A season of “what-if” and “almost” just got that much harder for the SDSU’s Men’s Basketball team, and to make things worse, it happened against their border rival.
A 29 percent shooting performance doomed the Jacks late in the game as the Bison from North Dakota State beat the Jacks before 3,234 fans in Frost Arena on Feb. 23. Despite making a comeback, the Jacks did not have enough to make it and failed to beat the Bison, 63-60.
Behind eight points with a minute and 10 seconds, Canadian native Kai Williams nailed a 3-pointer and senior forward Ben Beran hit another 3-pointer, got fouled and shot a free throw, making it a four-point play. Sophomore Garrett Callahan made his lone field goal to cut the Bison lead to one point (59-58).
Ben Woodside, the Summit League’s leading scorer, scored two of his 20 points from the charity stripe in the closing seconds. Sioux City, Iowa, native freshman Clint Sargent missed a difficult long jumper that would have won the game for SDSU. Perhaps the Jacks can put this game into “that close” of a game. They certainly had their chances.
The Bison were away from Bison Sports Arena where NDSU had problems winning games. Frost Arena was packed and had the season’s best attendance. In the first half, the Bison shot 29 percent, their worst shooting performance in half this season.
Woodside and Brett Winkelman went 4-4 from the line and escaped Frost Arena with a win. The Bison for the game shot 36 percent and gave credit to Jacks defense.
“Points weren’t going to come easy tonight,” said NDSU point guard Ben Woodside, who led the Bison with 20 points.
Brett Winkelman continued his teammate’s sediment, “It’s always a war when we play South Dakota State.”
The difference in the game may have been experience with leadership leading the Bison to victory.
“Their kids may be juniors but they are seniors in college,” Nagy said of Woodside and the following upperclassmen. “They have so much experience ? experience that we don’t have right now.”
Beran leads the Jackrabbits with 20 points, Williams scored 15 and Sargent scored 10 points.
The Bison improved to 14-13 overall and 8-8 in the Summit League, while the Jackrabbits dropped to 8-19 overall and 3-13 in the Summit League.
SDSU will finish their season this weekend on Feb. 28 against Oral Roberts and Centenary College on March 1. Flip to B-2 for further information on the final two games.