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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 09 2011

Felt gets hot as North Dakota State's men's basketball team prevails

North Dakota State raised a couple of banners recognizing its years of NCAA Division II basketball on Saturday night. Then the Bison men proceeded to give Centenary College a sendoff to Division III next season.

The hot hand of guard Mike Felt and his Division I shooting stroke did most of the waving.

The freshman completed the best weekend of the season – by a mile – by tying a school record for most 3-point field goals in a game. He was 7 of 11 in helping the Bison defeat the Gents 76-60 before 2,958 fans at the Bison Sports Arena.

Felt finished with 21 points. Combined with his 4 of 6

3-pointers in a victory Thursday night against Oral Roberts, Felt finished the weekend 11 of 17 from beyond the arc.

“Like I said on Thursday, the guys had my back and told me to keep on shooting,” Felt said.

He tied the mark held by Nick Ravn, Ben Nemmers (twice), Tyson Maroney, Denver TenBroek and Ross Manson (three times) with just over 10 minutes left in the game.

But he had just one attempt after that and missed it.

“I didn’t know that, I had no idea,” he said of the record. “I have four years here. I’m only a freshman.”

Averaging 9.6 minutes per game coming into Saturday, that could go up at this rate.

“Certainly, I’ve always been confident in him,” said NDSU head coach Saul Phillips. “Early in the year, we were leading the nation in 3-point shooting without him. He’s a spot reliever. A specialist. That’s a sign of a team heading in the right direction.”

Felt was recruited two years ago with a high-scoring reputation. He sat out most of last season with a foot injury and was granted a medical hardship. He didn’t lose his shooting touch, however.

“He literally has the prettiest stroke I’ve ever been around at any level,” Phillips said. “Big Ten, any level.”

Centenary saw it.

The winless Gents, who are leaving the Summit League after this season, have had close calls, losing 57-51 at Western Illinois and 77-69 at Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis in December. South Dakota State beat them 86-62 Thursday night in Brookings.

Against the Bison, they sat back in a zone defense hoping for an off shooting night by NDSU and a slower-paced tempo.

It worked for the first 10 minutes before the Bison blew it open at the end of the first half. Like he did Thursday, a trio of Felt 3-point field goals ignited the surge that ended with NDSU holding a 43-22 halftime lead.

“It’s always nice to get a run going into halftime,” Felt said.

Felt nailed another as part of an 8-0 run early in the second half and it was 51-26.

TrayVonn Wright added 15 points, Michael Tveidt 13 and Marshall Bjorklund 11. That meant freshmen comprised three of the four leading scorers sans the senior Tveidt.

“I was looking to get some freshmen some minutes throughout the game,” Phillips said. “Depth is something we always haven’t had here.”

CC (0-17, 0-6 Summit): Lowery 2-6 2-2 7, Trotman 4-6 4-7 12, Nakwaasah 3-8 1-2 7, Rebol 2-5 2-2 6, Harwell 3-7 3-4 9, Davis 1-3 0-0 2, Blount 3-5 0-0 6, Sims 0-2 0-0 0, Cooper 4-8 0-0 9, Nichenko 0-0 0-0 0, Diallo 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 23-52 12-17 60.

NDSU (9-6, 3-2 Summit): Tveidt 4-6 1-2 13, Bjorklund 3-5 5-5 11, Coleman 0-2 5-8 5, Lundberg 1-4 0-0 3, Braun 0-1 4-4 4, Felt 7-11 0-0 21, Zastrow 0-3 0-0 0, Carlson 1-2 0-1 2, Wright 4-6 7-12 15, Nagel 0-4 1-2 1. Totals: 20-44 24-36 76.

Halftime: NDSU 43, CC 22. Total fouls: CC 20, NDSU . Fouled out: none. Rebounds: CC 30 (Trotman 9); NDSU 29 (Nagel 6). 3-point goals: CC 2-9 (Lowery 1-2, Davis 0-2, Cooper 1-3, Nakwaasah 0-2); NDSU 12-25 (Tveidt 4-5, Coleman 0-1, Lundberg 1-3, Felt 7-11, Zastrow 0-3, Nagel 0-1). Assists: CC 11 (Harwell 6): NDSU 17 (Braun 5). Turnovers: CC 18 (Harwell 5); NDSU 16 (Coleman, Braun 4). A-2,958.

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