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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 30 2010

Men's basketball: Bison dominate Vikings, shoot 65 percent from the field with balanced scoring

North Dakota State returned Sunday from a five-day men’s basketball road trip. With a game Monday night against Valley City State, Bison head coach Saul Phillips said he felt like he was part of an NBA team.

On the Bison Sports Arena floor, the Vikings saw a Bison team that shot like one.

NDSU hit 71 percent of their shots in the first half and went on to an 88-55 victory in front of 1,333 fans. After two straight defeats that left the coach admittedly “ornery” all day Monday, the Bison improved to 4-3 heading into the Summit League opener Saturday at South Dakota State.

It wasn’t as if the accuracy was unexpected. NDSU came in fourth in the country in

3-point field goal percentage out of 336 Division I teams and didn’t cool off on a wintery night.

They hit 7 of 12 from beyond the arc and are now 49 of 102 for 48 percent.

“We have some shooters on our team,” said guard Drew Lundberg. “You look all around our team and we’re pretty versatile”

Nobody was better on Monday than guard Lundberg, who hit his first five shots – three of them 3-pointers – and the Bison led 28-15 at about halfway through the first half. He added a free throw and had half of NDSU’s offensive production to that point.

“They have a lot of shooters,” said Valley City guard Calvin Kraft. “They’re athletic and also very skilled. You almost have to play perfect just to contend with them.”

It was 45-23 at half and when a team hits 15 of its 21 field goals like NDSU did, upsets are tough to come by.

The Vikings, the defending Dakota Athletic Conference champions, fell to 3-7.

The begin league play Thursday at home against Minot State.

“We’ve played a tough stretch here and then this was our D-I game,” Kraft said. “You take the experience, you take everything and do what you can to make it better for the next game.”

Lundberg finished with 16 points. Centers Marshall Bjorklund and Andy Nagel added 12 points each on a night when the team’s top two scorers, forwards Michael Tveidt and Eric Carlson, weren’t needed.

By the way, the Division I leader in 3-point percentage is SDSU, which is flirting with 50 percent.

It appears NDSU will be without center Jordan Aaberg for awhile. He has yet to play a game because of a concussion and Phillips, when asked if redshirting is a possibility, said “we’re certainly getting near it.”

“I want to make sure everybody stays healthy,” he said. “There are certain advantages of (redshirting) and he could benefit from it.”

VALLEY CITY ST. (3-6): Carroll 1-7 0-1 2, Klingberg 4-4 0-2 8, Duske 2-6 6-6 11, York 1-3 0-0 2, Kraft 4-9 4-5 15, Bateman 2-5 4-4 8, Dykema 0-0 0-0 0, Kise 3-4 0-0 6, Schneidermann 0-1 0-0 0, Weber 1-5 1-2 3. Totals 18-44 15-20 55.

N. DAKOTA ST. (4-3): Tveidt 2-4 0-0 4, Carlson 3-5 1-1 7, Bjorklund 4-4 4-7 12, Coleman 4-7 0-0 10, Lundberg 6-8 1-2 16, Newell 0-0 2-2 2, Felt 3-5 1-2 8, Zastrow 1-2 3-6 6, Braun 0-1 4-6 4, Wright 2-4 3-4 7, Nagel 5-6 2-2 12. Totals 30-46 21-32 88.

Halftime–N. Dakota St. 45-23. 3-Point Goals_Valley City St. 4-13 (Kraft 3-7, Duske 1-2, Schneidermann 0-1, Bateman 0-1, Carroll 0-2), N. Dakota St. 7-12 (Lundberg 3-4, Coleman 2-3, Zastrow 1-2, Felt 1-2, Tveidt 0-1). Fouled Out–Klingberg. Rebounds–Valley City St. 20 (Weber 4), N. Dakota St. 27 (Braun, Coleman 6). Assists–Valley City St. 13 (Bateman 5), N. Dakota St. 17 (Zastrow 5). Total Fouls–Valley City St. 23, N. Dakota St. 20. A–1,333.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia