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NDSU men suffer 3rd loss of season

FNS Photo by John Stennes North Dakota State’s Kory Brown (22) drives past a UND defender in the second half of UND’s 95-77 win Sunday night in Grand Forks.

GRAND FORKS — The third defeat in North Dakota State’s men’s basketball season may have made the 75-mile trip back from Grand Forks rather long on Sunday night. The University of North Dakota owned the Bison all game.

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UND led from start to finish in taking a 95-77 victory before a sold-out Betty Engelstad Sioux Center crowd of 3,142. It was the most points NDSU had given up since a 105-96 loss at the University of South Dakota in 2004.

“To be honest, it was a little embarrassing,” said Bison center Marshall Bjorklund. “I thought we came in prepared, but they punched us in the mouth.”

UND dealt with a whistle-filled game where both teams combined for 57 fouls better than NDSU did. It was 6 of 16 from 3-point range compared to the Bison’s 1 of 12, and UND kept its starters on the floor longer.

Four NDSU starters fouled out.

“I don’t have a word in the thesaurus for how I feel about our defense tonight,” said NDSU head coach Saul Phillips.

Oregon scored 97 against NDSU in 2010 and South Dakota State had 91 in 2012, but each of those games went to overtime. The last team to score at least 90 points against the Bison was the University of Minnesota in 2008.

UND’s Troy Huff did the most damage with 32 points. Guard Aaron Anderson added 18 in a matchup of two veteran teams.

“We understand it’s a rivalry and it’s one of those games you’ll remember for the rest of your life,” Huff said.

It was the second straight Bison poor performance in Grand Forks. Two years ago, NDSU was cold as ice playing in Engelstad Arena, better known as the home to the UND hockey team.

NDSU shot 33 percent in a 59-54 loss. The Bison rarely had more than a run of two straight hoops this time around.

NDSU never led, spending all game trying to slice a consistent UND lead in the six- to 12-point range.

“We knew we had to come out in the first four minutes and be strong,” Huff said. “Once we got started, we never looked back.”

Leading 60-53, for instance, Anderson hit a free throw and a 3-pointer. Later, his trey with 4 minutes, 50 seconds left kept UND up 79-68.

Meanwhile, about the only offense the Bison could muster was forward Taylor Braun and his drives to the basket, which accounted for many of his game-high 34 points. He was the only starter who didn’t foul out.

“That will take your game plan, rip it to shreds and throw it up like confetti,” Phillips said. “We had to do a lot of stuff on the fly.”

N. DAKOTA ST. (2-3): Alexander 4-7 0-0 9, Brown 2-8 4-6 8, Braun 8-18 18-22 34, Wright 2-4 0-0 4, Bjorklund 5-11 1-3 11, Newell 0-0 0-0 0, Felt 0-4 1-2 1, Dupree 1-4 0-0 2, Kading 3-4 2-3 8, Aaberg 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 26-36 77.

NORTH DAKOTA (2-1): Anderson 3-4 10-12 18, Nash 6-13 0-0 12, Huff 8-12 13-17 32, Webb 1-5 0-0 2, Salmonson 0-1 4-4 4, Antwi 0-2 0-0 0, Benton 0-1 0-0 0, Hooker 1-1 0-1 2, Schuler 3-5 1-1 8, Calcaterra 3-5 5-6 11, Traylor 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 28-55 33-41 95.

Halftime: North Dakota 44-35. 3-Point Goals: N. Dakota St. 1-12 (Alexander 1-3, Wright 0-1, Dupree 0-1, Brown 0-2, Braun 0-2, Felt 0-3), North Dakota 6-16 (Huff 3-6, Anderson 2-2, Schuler 1-3, Antwi 0-1, Webb 0-1, Nash 0-3). Fouled Out: Alexander, Bjorklund, Brown, Traylor, Wright. Rebounds: N. Dakota St. 37 (Alexander 8), North Dakota 36 (Huff 10). Assists: N. Dakota St. 4 (Alexander 2), North Dakota 14 (Webb 5). Total Fouls: N. Dakota St. 30, North Dakota 27. Technical: Huff. A: 3,142.

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.