ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Bison men drop high-scoring contest to Oral Roberts

TULSA, Okla. - What was billed as a game between the conference's top two defensive teams instead turned into an offensive shootout, as the North Dakota State men's basketball team dropped a 89-80 decision to first place Oral Roberts University i...

TULSA, Okla. - What was billed as a game between the conference's top two defensive teams instead turned into an offensive shootout, as the North Dakota State men's basketball team dropped a 89-80 decision to first place Oral Roberts University in Summit League action at the Mabee Center on Thursday night.

The outing was the first of a two-game road swing that will have NDSU in Cedar City, Utah, on Saturday night to face Southern Utah. The loss drops the Bison to 10-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Oral Roberts meanwhile improves to 13-4, 5-0 in the Summit. The win was the Golden Eagles sixth in a row.

"Well, it was everything we expected it to be", Bison head coach Saul Phillips said afterwards. "They are a super tough team that know how to play the game and are coached extremely well. It was a terrific opportunity for our kids and we just came up short in the end."

Both teams shot well on the night, combining for 17 3-pointers and each shooting over 50 percent from the field.

"If you would have told me that they would shoot 52 percent and we would have a chance to win in the end, I am not sure I would have believed you", Phillips said

ADVERTISEMENT

NDSU came into the game allowing opponents to shoot 38 percent from the field and 68 points per game.

Perhaps the pivotal point of the game came when ORU's Michael Craion an offensive rebound and put it back to give the Golden Eagles an 83-78 lead with 1:52 to play in the game. North Dakota State's ensuing possession saw freshman point guard Lawrence Alexander commit a player control foul, giving the ball back to Oral Roberts.

Down 38-31 at intermission, NDSU had opened the second half with a 13-6 run to tie the game at 44 on a TrayVonn Wright 3-pointer with 17:21 left to play.

A Wright dunk on a feed from Marshall Bjourkland would put the Bison up 47-46 just over a minute later.

From there, the two teams would jockey back forth, paced by the hot shooting from NDSU - which shot 8 of 11 from behind the three point arc - and the offensive rebounding of Oral Roberts, which had 13.

"We knew going in what a great offensive rebounding team they were", Phillips commented. "They were able to keep several possessions alive by rebounding missed 3-pointers and converting".

Sophomore guard Taylor Braun led the Bison with 25 points in the contest.

"We played hard" he said after the game. "They are a good team, but we feel we are too. A rebound here or there might have made the difference".

ADVERTISEMENT

Oral Roberts was led by Dominique Morrison with 24 points. Post player Damen Bell-Holter added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bison had a strong contingent of NDSU fans on hand to support the team in Tulsa, as many of those planning to attend the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national title game in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday were on hand.

A number of them had flown into Dallas, driven the 4½ hours to Tulsa, with plans to head back to Frisco.

N. DAKOTA ST. (10-4): Wright 5-8 0-0 12, Bjorklund 5-8 0-2 10, Hale 2-3 0-0 5, Alexander 4-8 7-9 16, Braun 10-14 3-4 25, Felt 2-2 0-0 6, Lundberg 0-0 0-0 0, Carlson 0-0 0-0 0, Aaberg 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 31-46 10-15 80.

ORAL ROBERTS (13-4): Bell-Holter 7-15 4-4 20, Morrison 6-14 8-8 24, Craion 6-10 2-4 14, Pearson, Jr. 3-4 1-2 7, Niles 4-9 2-2 12, Lliteras 1-2 2-2 5, Roundtree 3-4 1-1 7, Manghum 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-58 20-23 89.

Halftime: Oral Roberts 38-31. 3-Point Goals: N. Dakota St. 8-11 (Wright 2-2, Felt 2-2, Braun 2-3, Alexander 1-2, Hale 1-2), Oral Roberts 9-16 (Morrison 4-5, Bell-Holter 2-4, Niles 2-6, Lliteras 1-1). Fouled Out: Hale. Rebounds: N. Dakota St. 22 (Bjorklund, Wright 6), Oral Roberts 26 (Bell-Holter 10). Assists: N. Dakota St. 13 (Alexander 7), Oral Roberts 14 (Pearson, Jr. 7). Total Fouls: N. Dakota St. 19, Oral Roberts 11. A: 2,524.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
What To Read Next
Area recreation scores and schedules.
Regional and local scores and schedules.
The Black Hawks trailed by two goals with just over six minutes left to play but rallied and upended Fargo in overtime on Saturday.
South Dakota State running away with regular season title