UC Santa Barbara (1-0) vs. North Dakota State (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 13th, 9:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: McArthur Court (9,087) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: UCSB 0-0, NDSU 0-0. Away Record: UCSB 0-0, NDSU 0-0. Neutral Record: UCSB 1-0, NDSU 0-1. Conference Record: UCSB 0-0, NDSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: After a thrilling kick off to the 2010-11 campaign last night, the North Dakota State Bison try to catch their breath before clashing with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos during the second day of the Basketball Travelers Invitational in Eugene.
Despite being in enemy territory on Friday, the Bison nearly pulled off the unthinkable as they took host Oregon to overtime before bowing in a 97-92 final. An impressive effort of course, given the fact that NDSU is coming off a season in which it posted just an 11-18 record and was 1-4 on the road in non-conference battles.
As for the Gauchos, they found themselves tied with Denver early in the second half of their meeting yesterday, but then the defense for UCSB kicked in and the team was able to cruise to the 65-49 victory versus the Pioneers.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
The Gauchos shot a strong 58.8 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-of-6 behind the three-point line, but it wasn't until after the intermission that the defense started to make a stand and took down the Pioneers. In fact, after the break UCSB held Denver to a mere four field goals on 19 attempts, which meant the Pioneers converted only 36.6 percent of their field goal attempts for the entire game. James Nunnally showed why he's to be considered one of the top performers in the Big West Conference this season as he kicked off the campaign with a team-high 17 points, adding five rebounds and three steals for a squad that came up with an incredible 17 thefts in 40 minutes. Orlando Johnson accounted for 16 points, a team-high seven rebounds and three steals as well, while Jaime Serna came off the bench to tally his 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. UCSB picked up the double-digit win despite collecting just three offensive rebounds.
The Bison let fly with a staggering 80 field goal attempts in 45 minutes of action last night, hitting 40 percent of them but not quite able to finish the job against Oregon at McArthur Court. Leading four players in double figures was Michael Tveidt who rallied with 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 behind the three-point line, while Marshall Bjorklund recorded a double-double with 18 points and a team-best 10 rebounds before picking up his fifth foul and taking a seat on the bench. Nate Zastrow came on in relief and chipped in 12 points, although he shot just 2-of-7 from the floor, while Eric Carlson's mere 3-of-12 shooting effort resulted in 10 points before he too picked up his fifth personal foul of the night. The team shot an impressive 9-of-20 behind the three-point line, but a mediocre 19-of-27 at the charity stripe.
After what they did against Oregon last night, the Bison proved that they are not to be taken lightly. In fact, with another strong effort and as long as they can keep control of the ball, a victory for NDSU is certainly not out of the question tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota State 78, UC Santa Barbara 73
11/13 10:35:08 ET