Blog Post

NDSU Men Get Career Night From Miller But Fall in Summit League Opener

The NDSU Bison men’s basketball team was unable ride momentum from a quick start and fell to the SDSU Jackrabbits in their Summit League opener Wednesday night 87-80.

NDSU scored the first seven points of the contest and had a 29-20 lead over half way into the first half. The Bison benefited from some good shooting from the floor going 16-for-32 from the field and 6-for-12 from behind the arc in the first half. “We came out with a lot of energy and I thought that was something that we lost” said senior guard Paul Miller.

The Summit League preseason favorite, SDSU, would fight back however. Going to their junior forward and reigning Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum. Daum had 22 points at half and finished with his 18th career 30-point game scoring 37 and grabbing 15 rebounds. “He’s obviously a tough matchup” said NDSU head coach Dave Richman, “he makes you pay for any mistake that you make”.

Nearly half of Daum’s points came at the free throw line where he went 16-for-16. “He got to the line tonight and a lot of those were him just making smart plays drawing defenders into fouls” said Miller. He saw a litany of defenders from Spencer Eliason to freshman Rock Krueser and even Dylan Miller for stretches but none had success keeping the junior Daum from the line. Daum has been a thorn in the side of NDSU and most opponents the past three seasons and he keeps getting better.  Richman thinks Daum has gotten better mentally as he has grown at the college level, “What stands out to me the most is his maturity his IQ those little intangibles that separate him”.

NDSU still held a one-point advantage at the half up 46-45 but the Jacks went on a 19-9 run to start the second half thanks in part to Daum but also contributions from others like Reed Tellinghuisen who finished with four 3-point field goals and 22 points. "We reverted back to feeling good about how we were playing offensively and our defense slid" said Richman "and that can't be us that's not this groups identity".

Senior guard Paul Miller lead NDSU with a career high 36 points “I wasn’t trying to be any extra aggressive I thought the shots were just falling tonight” said Miller. Miller also set a career high in three-point field goals going 7-for-9 from distance “he was terrific especially in that first half” said Richman “we need to get some other guys to step up around him”.

With the loss NDSU falls to 8-7 on the year and SDSU will improve to 13-5. Up next for the Bison is their first conference road test at the University of South Dakota on Saturday.

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