The North Dakota State (17-6, 6-2) men’s basketball team put on a dunk contest as they beat IUPUI (5-20, 0-8) 66-60 at the Bison Sports Arena on Thursday, Feb. 7.
The Bison started 2-10 from the field and found themselves in a hole early, but a couple of Jordan Aaberg layups gave the Bison momentum moving forward in the first half.
With 1:51 left in the second half, the Bison were up 59-51, but couldn’t seem to find a way to put the Jaguars away. Ja’Rob McCallum hit a few late three pointers to cut the lead to 59-56 for NDSU.
Bison junior Lawrence Alexander finished the game with 17 points and senior Taylor Braun added 14 points. Jordon Aaberg had an excellent game and finished with a season-high 11 points off the bench.
The biggest lead for the Bison was 14 in the middle of the second half, but even though the Jaguars hung around throughout the whole game, Braun helped his team tame the Jaguars with three late free throws and a viscous dunk to end the game.
NDSU struggled shooting the ball from beyond the three-point line. The Bison went 0-for-10 beyond the three-point line and only committed five turnovers in the game.
“25 possessions, that’s unbelievably slow, look at how they scored at the end of shot clocks sneaking in here and there,” head coach Saul Phillips said. “It was a ridiculous low possession game and it’s hard to blow a team out in a low possession game.”
It was a game for the ages as the North Dakota State Bison (18-6, 7-2) beat the Fort Wayne Mastodons (18-8, 6-3) 69-58 at the Bison Sports Arena on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Bison now are in sole possession of first place in the Summit League with the win.
Bison sophomore Kory Brown finished the game with career highs with 13 points and seven assists. Senior TrayVonn Wright finished the game with 15 points, 6 rebounds and a few key dunks.
Not only did Wright’s dunks give the Bison momentum, there was also a season-high crowd of 4,557 fans that gave this Bison team a lot of energy throughout the game. Head coach Saul Phillips said, “Our team really, really reveled in playing in front of our crowd tonight.”
Bison senior Taylor Braun scored the first five points and NDSU took a commanding 16-2 lead early in the first half. Braun finished the game with 14 points and Lawrence Alexander added 11 for the Bison.
NDSU went into halftime with a 32-26 lead and came out of halftime on an even better note. The Bison started the second half on a 12-3 run, which gave them the 44-29 lead. IPFW was unable to get a score to make it a one-possession game, but the Bison let the Mastodons hang around.
“We’ve got three games left in this building this year and they are all going to be quality games,” Phillips said. “I’m begging, pleading; bring that energy we had in there today again and again, because this could be a lot of fun down the stretch.”
The Bison went 2-0 at the Bison Sports Arena last week and will travel to Macomb, Illinois at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13 to take on the Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks.