Tag: North Dakota State Bison

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North Dakota State head coach David Richman addresses team following loss to No. 2 Gonzaga (VIDEO)

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No. 15 North Dakota State was unable to duplicate its NCAA tournament success of a season ago Friday night, as they fell 86-76 to No. 2 Gonzaga in a South Region matchup in Seattle. David Richman’s team fought throughout however, with Dexter Werner sparking a second-half comeback on his way to a career-high 22 points. Werner led four Bison in double figures, with senior guard Lawrence Alexander next in line with 19 points.

Following the game Richman addressed the team in the locker room, both discussing the standard that’s been set within a program that’s been to three NCAA tournaments in the last seven years while also thanking them for the work they put in. He also thanked Alexander, who will go down as one of the school’s all-time greats.

“Learn from him. He’s a hell of a player, guys,” Richman said of Alexander. “The numbers speak volumes for it, OK? They do. Your hunger and humility, kid, is what we’re all about. And I don’t have anything great to say to you, except for what all of us can say and a whole bunch of other people is thank you.

“You’ve raised the bar at North Dakota State University men’s basketball. A standard has been set by you. This culture changed when you go here. Myself, my family, every one of these kids are forever indebted to you. I love you, and I know this is just the start for you. Go finish it.”

Video credit: NDSU Athletics

Late Night Snacks: No. 7 Gonzaga, three other teams claim automatic bids

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Robert Morris 66, St. Francis-Brooklyn 63

One night after William & Mary fell short of its goal of earning the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament bid, NEC regular season champion St. Francis-Brooklyn met the same fate on their home floor. Rodney Pryor led five Colonials in double figures with 17 points and Elijah Minnie grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go along with his 14 points. Tyreek Jewell had a chance to tie the game with three free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining, but he missed the first two and missed the third intentionally.


1. No. 7 Gonzaga 91, BYU 75

The Bulldogs avenged their lone WCC loss Tuesday night, and WCC Defensive Player of the Year Gary Bell Jr. was a key reason why. Bell was the primary defender on BYU’s Tyler Haws, who scored 15 points but did so on 6-for-14 shooting. Six Bulldogs finished in double figures, led by Kyle Wiltjer who scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds, and BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth led all scorers with 28 points. While Gonzaga will likely be a two-seed, an anxious five-day wait begins for BYU.

2. Valparaiso 54, Green Bay 44

Both teams defended well but the Crusaders were just a bit better on that end, as the limited the Phoenix to 30.2 percent shooting. David Skara scored 12 points off the bench and E.Victor Nickerson added 11 for Valparaiso, whose head coach (Bryce Drew) was on the team that’s responsible for both of the program’s NCAA tournament victories (1998). Keifer Sykes scored 14 points for Green Bay but he shot 5-for-15 from the field, and Carrington Love made just one of his ten shots from the field.

3. North Dakota State 57, South Dakota State 56

Lawrence Alexander scored 25 points, with 16 coming in the second half, to lead North Dakota State to its second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Both teams were solid defensively, but the Bison holding the Jackrabbits to less than 32 percent from the field gave them the upper hand. Cody Larson led South Dakota State with 19 points.


1. Virginia Tech’s Jalen Hudson

Hudson scored 32 points and made the game-winning shot in the Hokies’ one-point win over Wake Forest.

2. Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan

Like Hudson, Hanlan’s late-game heroics were the difference in a one-point win. Hanlan scored 25 points in a 66-65 win over Georgia Tech.

3. Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer

Wiltjer scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 91-75 win over BYU.

4. North Dakota State’s Lawrence Alexander

Alexander scored 25 points, shooting 6-for-9 from three, in the Bison’s 57-56 win over South Dakota State.


1. Georgia Tech’s Quinton Stephens

Stephens struggled mightily in the Yellow Jackets’ loss to Boston College, shooting 1-for-12 from the field.

2. Green Bay’s Carrington Love

Love shot 1-for-10 from the field in Green Bay’s 54-44 loss at Valparaiso in the Horizon League title game.

