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Win string now 9: Nemmers' 25 points leads balanced Bison attack

CoCo Cofield dribbled the ball near midcourt, one arm raised to the appreciative Bison Sports Arena crowd of 4,420. The North Dakota State team could just have well taken a bow.

CoCo Cofield dribbled the ball near midcourt, one arm raised to the appreciative Bison Sports Arena crowd of 4,420. The North Dakota State team could just have well taken a bow.

Like it has in the 4-0 North Central Conference men's basketball start, the entire Bison orchestra was a smashing hit.

This time, it was Ben Nemmers' turn to play conductor. His 25 points keyed an 89-74 victory over the University of South Dakota Saturday night.

NDSU's ninth straight win was done in familiar fashion: effort, defense, rebounding and unselfish offense.

"It's a lot of fun when you have nine guys who don't care if they score or if they get an assist," Nemmers said. "They just want to win. A team is tough to beat when you have nine guys buying into that and that's what this team has right now."

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Cofield had 18 points and six assists. Forward Aaron Green had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Like they've done throughout the streak, the Bison forged a halftime lead with sharp play late in the half. Jack May's inside bucket gave the Bison their first 10-point lead at 40-30.

The half ended 42-32.

The Bison never trailed from there in handing USD its fourth straight loss -- all on the road.

"It's been real tough in these kind of environments," said USD forward Tommie King. "The crowd. The refs. Now we're on the bottom of the pack and we never expected this."

A couple of major-league 3-pointers off individual moves by Vincent McGill helped the Coyotes pull within 49-45. But the Bison came back with crisp ball movement that resulted in several easy looks.

David Erbes' layup off a nice pass from Adam Witt put the Bison up 11. The lead reached 61-48 one possession later on two Cofield free throws with 11:45 left.

USD didn't hide. Nine straight got them within four again, this time 61-57.

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Nemmers helped put a stop to that momentum. His 3-pointer and three free throws, after being fouled on a 3-pointer, restored NDSU's 10-point advantage with 5:46 left.

"We lost track of him a couple of times and he hit some tough shots," King said.

All that was left was for Cofield to thank the fans.

"I just wanted to let them know to stick with us and we'll keep trying to win," Cofield said.

USD (10-6, 0-4 NCC): Mueller 2-10 2-2 6, McGill 6-13 0-1 14, Trofholz 6-8 5-8 17, King 8-14 3-7 19, Anderson 2-3 1-1 5, Hanson 0-1 4-4 4, Seim 0-0 0-1 0, Paben 4-10 0-0 9. Totals: 28-59 15-24 74.

NDSU (11-6, 4-0): Nemmers 7-13 5-5 25, Dobmeier 1-2 1-3 3, Cofield 7-11 2-2 18, A. Green 5-12 5-6 15, Kelchen 3-6 1-1 7, Witt 0-2 0-0 0, M. Green 3-7 0-0 6, May 4-4 0-1 8, Erbes 3-9 1-2 7. Totals: 33-66 15-20 89.

Halftime: NDSU 42, USD 32. Total fouls: USD 19, NDSU 18. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: USD 34 (King 10); NDSU 39 (A. Green 11). 3-point goals: USD 3-15 (Mueller 0-4, McGill 2-7, Hanson 0-1, Paben 1-3); NDSU 8-15 (Nemmers 6-9, Dobmeier 0-1, Cofield 2-3, A. Green 0-1, M. Green 0-1). Assists: USD 17 (Mueller 9); NDSU 17 (Cofield 6). Turnovers: USD 11 (Mueller, King 3); NDSU 9 (May 3). A--4,420.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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