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Bison men hold off IUPUI to go 3-0 in Summit League

FARGO--Defensive rebounds were like scalding-hot potatoes for North Dakota State on Thursday night. Trying to get a handle on them looked frustrating at the least and almost next-to-impossible at the most.

North Dakota State's Paul Miller and Dexter Werner defend against IUPUI's T.J. Henderson Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, at the Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.David Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State's Jared Samuelson follows through on a 3-point basket against IUPUI Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, at the Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.David Samson / The Forum

FARGO-Defensive rebounds were like scalding-hot potatoes for North Dakota State on Thursday night. Trying to get a handle on them looked frustrating at the least and almost next-to-impossible at the most.

It was one of several stories within a story in the Summit League men's basketball game with Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex. The most important, of course, was the final outcome and the Bison found another way to win.

They actually outscored somebody.

The trio guard combo of A.J. Jacobson, Paul Miller and Khy Kabellis were dangerous all night in a 93-89 victory before 2,728 fans, moving NDSU to 3-0 in the Summit. It was the first time over 90 points against a Division I opponent for the Bison this season and the first time since beating Minnesota-Morris 92-62 in mid-November.

"We're happy with the win, but it's not the style we want to play," Miller said. "But we showed playing against a high-caliber offense that we can put up just as high of numbers as they can."

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Kabellis led NDSU with 21 points. Jacobson had 20 and Miller 18. NDSU was sharp all night shooting 52 percent and was relatively accurate at the free throw line led by Dexter Werner's 11 of 12 showing.

But the Bison also made it tough on themselves at the line in the last 30 seconds.

Leading 91-87, Kabellis and Jacobson each made 1 of 2 foul shots, which sandwiched an IUPUI bucket. That brought Jacobson to the line for two free throws with five seconds remaining with his team up 92-89. He missed the first. Made the second.

"We're off to a great start but like I said after the last game, it's just a start," Miller said.

Miller was a microcosm of NDSU's effort, battling through a sprained ankle suffered in the first half. He played 17 minutes of the second half.

"I thought Paul really gutted it out," said Bison head coach Dave Richman. "That ankle was pretty sore and for us to steal 30 minutes out of him, I was pretty pleased."

As for the 22 IUPUI offensive rebounds, Richman had other words for it. And it was everybody for the Jaguars, with six players having at least two rebounds each under their own basket.

"Twenty-two offensive rebounds is ridiculous for us to give up," Richman said. "We're a program that prides ourselves on rebounding and getting defensive stops."

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The Bison led 42-41 at halftime despite IUPUI's leading scorer Darell Combs struggling with three points and four turnovers in 18 minutes. NDSU forged a 60-51 lead with a quick 8-2 run and still had leads in that range over the next several minutes despite the Jaguars being tough on the offensive boards.

At one point, with NDSU leading 67-61 almost midway in the second half, IUPUI had 16 rebounds off its own missed shots. The Bison offense, after spending most of the game over 50 percent, went cold for a bit, however, and the Jaguars took advantage scoring eight straight with Combs on the bench to take a 76-75 advantage.

"It was a rough stretch," Kabellis said.

But NDSU scored eight of the next 11 and held on.

IUPUI (7-9, 1-1 Summit): O'Leary 5-13 2-2 16, Hall 4-8 0-0 8, Combs 4-16 2-2 13, Thomas 5-9 9-11 21, McCall 1-4 1-4 3, Henderson 2-5 2-4 7, James 1-4 0-0 2, Patterson 3-7 3-3 11, Brennan 3-10 2-2 8. Totals: 28-76 21-28 89.

NDSU (11-5, 3-0 Summit): Jacobson 5-11 9-11 20, D. Miller 0-1 0-0 0, P. Miller 6-10 2-4 18, Dupree 2-7 2-4 6, Kabellis 8-10 3-5 21, Samuelson 2-3 0-0 6, Geu 0-0 0-1 0, Ward 2-4 2-2 7, Werner 2-6 11-12 15. Totals: 27-52 29-39 93.

Halftime: NDSU 42, IUPUI 41. Total fouls: IUPUI 27, NDSU 23. Fouled out: Patterson. Rebounds: IUPUI 45 (McCall 11); NDSU 33 (Ward, Jacobson, Werner 7). 3-point goals: IUPUI 12-30 (O'Leary 4-7, Combs 3-9, Henderson 1-1, Thomas 2-4, Patterson 2-4, Brennan 0-4); NDSU 10-20 (Jacobson 1-5, P. Miller 4-6, Dupree 0-1, Kabellis 2-4, Samuelson 2-2, Ward 1-2). Assists: IUPUI 17 (four with 3); NDSU 16 (Werner 4). Turnovers: IUPUI 12 (Combs 6); NDSU 11 (P. Miller 5). A-2,728.

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Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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