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Chris Murphy, Published November 17 2012

NDSU cruises by Mayville State 73-40

FARGO – The North Dakota State men’s basketball team went from playing top-ranked Indiana on Monday to facing Mayville State of the NAIA on Saturday. And the results showed the difference.

“I didn’t notice any difference out there,” NDSU coach Saul Phillips said with a laugh. “In any sport, you take the teaching moments from each game. You take the things that you can learn from each game and the rest of it doesn’t really help you. It’s just extra baggage you carry along as a player. I want our guys to move from game to game, learning what they can learn, but without dwelling on any specific one.”

The scoreboard certainly looked different than the Indiana game, as NDSU defeated Mayville State

73-40 Saturday at Bison Sports Arena.

The Bison lost to Indiana 87-61.

“We just had to do the things we do in practice every day,” said NDSU shooting guard Mike Felt, who netted 15 points, nine of which came from behind the 3-point line. “You have to move on from Indiana. You always have to think of the next game. The next game is the most important game.”

NDSU nearly had a 33-15 lead wrapped up by the halftime break, but Mayville State’s Austin Emerson buried a 3-pointer as he was fouled. Emerson missed the free throw, but Dexter Elliot was there for the putback and the Comets took momentum into the break, only down 13.

That momentum didn’t last long.

NDSU (2-1) opened the second half with a 26-8 run and cruised from there.

“We were more patient offensively,” Phillips said. “We turned the ball over nine times in the first half and two times in the second half. That, in a nutshell, was the difference. We’re a team that takes pride in taking care of the ball, and when we do that, we’re pretty good. When we don’t, we can lose to anybody.”

The scoring came from a lot of sources for NDSU, as the Bison got 16 points from Taylor Braun, 15 points each from Felt and Chris Kading and eight points each from Marshall Bjorklund and Lawrence Alexander.

“You just have to approach each team the same way and bring the same energy and treat every game the same,” Kading said. “We knew we didn’t play well (in the first half) and we wanted to bring energy. We have to play a full 40 minutes. We can’t come out and turn the ball over in the first half.”

NDSU is heading east, as the Bison will take on Youngstown State, Duquense and James Madison in Pittsburgh as part of a tournament Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Youngstown beat Georgia by 15 at Georgia, we got a Colonial Athletic Association team and all they’ve done is send two teams to the Final Four the past decade, and then you got a team from the Atlantic 10, which is the best conference you’ve never heard of in the Midwest,” Phillips said. “Now we can start to really, really kick up the learning curve here. We should be better than we were before this stretch. Now, let’s compete.”

MSU (3-3): Edwards 0-1 0-0 0, Ivory Jr. 6-11 8-8 20, Coauette 1-1 0-0 2, Hyman 0-6 0-0 0, Baudin 0-3 4-5 4, Bigelow 4-11 0-1 11, Diaz 0-1 0-0 0, Elliot 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 12-39 13-16 40.

NDSU (2-1): Wright 2-4 0-0 4, Bjorklund 3-3 2-2 8, Alexander 2-7 4-4 8, Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Braun 5-9 5-7 16, Newell 1-3 0-2 2, Felt 5-11 2-4 15, Zastrow 0-2 1-2 1, Kading 5-7 5-6 15, Aaberg 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-49 19-27 73.

Half: NDSU 33, MSU 20. 3-point goals: MSU 3-12 (Edwards 0-1, Hyman 0-3, Lindsay 0-1, Emerson 3-6, Diaz 0-1), NDSU 4-17 (Wright 0-2, Alexander 0-1, Brown 0-1, Braun 1-4, Felt 3-8, Zastrow 0-1). Total fouls: MSU 23, NDSU 17. Rebounds: MSU 24 (Ivory Jr. 7), NDSU 30 (Braun 6). Assists: MSU 5 (five with 1), NDSU 9 (four with 2). Steals: MSU 4 (Ivory Jr. 2), NDSU 10 (Braun 3) Turnovers: MSU 20 (Ivory Jr. 4, Emerson 4), NDSU 11 (Braun 3, Bjorklund 3).

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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548