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Tom Mix, Published January 04 2014

NDSU posts men's hoops win over Mayville State

FARGO – When the North Dakota State men’s basketball team begins Summit League play this week, it will do so in the midst of a nice run of victories.

The Bison defeated Mayville State 96-45 at the Bison Sports Arena on Saturday – the team’s ninth win in their last 10 games.

“I thought the guys used this game as a chance to get better,” NDSU head coach Saul Phillips said. “You can do one of two things in games like this. You can go out and not take every possession importantly or you can go out and execute. Our guys did a good job with that.”

Senior guard Mike Felt poured in a career-high 30 points to lead NDSU.

Since a 95-77 road loss to the University of North Dakota on Nov. 24, the Bison (11-4) have righted the ship.

“We had a rough night up at UND,” Phillips said. “(UND) played very well, so you have to give them credit, but I knew that loss wouldn’t rattle this group. We know what we are about and we know what we can do. We are going to be alright and we are going to continue to get better.”

NDSU’s lone loss since UND was to No. 2-ranked Ohio State. Mixed in with the run of victories is a win over Notre Dame, who defeated No. 7-ranked Duke on Saturday night.

The Bison entered the day shooting 51.2 percent, which ranks fifth in all of Division I. NDSU shot 57.1 percent (36 of 63) from the field against the Comets.

“We are a balanced team,” said Felt, who finished with six 3-pointers in the game. “We have slashers, shooters and Marshall (Bjorklund) down low. Our balance has helped us win a couple of games.”

NDSU jumped out against the Comets, starting the game with a 12-2 run, and then Felt started to heat up.

Felt connected for three 3-pointers in the first half, helping NDSU to a 40-18 halftime lead. Felt is only three 3-pointers shy of passing Ben Woodside for third on NDSU’s all-time list.

Saturday was an exhibition game for Mayville.

“Felt had an unbelievable game,” Mayville head coach Dan DeWitt said. “He shot the lights out, but this was just an opportunity for our guys to play against some higher-level competition and enjoy the experience.”

NDSU opens Summit League play 6 p.m. Thursday at Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne.

“Everything changes now,” Phillips said. “IPFW is playing extremely good basketball and they are right out of the chute. We have been a confident team and we continue to be. It is hard for that not to grow when you go into the locker room with a win under your belt. We haven’t lost a lot lately and the one we lost to a pretty good Ohio State team.”

MAYVILLE STATE (6-7): Butler 4-10 0-0 9, Wilson 4-6 1-1 9, Carroll 1-5 0-0 2, Page 3-3 0-0 6, Herman 3-6 0-0 9, Linday 0-4 1-2 1, Olson 2-5 1-2 5, Fitz 1-10 2-2 4, Berge 0-1 0-0 0, Joramo 0-1 0-0 0, DeWitt 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 18-53 5-7 45.

NDSU (11-4): Wright 2-5 3-3 7, Bjorklund 4-7 3-3 11, Felt 10-16 4-4 30, Brown 3-5 1-2 7, Alexander 3-7 0-0 7, Newell 1-1 0-0 2, Checkal 1-2 0-0 3, Dupree 6-7 0-1 13, Kading 1-4 0-0 2, Werner 3-5 4-9 10, Aaberg 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 36-63 15-22 96.

Half: NDSU 40, MS 18. 3-point goals: NDSU 9-21 (Felt 6-11, Alexander 1-3, Checkal 1-2 Kading 0-1, Wright 0-2, Bjorklund 0-1, Dupree 1-1), MS 4-15 (Butler 1-6, Carroll 0-1, Herman 3-4, Berge 0-1, Lindsay 0-1, Olson 0-2). Total fouls: NDSU 13, MS 19. Rebounds: NDSU 37 (Werner 7), MS 26 (Butler, Herman, DeWitt 4). Assists: NDSU 15 (Alexander 5), MS 9 (Carroll 4). Steals: NDSU 12 (Brown, Wright 3), MS 8 (Carroll, DeWitt 2). Turnovers: NDSU 12, MS 21.

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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562