FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State, the preseason choice to finish second in the Summit League, thumped league newcomer UNO 95-51 Thursday night in the league opener for both teams.
“They did the things well that they normally do well, plus they shot it extremely well,” UNO coach Derrin Hansen said.
The Bison (6-2 overall) shot 62.1 percent from the field in the second half and 58.1 percent for the game. They were even deadlier from 3-point range, hitting 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) in the second half and 15 of 25 (60 percent) overall.
The Bison had been shooting 46 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point range.
All-Summit candidate Taylor Braun tied a school record with seven 3s en route to 26 points. Braun, who had been 8 for 26 (30.8 percent) from long range after connecting on 45 percent last season, evened things up by going 7 for 9.
“He’d only made eight all year … then he’s 3 for 3 before we blinked an eye,” Hansen said.
Still, UNO (2-6) trailed only 40-30 late in the first half, but went 0 for 3 with two turnovers to trail 49-30 at the break, then was outscored 9-2 to start the second half.
“The last 312 minutes of the first half and the first 312 minutes of the second half were the most disappointing portion of the game,” Hansen said. “We had a chance to dig in and get to within six or eight at the half, but then quick shots, turnovers. … We’re still learning. We got a little hurried there.”
Justin Simmons led UNO with 14 points, while Matt Hagerbaumer had a career-high nine points off the bench. Alex Phillips scored eight.
“The last two to three weeks, Matt has played really well for us,” Hansen said of the 6-foot-7 junior forward. “He’s been active and engaged.”
UNO played without senior forward Koang Doluony, who didn’t make the trip to attend to personal matters. The Mavs play Saturday at South Dakota State.
UNO also got limited duty from point guard CJ Carter, who played just 17 minutes and scored only two points as he recovers from a back injury.
“He just really wasn’t himself, and once the game got out of hand we shut him down for the rest of the night,” Hansen said. “He’s closer than he was two or three days ago, but he’s not 100 percent.”
North Dakota State, which for the record stayed closer to No. 1 Indiana earlier this season than did No. 14 North Carolina on Tuesday, had four others in double figures: Marshall Bjorklund (14), TrayVonn Wright (14), Lawrence Alexander (13) and Chris Kading (10).