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Eric Peterson, Published November 03 2012

Wright, Bison rally past Dragons for overtime win

FARGO – The Bison didn’t get burned by the Dragons this time.

TrayVonn Wright scored seven points in overtime Saturday at the Bison Sports Arena. That scoring burst vaulted North Dakota State to a 72-67 overtime victory against Minnesota State Moorhead in exhibition men’s basketball.

“I found a couple shots to fall in the hoop,” said Wright, who finished with 16 points.

NDSU, an NCAA Division I program, avoided losing to the Division II Dragons for a second consecutive season. MSUM earned a 90-84 double overtime win in the exhibition season last year.

“It was a very good game for us, especially with last year’s memories kind of lingering there, for our guys to set their jaw and end up getting the win,” said Bison head coach Saul Phillips.

The Dragons had a

four-point lead with a shade more than two minutes to play in regulation before NDSU rallied to force overtime.

“The good thing is we learned a lot,” Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. “We played a very good basketball team. They presented a lot of challenges. I’m sure they will do very well.”

The Dragons took a 59-55 lead with 2 minutes, 8 seconds to play in the second half after sophomore guard Jordan Riewer drained a 3-pointer from the left wing.

“It seemed a lot like last year,” Phillips said.

The Bison countered with the final four points in regulation. NDSU sophomore guard Lawrence Alexander swished a runner in the middle of the lane that tied the score at 59-59 with 15 seconds remaining in the second half.

The Dragons had a chance to win in regulation, but Anthony Tucker’s 3-point attempt was off the mark in the final seconds. Tucker had a big game for the Dragons, scoring a game-high 21 points. Tucker, who started his career at the University of Iowa, scored 15 of those points after halftime.

The 6-foot-4 guard also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists.

“He’s really good,” Phillips said. “He was a Big Ten player for a reason.”

The Bison scored 11 of the first 14 points in overtime to take control. Wright accounted for seven of those points. The 6-7 forward drained a

3-pointer from the right wing that gave NDSU a

68-62 lead with 2:13 to play in overtime. The Bison built a 70-62 lead after freshman Kory Brown sank two foul shots with 1:17 to play in the extra session.

“We put together stops and buckets, that’s what it came down to,” Wright said.

Junior forward Taylor Braun paced the Bison with 19 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field. Braun left the game due to a leg injury in the final two minutes of overtime. Phillips said the injury to Braun wasn’t structural.

The Dragons led by as many as five points in the second half, but they were held scoreless in the final two minutes of regulation and the first two minutes of overtime.

MSUM: Novak 6-9 0-1 12, Filipek 1-2 1-1 3, Tucker 8-18 0-0 21, Riewer 3-8 3-3 12, Vaughan 3-7 2-2 10, Holt 0-3 0-0 0, Wohler 0-1 0-0 0, Figini 1-2 0-0 2, Olson 3-4 1-3 7. Totals 25-54 7-10 67.

NDSU: Wright 7-14 0-0 16, Bjorklund 4-6 2-3 10, Alexander 5-11 5-7 16, Brown 0-2 2-2 2, Braun 6-10 7-7 19, Felt 2-10 1-2 7, Zastrow 0-2 0-0 0, Kading 0-1 0-1 0, Aaberg 0-1 2-2 2. Totals

Half: NDSU 29, MSUM 21. Regulation: MSUM 59, NDSU 59. 3-point goals: MSUM 10-25 (Tucker 5-13, Riewer 3-7, Vaughan 2-3, Holt 0-2), NDSU 5-22 (Wright 2-8, Alexander 1-3, Brown 0-1, Braun 0-1, Felt 2-7, Zastrow 0-1, Kading 0-1). Total fouls: MSUM 16, NDSU 13. Rebounds: MSUM 31 (Tucker 8), NDSU 38 (Braun 9). Assists: MSUM 11 (Riewer 5), NDSU 8 (Braun 3). Steals: MSUM 2 (Tucker, Figini), NDSU 6 (Braun 3). Turnovers: MSUM 10 (Tucker 4), NDSU 5 (five players with 1).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com