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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 13 2013

NDSU's Braun may miss up to six weeks with broken bone in foot

FARGO – North Dakota State’s smooth men’s basketball season suffered its first real glitch. Forward and leading scorer Taylor Braun will be sidelined four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his right foot Saturday night in a win against Oakland University (Mich.).

Replays showed Braun appeared to land on the foot of a television cameraman, who was stationed in front of the padding of the main basket support, after driving in for a layup. But NDSU head coach Saul Phillips on Sunday refused to play the blame game, saying it’s not certain that was the cause of the injury.

“There is no way of knowing,” he said. “It could have happened by landing on something or making a hard cut. I don’t think Taylor knows exactly. People can say that but you can’t tell on tape conclusively.”

Meanwhile, the Bison will be going back to work this week to figure out how to make up for Braun’s absence. Phillips said the hope is to get Braun back for the Summit League tournament in early March.

“It’s still a work in progress, figuring it out,” he said. “We’re looking at a lot of different things, but we’ll get through it one way or another. They’re men and they have to handle it. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t get you anywhere. Nobody will be pouting; I’ll make sure of that.”

Phillips said Nate Zastrow, the team’s only senior, will probably see more action as the backup point guard, a spot Braun played from time to time when Lawrence Alexander went out of the game.

NDSU, 15-3 overall and 6-0 in the Summit, hits the road this week for games at Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis Thursday and Western Illinois on Saturday. WIU is tied with the Bison at 6-0.

“I will say this: We need to continue our defensive emphasis,” Phillips said. “We need to lean on our defense and rally around each other.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia