North Dakota State (2-0) vs. Northern Arizona (0-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 13th, 4:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gym (4,800) -- San Francisco, California. Television: None. Home Record: NDSU 0-0, NAU 0-0. Away Record: NDSU 1-0, NAU 0-1. Neutral Record: NDSU 1-0, NAU 0-1. Conference Record: NDSU 0-0, NAU 0-0. Series Record: North Dakota State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Bison will try to remain perfect in the early stages of the season when North Dakota State takes on the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on the final day of the Hilltop Challenge.
Northern Arizona's start to the season has not been a pretty one, as they team was defeated convincingly by Louisiana (83-66), followed by another setback to San Francisco, 69-50.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Bison, who have looked outstanding in their first two games. North Dakota State took care of business against San Francisco on its home floor with a 73-65 decision. That was followed by an impressive 20-point victory over Louisiana on Saturday, 78-58.
These two teams have only played twice against each other and both games were during the 2008-09 campaign. The Bison were victorious in both matchups, including a seven-point decision in Flagstaff.
It is only November, but the Bison are playing like it is January, and that could be scary for opponents down the road. As for now, it is scary for any team that takes the floor with them. North Dakota State was like a well-oiled machine on Saturday, as the Bison shot 48.0 percent and finished 23-of-27 from the foul line in their win over Louisiana. Mike Felt stepped up his game off the bench, by leading the team with 18 points. Taylor Braun, who poured in 26 points and 10 rebounds in the opener, was back at it again, as he tallied 17 points in just 27 minutes of action. Braun, along with four other players were dealing with foul trouble and finished with four fouls apiece. Lawrence Alexander added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Marshall Bjorklund chipped in 13 points.
The Lumberjacks poor play offensively continued in the loss to San Fran, as NAU struggled just to get to the 50-point plateau. The Lumberjacks shot a very weak 35.8 percent from the floor and made only five of their 16 three-point attempts. Colin Gruber was the only starter in double-figures, as he finished with 14 points, and helping out off the bench was Danny Cheeck, who tallied 13 points. However, James Douglas, who scored 21 points in the opener, was no where to be found against San Fran, as the big man finished with just eight points and five turnovers.
The Bison have played extremely well early on and there is no reason to believe it is going to stop now. Look for North Dakota State to remain in the win column, while keeping NAU in the loss column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota State 77, Northern Arizona 64
11/13 10:36:57 ET