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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bison Sports Arena (5,893) -- Fargo, North Dakota. Television: Fox College Sports. Home Record: Oakland 4-0, NDSU 7-0. Away Record: Oakland 3-11, NDSU 5-3. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-0, NDSU 2-0. Conference Record: Oakland 2-2, NDSU 5-0. Series Record: Oakland leads, 8-4.
GAME NOTES: The Oakland Golden Grizzlies will try to be the first Summit League team to take down North Dakota State when they square off at Bison Sports Arena on Saturday.
Oakland was handed an 81-74 loss at South Dakota State on Thursday as it returned from its brief trip away from Summit League action. The setback to the Jackrabbits dropped the Golden Grizzlies to a 7-11 overall record, but they are still 2-2 in Summit League competition. Coach Greg Kampe's team is just 3-11 in true road games this season, but it has faced some very tough opponents in Boise State, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, and Ohio University along the way.
North Dakota State coasted past IUPU-Fort Wayne, 63-44, to earn its sixth straight win and improve to 7-0 on its own court. The Bison and Western Illinois are the only two teams left in the Summit League without a conference loss. North Dakota State has not only been one of the highest scoring teams in the Summit League, but one of the most efficient as well. The Bison are shooting the best percentage from the field (.483) among conference teams to produce 70.9 ppg. North Dakota State is equally adept on defense where it limits opponents to only 57 ppg on 37.7 percent shooting from the field.
This will be the 13th meeting between these schools on the hardwood. Oakland holds an 8-4 all-time series lead.
The Golden Grizzlies come in on a two-game slide as before SDSU, they were defeated by 20 points at Alabama. Oakland was much more competitive versus the Jackrabbits as it held a slim lead at the break and stayed close until the late stages of the second half. Sophomore center Corey Petros had a monster double-double to lead the Grizzlies with 22 points and 15 boards, while Travis Bader tallied 21 points. Ryan Bass added 16 with the help of three makes from beyond the arc. Bader, who is second in the league with 19.7 points per game, finished 4-of-17 from the floor and made just 2-of-11 tries from 3-point range. Despite the lack of accuracy in his recent outings, Bader is tied for the national lead in makes from beyond the arc (68). Petros adds 12.8 points and 7.6 boards per outing, while Mondy serves as the third option at 12 ppg.
North Dakota State clamped down on defense against IPFW and held the Mastodons to 37.7 percent shooting overall. NDSU held a 28-25 edge in the rebounding battle and outscored IPFW, 44-16, in the paint. The Bison also had a 37-25 edge on the boards in the contest, while outscoring UMKC 40-18 on points in the paint.The top offensive option for the Bison is Taylor Braun (15.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg). Marshall Bjorklund (13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg) has perhaps been the more reliable scorer, as the 6-foot-8 forward has hit on 70.7 percent of his field goal attempts, which is the second-best mark in the nation.
The Golden Grizzlies always have a puncher's chance due to their ability to light it up from beyond the arc. Bader will need to shoot himself out of the recent slump (8-of-31 FG, 3-of-16 3PT) he has experienced over his past two games for Oakland to come out with a win. Even if Bader does shoot well, a win at the Bison Sports Arena will not come easy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota State 79, Oakland 74
01/12 10:50:47 ET
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