Published January 08, 2015
Taylor Braun made a key layup while being fouled with 12 seconds left and added the free throw to lead North Dakota State to a 60-57 win over Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne for the Summit League title on Tuesday and the Bison's second trip to the NCAA tournament.
North Dakota State (25-6) last earned a berth to the NCAA tournament in 2009 during its first year of Division I postseason eligibility, but lost in the opening round to Kansas 84-74.
TrayVonn Wright led the Bison with 19 points on a mixture of dunks, layups and jumpers, and Braun added 15 points.
Pierre Bland, Luis Jacobo and Michael Kibiloski each scored nine points for IPFW (24-10) in its first Summit League title game.
IPFW coach Tony Jasick said the game was a tough defensive matchup and it's hard to get clean looks against the Bison.
"I thought we had a lot of balls on the rim that just didn't fall for us tonight," he said.
Jasick said IPFW has had a great run this season and he hopes to get a postseason invitation.
"I hope for our seniors that they get to play again," he said.
North Dakota State entered the game atop the Division I field goal shooting at 51.3 percent but shot just 40.7 percent from the field in the game, including 5 of 16 from beyond the arc.
The Bison took the lead a handful of times in the second half, but couldn't extend it until near the end.
The crowd of 4,263 at the Sioux Falls Arena was primarily pulling for North Dakota State, which sits about 240 miles due north of Sioux Falls in Fargo, N.D.