Marshall Bjorklund had career highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds and North Dakota State never trailed in a 78-65 win over Fresno State in men's college basketball Saturday, Nov. 26, before a crowd of 3,251 at the Bison Sports Arena.
It was the third career double-double for Bjorklund, who was 12-for-15 from the floor and added three assists and a blocked shot. Jordan Aaberg kept up NDSU's interior play with 11 points, three rebounds and two blocks off the bench.
North Dakota State (6-0) raced out to a 38-21 halftime lead and went up by as many as 23 points midway through the second half threatening to turn it into a rout.
The Bison led 68-45 with 5:48 left to play, but Fresno State went on a 15-2 run to cut it to 10 points on a jumper from Kevin Olekaibe that made it 70-60 with 2:22 left.
Olekaibe finished with a team-high 24 points and Jonathan Wills had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (2-4).
The Bison made 8 of 11 shots to start the game and went ahead by double digits for good when Bjorklund's sixth basket made it 17-6 eight minutes in.
NDSU shot 53.6 percent in the first half and 50 percent overall. Fresno State made just eight first-half field goals and shot 26.7 percent before finishing at 40 percent overall.
North Dakota State tied a season-low with only eight turnovers despite facing full-court pressure from the Bulldogs most of the second half.
Lawrence Alexander had nine points and seven assists for NDSU, Mike Felt made three 3-pointers and finished with nine points, and TrayVonn Wright and Taylor Braun finished with eight points apiece.
North Dakota State, off to its best start since the 7-0 team in 2000-01, opens Summit League play at Western Illinois on Thursday, Dec. 1, and at IUPUI on Saturday, Dec. 3.