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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 30 2013

Bjorklund's accuracy paces NDSU over Concordia in exhibition basketball

FARGO – The active career leader in NCAA field-goal percentage was rather active on Wednesday night. All Marshall Bjorklund did was hit his first 11 shots from the field.

They don’t count in the official statistics, of course, because North Dakota State’s 98-49 win over Concordia College before 2,329 fans at the Bison Sports Arena was an exhibition men’s basketball game.

It was a game nonetheless to Bjorklund.

“It was good to finally push people around who are not on your same team,” he said. “It was good to get the game legs back.”

Lawrence Alexander’s offseason calf injury and Taylor Braun’s preseason accolades may have gotten the most attention this fall, but Bjorklund showed why the Summit League will have another year of trying to match up to his strength.

“Marsh is not a kid who is going to seek the spotlight,” said Bison head coach Saul Phillips. “He has no agenda other than finishing around the rim.”

He did that plenty, finally missing on a hurried put-back attempt just before the halftime buzzer, a half that ended with the Bison up

56-28. He did not play much in the second half and finished with 22 points.

Bjorklund enters this season hitting 66.3 percent of his shots in his first three seasons – an accuracy that currently ranks seventh on the all-time NCAA list. On Wednesday, Concordia had no answer for his 6-foot-8, 250-pound frame.

“There’s nothing you can do,” said Concordia head coach Rich Glas. “He’s just better than what we got. He’s going to do that to a lot of people.”

This was not an optimal year for the Cobbers to play this game against a veteran Bison team. They have no seniors and started three juniors and two sophomores. The bench was primarily sophomores.

Only two players came in with any extensive varsity experience. “A lot of young kids, but they worked hard,” Glas said.

NDSU played without guard Mike Felt, who was sick with the flu. It put freshman guard A.J. Jacobson into the rotation earlier than planned, although the intent was to play Jacobson a lot anyway to see how he could fit into the lineup.

Phillips said a decision has yet to be made on whether or not the Fargo Shanley graduate will redshirt.

“We’ll sit down this week and talk in earnest,” Phillips said. “It could be we’ll try to redshirt him and see what happens.”

CONCORDIA: Bolger 4-5 1-3 10, Zimmer 1-1 0-0 2, Rude 3-10 0-0 7, Giese 2-6 2-2 7, Ellingson 0-0 2-2 2, Zimmerman 0-5 1-2 1, Fraase 1-5 0-0 3, Abbas 0-1 2-2 2, Bergeson 1-2 3-4 5, Onkka 0-0 0-0 0, Syverson 2-7 2-2 6, Nelson 0-2 0-0 0, Hawkins 0-2 0-0 0, Deutsch 0-1 3-4 3, Kaczor 0-2 1-2 1. Totals: 14-54 17-24 49.

NDSU: Wright 2-6 0-0 4, Bjorklund 11-12 0-0 22, Alexander 2-6 6-9 10, Brown 3-7 0-0 6, Braun 4-5 3-4 12, Jacobson 1-6 6-6 8, Kading 9-12 0-0 21, Werner 1-4 5-7 7, Aaberg 3-4 1-2 7, Checkal 0-2 0-0 0, Newell 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 36-64 22-30 98.

Halftime: NDSU 56, CC 28. Total fouls: CC 23, NDSU 30. Fouled out: Syverson, Jacobson. Rebounds: CC 24 (Giese 5); NDSU 50 (Werner 12). 3-point goals: CC 4-23 (Bolger 1-1, Rude 1-4, Giese 1-5, Zimmerman 0-3, Fraase 1-2, Abbas 0-1, Bergeson 0-1, Syverson0-2, Nelson 0-2, Hogenson 0-2); NDSU 4-7 (Wright 0-1, Braun 1-1, Kading 3-4, Jacobson 0-1). Assists: CC 6 (Six with 1); NDSU 13 (Jacobson 4). Turnovers: CC 14 (Ellingson 3); NDSU 8 (Brown 3). A-2,329.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia