It wasn't always pretty, but the Bison got it done. North Dakota State extended its home winning streak to a staggering 29 games, defeating Montana State of the Big Sky on Wednesday night 73-64. The victory completes a sweep of the state schools in Montana, having defeated the Griz of UM earlier this season. The Bison are now 7-3 on the season.
NDSU didn't play a complete game by any means. The Bison beat this Montana State squad by 21 points in Bozeman a season ago, yet until Paul Miller splashed in a step-back three with 30 seconds left the Bison led by only three. "We've got a lot of work to do. It's my job, and our staff's to stay on them and we're not going to accept anything less than what Bison Basketball standards are. Every day in practice we're going to hold them accountable" said head coach David Richman.
The Bison were paced by AJ Jacobson. The sophomore guard filled the box score with 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and a steal. Jacobson was efficient from the field, shooting better than 50% from the floor and a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line. Paul Miller paired 11 second half points with a team high eight rebounds.
Junior forward Dexter Werner was excellent all night long. The Bismarck native's 11 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes were nothing out of the ordinary, but his career high six blocks were something to behold. "If you get two or three, then it feels like they're starting to shoot them towards your hands. It felt good to get a few and then it started rolling with team defense from there" said Werner.
The Bobcats were led, as they have been all season by guards Marcus Colbert and Tyler Hall. Hall and Colbert, the only two Bobcats averaging double figures this season, kicked in 12 points apiece. Colbert also pitched in five assists.
Hall, a true freshman, is a big reason for a more competitive Bobcats squad in '15-16. "Tyler Hall is an excellent player, for anybody let alone a true freshman" said Richman.
The Bison head out to a holiday tournament in Utah for a three game set. NDSU will take on Idaho State, UT Rio Grande Valley, and Utah State in Logan, UT between December 21-23. The Thundering Herd will return for a one home game against Northland College on Dec. 30 before beginning Summit League play at home against Denver on Jan. 3.