Minneapolis, MN – The North Dakota State Bison aim for an upset as they visit Williams Arena to take on the 13th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers on Tuesday.
North Dakota State is coming off a 72-52 victory over instate rival North Dakota to improve to 8-2 overall. The win was the third in a row for the Bison, who are already 1-0 in Summit League action thanks to a win over Nebraska Omaha. NDSU is 2-3 in its history versus Top 25 opponents, but 0-1 this season due to a 26-point loss at No. 1 Indiana. Coach Saul Phillips has an impressive squad so far this year, as it is outscoring its opponents by an average of 15.3 ppg through 10 games.
Tubby Smith's Golden Gophers are off to a tremendous 10-1 start with the only loss coming from an encounter with the undefeated Duke Blue Devils. Minnesota picked up its sixth victory in a row on Saturday by downing USC by 14 points in Los Angeles. Prior to that, the team defeated Summit League foe South Dakota State by 24 points. Minnesota is averaging 76.5 ppg and holding the opposition to only 60.6 ppg.
Minnesota and North Dakota State are playing for the second straight season and the 28th time overall. Minnesota won the game last season, 63-59, to increase its all-time series lead to 26-1.
The Bison are netting 72.8 ppg on 46.4 percent shooting from the field, while limiting their opponents to 57.5 ppg and just 37 percent shooting. NDSU was outshot by North Dakota its last time out, but the Bison committed only six turnovers and forced 19 to cruise to the 20-point decision. Junior shooting guard Taylor Braun led the team with 22 points, while center Marshall Bjorklund and forward TrayVonn Wright tallied 13 and 10 points, respectively. Braun is leading the team with 15.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest, while Bjorklund is adding 11.4 ppg.
Smith picked up his 500th career win in his team's victory over the Trojans on Saturday. The Gophers held the Trojans to a 1-of-11 mark from beyond the arc and held a 40-32 advantage in the rebounding battle. Andre Hollins led four Minnesota players in double figures with 14 points, while Rodney Williams registered a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards. Senior forward Trevor Mbakwe continued to be a spark off the bench with 12 points. The balanced attack is a regular occurrence for the team as Andre Hollins (13.7 ppg), Williams (12.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Austin Hollins (11.7 ppg), and Joe Coleman (10.5 ppg) are all scoring in double figures regularly.