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Published December 17 2011

Bison bounce Comets in men's basketball

FARGO – The game counted for North Dakota State. It didn’t count for Mayville State.

It worked out just as it should have for both teams.

The Bison dominated from start-to-finish en route to a

92-50 nonconference victory against the NAIA Comets – which used the game as an exhibition – before 1,625 fans Saturday at Bison Sports Arena.

“It’s always good to be home,” said NDSU forward Marshall Bjorklund, who led the team with 15 points. “It’s always nice to come home and play here in the BSA. It kind of gives us an edge.”

NDSU (8-2) was coming off a grueling road swing with games against Western Illinois, IUPUI and Arizona State.

It went 1-2, with a last-second loss to the Sun Devils, on the trip. The Bison had not played a game before the home crowd in more than three weeks.

And the team gave fans more than their money’s worth.

NDSU drilled 79 percent of their shots in the first half en route to a 57-20 lead.

This one was over just a few minutes in. The Bison couldn’t miss, and Mayville State struggles for the second-consecutive night.

The Comets were defeated by Minnesota-Morris

84-51 last Friday.

The Bison game is the first of three exhibition games in a row for Mayville State. It plays Weber State and North Dakota in its next two games.

Comets coach Justin Johnson had hoped his team would rebound from loss against Morris with a good outing against NDSU.

It didn’t happen.

“For our team it’s been a roller-coaster of a season,” Johnson said. “Our last game out, we were really, really bad. We had a tough week of practice because of that. Yesterday we practiced for two-and-a-half hours. I thought we might come out a little better. But they are good. They are bigger, faster and stronger than we are.”

The Bison fell off their torrid shooting pace in the second half as the Comets improved from the floor.

But no amount of shooting touch could help Mayville overcome the Bison’s physical advantage in the paint.

NDSU outscored Mayville State 48-16 in the paint.

The Bison bench outscored the Comets bench 43-18.

The stat line and the final score all told the story.

It was a game that counted for NDSU, a game that didn’t count for Mayville State.

“We just worry about ourselves,” Bjorklund said. “We had to treat it like any other game. If we lost, it counts as a loss on our record. If we win, it’s a win. We had to try to get the win.”

MAYVILLE STATE (7-7): Kueber 3-10 2-2 8, Shulstad 6-15 0-0 16, Aasness 2-4 0-0 5, Elliott 0-2 0-0 0, Coauette 1-2 1-3 3, Robbins 1-5 0-0 2, Sanchez 0-3 0-0 0, Pyles 2-4 1-2 6, Mattson 1-2 0-0 2, Bauduin 2-7 1-2 5, Diaz 1-1 1-2 3. Totals: 19-55 6-11 50.

NDSU (8-2): Wright 3-3 0-0 7, Bjorklund 7-8 1-1 15, Hale 3-5 3-5 11, Alexander 3-6 0-0 7, Braun 3-5 3-4 9, Newell 1-3 0-0 3, Felt 3-6 0-0 9, Lindberg 2-4 1-1 5, Lundberg 5-6 0-1 11, Zastrow 1-4 0-0 3, Carlson 2-6 0-0 4, Aaberg 4-4 0-0 8. Totals: 37-60 8-12 92.

Halftime: NDSU 57, MSU 20. 3-pointers: NDSU 10-18 (Wright 1-1, Hale 2-3, Alexander 1-2, Braun 0-1, Newell 1-1, Felt 3-6, Lundberg 1-2, Zastrow 1-2), MSU 6-14 (Kueber 0-1, Shulstad 4-8, Aasness 1-2, Sanchez 0-2, Pyles 1-1). Total fouls: NDSU 13, MSU 12. Rebounds: NDSU 39 (Carlson 9), MSU 25 (Kueber 6). Assists: NDSU 15 (Alexander 5), MSU 14 (Kueber 4). Steals: NDSU 12 (Alexander 3), MSU 6 (Aasness, Pyles 2). Turnovers: NDSU 9, MSU 15.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com