3. South Dakota State’s George Marshall

Marshall scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds, but he shot just 2-for-11 from the field in the Jackrabbits’ loss to North Dakota State.


  • ACC first round: There were two one-point games in Greensboro Tuesday, with Boston College beating Georgia Tech 66-65 on an Olivier Hanlan jumper with 10.9 seconds remaining and Virginia Tech beating Wake Forest 81-80. Jalen Hudson, who scored 32 points, gave the Hokies the win with a shot with 11.7 seconds remaining. Wednesday’s second round: Florida State vs. Clemson, Boston College vs. No. 19 North Carolina, Pittsburgh vs. NC State and Virginia Tech vs. Miami.
  • MEAC first round: Coppin State and South Carolina State were the two winners in Norfolk, with the Eagles holding off Bethune-Cookman 64-60 and the Bulldogs beating North Carolina A&T 63-54. Wednesday’s quarterfinals: Coppin State vs. North Carolina Central, South Carolina State vs. Norfolk State.
  • SWAC first round: Alcorn State won the lone game, beating Grambling State 66-52. Next up for the Hornets is top seed Texas Southern. Wednesday’s quarterfinals: Alcorn State vs. Texas Southern, Mississippi Valley State vs. Alabama State.

– Also, Princeton beat rival Penn 73-52 in what was the final game for Penn head coach Jerome Allen. Princeton’s Hans Brase led all scorers with 18 points.

Introducing Cinderella: Meet the North Dakota State Bison

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Conference: Summit League

Coach: Dave Richman

Record: 23-9 (12-4)

Ratings and rankings:

Kenpom: 158
RPI (per NCAA.com): 108
AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: In our latest bracket top seed South Dakota State was seen as a 15-seed, but North Dakota State could land on the 16 line.

Names you need to know: Lawrence Alexander (18.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg), A.J. Jacobson (11.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Kory Brown (8.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg), Carlin Dupree (7.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.7 apg)

Stats you need to know: The Bison shoot 38.1 percent from three and they’ve scored nearly 32 percent of their points by way of the three-point shot entering Tuesday’s game. What will also help the Bison in the NCAA tournament is the fact that they’re one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country. NDSU ranks third nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (77.1 percent), and they accomplish this by committee with seven players averaging between 3.7 and 5.4 rebounds per game. The tallest player of those seven: 6-foot-8 Chris Kading (4.0 rpg).

Tendencies: With Marshall Bjorklund and Taylor Braun gone from last season’s team, it’s understandable that the Bison don’t convert inside of the arc as well as they did in 2013-14. After shooting 55.4 percent from two last season (ranking sixth nationally), North Dakota State are making just over 45 percent of those looks this season. That’s why they’ve relied so much on the perimeter shot, with Alexander (94), Jacobson (52) and Paul Miller (34) being the leaders in three-pointers made. Defensively, the Bison play man the majority of the time.

Big wins, bad losses: Their best non-conference win came at home against Akron. Outside of that there isn’t a whole lot to sell when it comes to getting off of the 16-line. The Bison have two wins over South Dakota State, but their losses include Southern Miss, South Dakota and Oral Roberts.

How’d they get here: North Dakota State won the Summit League tournament as the two-seed, beating Denver, Oral Roberts and South Dakota State. The Bison limited the Pioneers and Golden Eagles below 60 points, and in their win over ORU they avenged a 16-point loss in the regular season finale for both.

Outlook: Not as good as it was a season ago. With Braun and Bjorklund inside the Bison had two talented front court prospects who could give opponents fits. They don’t have that kind of interior productivity, but they do have a stud in Alexander (Summit League POY) who can get hot from anywhere on the court. But given the likely seed, that’s unlikely to yield a result as memorable as last year’s.

How do I know you?: You saw them beat Oklahoma in last year’s NCAA tournament as a 12-seed, and in that game Alexander scored 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field. The head coach of that team, Saul Phillips, is now at Ohio and the head coach of their first NCAA team (2009) was Nebraska head coach Tim Miles.