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UND men’s basketball’s top returning scorer out indefinitely

Fighting Hawks guard Marlon Stewart was top returning scorer for the University of North Dakota, but is out indefinitely. Forum News Service file photo

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The University of North Dakota men’s basketball team opened the 2018-19 season Tuesday night with an offensive showcase against an NCAA Division III opponent.

It wasn’t all good news, however, out of the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center during the 104-48 win over Northland College of Wisconsin.

Returning leading scorer from a year ago, Marlon Stewart, didn’t play and is considered out indefinitely reportedly due to academic reasons.

Stewart was on the bench in street clothes for the season opener.

Stewart, a transfer from Creighton, averaged 11.7 points per game last season. He was expected to pick up some of the missing scoring punch due to Geno Crandall’s graduate transfer this season to Gonzaga.

Stewart, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard, had a memorable 29 points in a Big Sky Conference tournament opening-round win last season against Montana State.

The junior from Rock Island, Ill., had five games of more than 20 points. He reached double figures 15 times last year, including scoring at least 20 in each of the in-state rivalry matchups with North Dakota State.

He was also second on the team in assists (95) and steals (42).