The North Dakota State men's basketball team opened up a 21-point halftime lead and rolled to an 82-54 victory over South Dakota on Thursday evening to clinch the regular season Summit League championship outright. NDSU has won six straight games and 11 of its last 12.
NDSU (22-6, 11-2 Summit) will be the No. 1 seed for the Summit League Championship held Mar. 8-11 in Sioux Falls, S.D. With a seven-team bracket this year, the Bison receive a bye through the quarterfinals of the tournament.
NDSU's league title was its first since also winning The Summit League outright in the 2008-09 season. The Bison clinched on their home floor for the first time since winning the North Central Conference Crown in 1981.
Senior Taylor Braun led the Bison with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists. Senior Mike Felt came off the bench to score 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, and TrayVonn Wright chipped in 14 points.
USD (12-16, 6-7) never led in the game. Karim Rowson was the Coyotes' top scorer with 10 points.
The Bison raced out to a 24-3 lead in the game's first 14 minutes, and South Dakota did not make its first field goal until 6:02 left in the first half. NDSU limited the Coyotes to 4-for-22 shooting (18.2 percent) in the first half and held a 36-15 lead at the break.
NDSU scored 46 second-half points to run the final margin to 82-54.
NDSU shot 51.7 percent for the game, including an 11-for-19 effort from three-point range.
The Bison will host Denver on Saturday, Mar. 1, at 7 p.m. NDSU will recognize seniors Marshall Bjorklund, Jordan Aaberg, Fred Newell, Braun, Felt and Wright following the game.