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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Jungle (1,215) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: WRTV, HTSN. Home Record: NDSU 5-1, IUPUI 4-5. Away Record: NDSU 5-4, IUPUI 1-6. Neutral Record: NDSU 1-0, IUPUI 0-2. Conference Record: NDSU 0-1, IUPUI 0-1. Series Record: IUPUI leads, 7-3.
GAME NOTES: The North Dakota State Bison hope to get back on track on Saturday, as they travel to Indianapolis to face the IUPUI Jaguars in Summit League action from The Jungle.
North Dakota State is coming off a disappointing 82-71 setback to IUPU-Fort Wayne on Thursday in its Summit League opener. Marshall Bjorklund scored 19 points to lead the Bison, who had a four-game win streak halted. Senior Taylor Braun added 16 points and TrayVonn Wright had 15 points, five rebounds and three blocks North Dakota State, which lost for only the second time in 11 games overall.
The Bison trimmed an early 15-point deficit to three points on two occasions in the second half, but were unable to overtake IPFW.
The Mastodons raced out to a 25-10 lead midway through the first half and shot 6-for-10 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. After North Dakota State got within 38-31 at halftime, the Bison closed the gap to only three points at 50-47 with 11:42 to play. Later, a 3-point play by Lawrence Alexander again pulled the Bison within three points again, 62-59, but that was as close as they would get.
While Braun leads the Bison with 18.7 ppg, it's Bjorklund who is the nation's leader in field goal percentage. The 6-foot-8 senior is hitting 68.7 percent of his shots, averaging 15.3 ppg. Lawrence Alexander (10.8) and TrayVonn Wright (10.7) round out the double-figure scorers for North Dakota State, which averages 79.2 ppg and yields only 69.9 ppg.
IUPUI also comes into today's contest off a conference-opening setback, as it fell to South Dakota State on Thursday night, 86-70. Junior Ian Chiles scored 21 points to lead the Jags, who have lost six of their last seven. Junior Khufu Najee added 15 points and seven rebounds, and senior Mitch Patton tacked on 14 points for IUPUI, which stayed with SDSU for most of the game.
After trailing by as many as 12 early in the second half, the Jags crept back in the contest with Chiles hitting a corner trey with just over four minutes left to draw within 70-65. Just about a minute later, Najee connected on a 3- pointer of his own to draw IUPUI to within 73-70, but SDSU responded with a decisive 13-0 run to put the game away.
Chiles leads the Jaguars in scoring, averaging 17.6 ppg. He shoots at a 43.6 percent clip, but only hits 29.6 percent of his long-range attempts. IUPUI overall doesn't shoot the 3-pointer all that well, hitting only 31.9 percent as a team.
Patton is the only other Jags' player who averages in double figures with 12.2 ppg. He also leads the team with 6.3 rpg.
Khufu nets just 9.8 ppg for IUPUI, which averages 70.7 ppg while allowing 72.3 ppg.
The Bison were the preseason favorite to win the Summit League, but starting conference action with consecutive road setbacks would put them behind the eight-ball. Expect the Killer-Bs, Bjorklund and Braun, to put the Bison on their backs and overcome a challenged IUPUI squad that struggles at the offensive end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota State 78, IUPUI 65
01/11 12:04:17 ET
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