Senior Taylor Braun scored 33 points to lead the North Dakota State University men's basketball team to an 85-66 victory over Delaware in the BlackRock Gotham Classic on Monday, Dec. 16, inside the Bison Sports Arena.
NDSU (8-4) won for the sixth time in seven games, shooting 27-for-51 (52.9 percent) from the floor. The Bison, who entered the day among the top 35 teams in the nation in several Rating Percentage Index (RPI) projections, posted a 38-29 rebounding advantage and scored 42 points in the paint.
Braun's point total was the second-highest of his career, falling one point shy of the 34 he tallied at North Dakota on Nov. 24 of this season. He was 9-of-14 from the field and 13-of-15 from the free throw line in 37 minutes of action.
Delaware (5-5) was led by 24 points from senior guard Devon Saddler.
NDSU senior forward Marshall Bjorklund had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds. Sophomore Kory Brown registered a career-high five steals to go along with seven points, four rebounds and four assists.
The game was tied at 28-28 with six minutes remaining in the first half when the Bison went on a 15-2 run to take a 43-30 lead. Saddler drained a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to make the score 43-33 at the break.
NDSU stretched its lead to 20 at 53-33 on a Braun dunk with just under 15 minutes remaining in the game, but the Blue Hens battled back to pull within 11 at 74-63 with under five minutes left. Braun drove the lane for consecutive layups, and NDSU never relinquished its double-digit lead.
Braun scored 18 of his 33 points in the second half.
NDSU will face another Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponent in its next game, as the Bison host Towson at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.