Published January 08, 2015
Sioux Falls, SD (SportsNetwork.com) - TrayVonn Wright set the pace with 19 points as North Dakota State earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 60-57 triumph over IPFW in the Summit League title contest.
Taylor Braun contributed 15 points and six rebounds, while Marshall Bjorklund added 12 points for the Bison (25-6), who claimed their first conference crown since 2009 thanks to a late rally.
Pierre Bland, Luis Jacobo and Michael Kibiloski totaled nine points apiece for the Mastodons (24-10), who took down IUPUI and South Dakota State to reach the league final.
Bland's triple put the Mastodons ahead 51-48 with 4:23 left in the contest, but Bjorklund hit 1-of-2 from the line and Braun connected on both free throws to tie the contest.
Steve Forbes hit a jumper to give IPFW a two-point edge with 3:22 to go, but Braun responded from long distance to give NDSU a one-point lead. Forbes hit two from the line to give the visitors the lead back, then Braun hit back-to- back buckets around a Forbes miss -- the final one with 12 seconds left which included a free throw to cap a three-point play -- and the Bison were up 59-55.
Joe Reed's bucket in the final seconds pulled the Mastodons within two, but they were forced to foul on the inbounds and Kory Brown made one of his following two tries from the charity stripe to seal it.
The Mastodons controlled much of the opening 20 minutes, eventually taking a 35-27 edge, their largest of the half, on a Kibiloski triple. The margin stood at 35-30 heading to intermission after Chris Kading answered from long distance.
Forbes' basket to open the second half provided a seven-point edge for IPFW, its largest for the remainder of the contest. Wright's lay-in capped a 12-4 surge and put NDSU in front.
The schools traded turns with the lead until the late stages.
South Dakota State (2012-13) and Oakland (2010-11) won the Summit's playoff championship since the last time the Bison emerged victorious ... Bland led all players with nine rebounds and five assists ... NDSU claimed a 30-26 edge for points in the paint, but lost the battle of the glass, 37-29.