DENVER, Colo. (NDSU Athletics) -- The North Dakota State men’s basketball team limited Denver to just 22 points in the second half, pulling away for a 66-55 road victory over the Pioneers in the Summit League opener for both schools Sunday afternoon.
NDSU senior Vinnie Shahid led all players with 19 points, and senior Tyson Ward scored 18 for the Bison on 8-of-10 shooting. Junior Rocky Kreuser matched his career-high with 11 rebounds.
Denver (4-11, 0-1) was led by 17 points from Jase Townsend, who scored all 17 before halftime and went scoreless in the second half.
The game was knotted 33-33 at halftime. Tied at 35 with 17 minutes remaining, the Bison rattled off an 8-2 run to go ahead 43-37, and NDSU led the rest of the way. Shahid sparked the run with a three-pointer, Ward scored a bucket in the lane, and Kreuser drilled a three to put the Bison up six.
NDSU (9-5, 1-0) held a slim 49-47 advantage with seven minutes on the clock, but Tyler Witz scored in traffic and Shahid hit another three to put the Bison ahead by seven.
Shahid made 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and tied his season-high with five assists.
The Bison shot 47 percent for the game and held the Pioneers to 32-percent shooting, including a 6-for-30 effort for Denver after halftime.
NDSU returns home to host Western Illinois on Thursday, Jan. 2, in Summit League action.