ETSU never led and the Bison posted a 78-68 victory in a non-conference game at the Scheels Center.
The Bucs fell to 8-2. North Dakota State, which improved to 6-4, led by as many as 19 points in the second half.
Bo Hodges led ETSU with 23 points and nine rebounds. It was the fifth time in his career that he has scored at least 20 points in a game.
Tray Boyd added 18 points and Daivien Williamson had 16.
Tyson Ward and Rocky Kruser led North Dakota State with 17 points apiece. Cameron Hunter added 14 and Vinnie Shahid had 11.
WHAT A FLOP
ETSU’s Tray Boyd was called for a “flopping foul” in the second half.
Under a new rule, players can be given a Class B technical foul for flopping or exaggerating a foul. North Dakota State was awarded one free throw and the play didn’t count as a personal foul against Boyd or a team foul against ETSU.
Bo Hodges had been warned for a flop a few minutes earlier.
The free throw gave North Dakota State its biggest lead up to that point at 60-47 with 7:05 remaining.
The Bucs couldn’t get anything going early, turning the ball over numerous times as North Dakota State jumped out to an 8-0 lead that stretched to 14-2.
ETSU used a 12-0 run, fueled by Williamson’s five in a row, to tie the game at 14 on a 3-pointer from Hodges.
Twenty-one of North Dakota State’s first 29 points came off of nine ETSU turnovers.
North Dakota State was up 33-22 when Vonnie Petterson drilled a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer and cut the Bucs’ deficit to 33-25.
Five ETSU players — Hodges, Jeromy Rodriguez, Isaiah Tisdale, Lucas N’Guessan and Joe Hugley — were called for two fouls in the first half, limiting Forbes in his lineup combinations.
The Bison took advantage of the fouls, going 9 of 9 from the line in the first half and finishing 26 of 30.
BY THE NUMBERS
North Dakota State out-rebounded the Bucs 30-29. ETSU shot 47 percent while holding the Bison to 45. ETSU was 6 of 18 from 3-point range and 14 of 17 from the foul line. North Dakota State was 8 of 21 from long range.
Ward, who made all nine of his free throws, also had nine rebounds and four assists, leading his team in both categories.
North Dakota State’s football powerhouse won its opening game in the FCS playoffs Saturday in Fargo, beating Nicholls State 37-13. The Bison have won seven national championships since 2011.
ETSU returns home Sunday, Dec. 15 for a game against Milligan College. Then comes the anticipated matchup at LSU on Dec. 18.