Bison Close Strong to Take Sun Bowl Invitational Title, 63-51

EL PASO, Texas (NDSU Athletics) -- The North Dakota State men’s basketball team outscored UTEP 19-2 over the final 7:35 of the game, pulling away to earn a 63-51 victory and take the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational title.

North Dakota State guard A.J. Jacobson (21) blocks Southern California guard Jordan Usher (1) on a drive to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

NDSU (7-6) trailed UTEP 49-44 with just under eight minutes remaining, but the Bison rattled off a 14-0 run to take a commanding 58-49 advantage with two minutes left. Following buckets by Paul Miller and Spencer Eliason to pull within one, NDSU sophomore Jared Samuelson drained a three to give the Bison a 51-49 lead.

A.J. Jacobson capped the 14-0 run with a trey to go ahead nine with 2:02 remaining.

Miller led all players with 19 points. Bison sophomore Tyson Ward recorded his second career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

The Bison posted a 50-30 rebounding advantage over the Miners. Jacobson matched his career high with 12 rebounds.

Despite shooting 25 percent in the first half and 1-of-10 from three-point range, the Bison trailed UTEP by only four at the break, 25-21. NDSU bounced back to shoot 46 percent after halftime.

For the second straight game, NDSU set new season-highs for free throws made (21) and free throws attempted (29).

NDSU snapped UTEP’s four-game winning streak in front of 6,913 fans. The Bison trailed by as many as 11 in the first half.

The Bison host Jamestown on Saturday, Dec. 30.