Bison tabbed for No. 1 seed
FARGO — The second season for North Dakota State started on Sunday with a not-so-surprising announcement from the NCAA. The Bison were tabbed as the No. 1 overall seed in the Division I FCS playoffs.
NDSU earned a first-round bye and will host the winner of South Carolina State and Furman in the second round at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. The Bison have never played either team but one thing is certain: the state of South Carolina will be represented at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. Furman is based in Greenville, S.C.
“I know there are a lot of good players in South Carolina,” head coach Craig Bohl said on his Sunday coach’s show. “And I do know South Carolina State has a lot of good athletes. I don’t know much about Furman, but we’ll be finding out a lot more in the next week or so.”
The Bison, 11-0, are guaranteed home field advantage throughout the playoffs if they keep advancing. The FCS championship game will return to Frisco, Texas in early January.
Furman, 7-5 overall, earned the automatic berth from the Southern Conference with a 6-2 league mark. The Paladins were 2-4 at one point in October before putting together a string of victories. South Carolina State (9-3) shared the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title, but got into the playoffs via an at-large bid.
NDSU got the Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic berth by virtue of its third straight conference title. The league, despite its No. 1 status in the Gridiron Power Index, has only two representatives in the playoffs with South Dakota State being the other.
“It’s a surprise and it’s a disappointment,” Bohl said. “You will always have some debate on who should make it. I don’t know the wisdom and the knowledge of the guys in those rooms, but I certainly think our league deserved three teams in the playoffs. It’s disappointing.”
Youngstown State, which lost its last three games, finished 8-4. Northern Iowa, although 7-5, also had a case to make with wins over Big 12 Conference member Iowa State and a 41-6 thumping of McNeese State, which got the No. 6 seed in the playoffs.
rival Bison 95-77
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Troy Huff scored 32 points and snagged 10 rebounds to lead North Dakota to a 95-77 win over rival North Dakota State on Sunday.
Huff, who shot a career high 37 last week at Wisconsin, remained hot from the field, hitting 8 of 12, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, and 13 of his 17 free throws. Joining him in double digits for North Dakota (2-1) was Aaron Anderson with 18 points, Jaron Nash with 12, and Chad Calcaterra, 11.
The Bison (2-3) never led the game but caught North Dakota midway through the first half to tie it at 19 with a steal and a dunk by TrayVonn Wright. North Dakota regained the lead moments later on a Josh Schuler jumper and never relinquished it.
Taylor Braun led North Dakota State (2-3) with a game-high 34 points, and Marshall Bjorklund added 11.
skate to 3-3 tie
BOSTON (AP) — Boston University goalie Matt O’Connor made a career-high 55 saves as the Terriers skated away with a 3-3 tie with No. 15 North Dakota on Saturday.
O’Connor was the key to the weekend for the Terriers (6-6-1), who earned a win and draw with UND (4-6-2). O’Connor turned away 37 shots in Friday's 3-1 win.
North Dakota put 58 shots on goal, but O’Connor was beaten just three times.
When the goals did come, they came in quickly.
Garrett Noonan put the Terriers on top with a power-play goal at 6:57 of the first period. But Bryn Chyzyk answered with a score.
BU had three power plays in the period, the first coming just 12 seconds into the game when Stephane Pattyn charged into BU goalie Matt O'Connor.