bodies are right.”

North Dakota, the reigning Big Sky Champions, know what it takes to hoist the conference trophy and they have the talent to do so, but the Big Sky has completed elevated it’s game, becoming one of the top conferences in the country.

“It’s the toughest it’s been since we’ve been in it. No question, it’s not even close. If we had this team in years past, we wouldn’t be 2-7 at the break, we’d have more wins,” Jones said.

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North Dakota has arguably had the toughest schedule in the Big Sky, already having played Montana and Weber State, as well as other Big Sky top dogs. And the road doesn’t get easier with this Montana road trip followed by a trip to the Wildcats next Thursday.

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