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North Dakota State (6-3) at Notre Dame (7-2)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 11, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Purcell Pavilion (9,149) -- Notre Dame, Indiana. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: NDSU 2-1, Notre Dame 7-1. Away Record: NDSU 3-2, Notre Dame 0-1. Neutral Record: NDSU 1-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Conference Record: NDSU 0-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Both the North Dakota State Bison and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish attempt to extend winning streaks on Wednesday night, as the teams get together at Purcell Pavilion as part of the Gotham Classic.

Since opening the season a disappointing 2-3, NDSU has caught fire with four straight wins to climb to 6-3. The Bison most recently faced Bryant on the road on Saturday and came away with a 66-62 victory to improve to 3-2 away from home.

Notre Dame, which began the season as a nationally-ranked team, has suffered early-season losses to Indiana State (83-70) and Iowa (98-93) to drop from the polls. Since their latest setback, however, the Irish have won back-to-back games over Delaware (80-75) and Bryant (70-59) to move to 7-2. They will face Ohio State at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 21 in the Gotham Classic showcase game.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs, and in fact NDSU has never before played a member of the ACC.

After falling behind by five points at halftime of its latest game, NDSU used a strong second stanza to capture a five-point victory over Bryant. It shot a modest 43.3 percent from the field (including just 3-of-11 from 3-point range) and it committed a game-high 17 turnovers, but it earned extra possessions by claiming a dominant 44-28 edge in the rebounding battle. TrayVonn Wright picked up 18 points and eight rebounds in the victory, while Marshall Bjorklund and Taylor Braun netted 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Bison have been outstanding on offense this season, pouring in 79.7 points per game on 51.3 percent from the field, which is tied for eighth-best in the nation. Braun is the top threat with 16.6 points per game, while Bjorklund (14.0 ppg) is shooting just shy of 70 percent from the field. Wright brings 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game to the table, while Mike Felt tallies 10.6 points per game off the bench.

The Irish fell behind Bryant late in the first half by four points, but finished the frame on an 18-2 run and cruised to victory after that. Even though they shot just 40 percent from the field, they managed to cash in on their free-throw attempts by making 20-of-26. Jerian Grant was outstanding with 23 points and nine assists to go with four steals and two blocks at the defensive end of the court. Garrick Sherman (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Pat Connaughton (17 points, 11 rebounds) both tallied double-doubles. On the season, Notre Dame boasts a +13.7 scoring margin with strong percentages from the field (.492), 3-point range (.418) and the foul line (.772). It's also in the black in terms of rebounding (+6.7) and turnovers (+3.0). Grant (19.8 ppg, 6.2 apg) has made 55 percent of his field goal attempts and is 17-of-39 from beyond the arc. Sherman (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Connaughton (13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Eric Atkins (12.4 ppg) round out a strong nucleus.

Both teams display balanced scoring in their respective lineups, but the Irish are simply the more talented team and should have no problem defending their home floor.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Notre Dame 83, North Dakota State 70

12/11 10:33:42 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8th
SFG 11
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
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RUTG 24
Final
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Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
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Final
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Final
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AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
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Final
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UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
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KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
Final
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SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
 
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
 
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
4th
PSU 17
OSU 17
 
Half
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
2nd
WASH 0
ARST 0
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
2nd Intermission
ARI 1
FLA 1
 
2nd
CAL 1
WAS 2
 
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14