The Pioneers (8-7) ventured to lovely Fargo, North Dakota to face the 11-4 Bison. North Dakota State, predicted to finish second in the Summit League, were undefeated at home and led by Paul Miller (16.5 ppg.) and A.J. Jacobson (14.1 ppg.).
Like the botched kidnapping and ransom in the actual movie Fargo, DU’s matinee unraveled into an ugly mess as the Bison coasted to a 75-49 victory.
The game was 35-27 at the break with the Pioneers trailing but NDSU nearly doubled up DU points, 40 to 22, in the second half with 62% shooting from the field and an incredible 67% (8-12) from 3-point land. DU trailed again on rebounds, 28-14. This margin, combined with a 8-3 offensive rebound differential, created an impossible situation for the Pioneers to overcome. The chronic rebound imbalance continues to haunt the Pios, especially against the top two teams in the Summit League.
The bright spot for the visitors were freshman Joe Rosga who continues to impress with 16 points in 32 minutes and senior Bryant Rucker regaining his shooting touch on 4 of 5 from the field for 12 points in 23 minutes. Freshman C.J. Bobbitt played his second game after returning from illness and scored 5 points with 3 rebounds in 17 minutes of play. Nate Engesser and Marcus Byrd, two reliable offensive threats for DU, scored 2 points each. One of the Pioneers best friends, the three-point shot, betrayed them with 20% accuracy for the game.
This was a matinee to forget. Next up, number 3 league-ranked Oral Roberts invades Magness Arena of Wednesday, January 6th.