Bison win Summit League, seal postseason nominationTULSA, Okla. — North Dakota State’s four fifth-year seniors finally got to taste what it’s like to win a conference championship Saturday night.
By: Kevin Schnepf, The Forum
TULSA, Okla. — North Dakota State’s four fifth-year seniors finally got to taste what it’s like to win a conference championship Saturday night.
But it was junior Michael Tveidt who sparked the Bison to their 75-72 Summit League win over Oral Roberts before an announced crowd of 8, 996 at the Mabee Center.
“I tell people all the time, I will throw the ball to Michael Tveidt every time when he is open in the corner,” said Ben Woodside, one of the seniors who helped NDSU win its first Division I conference championship — the school’s first outright title since the 1981 Division II North Central Conference title.
Trailing by as many as 11 points at times, the Bison finally got their first lead since early in the game with 2 minutes and 50 seconds remaining. That’s when Tveidt drained a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Bison a 66-65 lead.
Seconds later, Tveidt blocked a Kelvin Sango shot. Seconds after that, Tveidt followed up Woodside’s missed layup with an easy putback to give the Bison a 68-65 lead.
In the final 34 seconds — in what seemed like an eternity for the Bison — Woodside made 7 of 8 free throws to become the first Summit League team since 2005 to win in the Mabee Center.
The win not only guarantees the Bison the top seed for next week’s Summit League tournament, it earns them an automatic berth into the National Invitational Tournament should they fail to reach the NCAA Tournament.
“Wow, that was fun,” said senior Brett Winkelman, who had 21 points and 9 rebounds.
“I’m speechless,” said Woodside, who had 29 points and 7 assists.
There was plenty to talk about in the final minute.
Freshman Dominque Morrison hit an offbalanced shot from the lane to give Oral Roberts a 69-68 lead with 41 seconds remaining. With 34 seconds left, Woodside drained two free throws to give the Bison a 70-69 lead.
After Morrison missed an offbalanced hook shot from the lane, Woodside chased down the rebound only to lose the ball. But Oral Roberts was whistled for stepping out of bounds trying the save the ball.
With 11.3 seconds remaining, Woodside drained two more free throws to make it 72-69.
Bison head coach Saul Phillips then had to talk his players into fouling before hot-shooting Robert Jarvis could fire a 3-pointer.
“They didn’t want to foul … they wanted to play defense,” Phillips said of his players. “But I’ve seen Robert Jarvis hit 3-pointers from everywhere in this state.”
Winkelman fouled Morrison, who made two free throws with eight seconds remaining to make it 72-71. Woodside answered with two more free throws with 5.5 seconds left to make it 74-71.
Mike Nelson then fouled Jarvis, who made one of two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to make it 74-72. Woodside answered with a free throw with 2.4 seconds left to make it 75-72. The game finally ended when Oral Roberts fullcourt inbounds pass was broken up by Winkelman in the frontcourt.
“It felt like an eternity,” Winkelman said. “Every time I looked up at the scoreboard, it seemed like only one second went off the clock. When that final buzzer finally rang, it was such a sweet sound.”
Not so sweet for Oral Roberts, which had to go on with the post-game senior night ceremonies after the loss. While the Bison improved to 23-6 overall and 16-2 in the Summit League, Oral Roberts fell to 16-14 overall and 14-3 in the Summit.
With the No. 1 seed, NDSU will play a first-round Summit tournament game against Centenary. With the No. 2 seed, Oral Roberts will play a first-round game against South Dakota State — which will no doubt bring a throng of fans to the Sioux Falls Arena.
“I think there is no question, the two seed has a tougher road ahead,” Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton, referring also to the possibility of playing Oakland in the semifinals. “This was a tough game. But they are a great team. I think they are a special team.”
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NORTH DAKOTA STATE (23-6): Ben Woodside 9-20 10-11 29, Brett Winkelman 6-12 8-13 21, Michael Tveidt 7-13 0-0 17, Mike Nelson 2-5 0-1 4, Lucas Moormann 1-6 0-0 2, DeJuan Flowers 1-1 0-0 2, Eric Carlson 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Pennick 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Sussenguth 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Vaughan 0-0 0-0 0, Freddy Coleman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-57 18-25 75.
ORAL ROBERTS (16-14): Robert Jarvis 8-18 5-6 23, Dominique Morrison 6-8 3-4 17, Kevin Ford 4-5 2-2 10, Kelvin Sango 1-7 8-10 10, Marcus Lewis 4-9 0-3 8, Kyron Stokes 2-5 0-0 4, Andre Hardy 0-3 0-0 0, Renardo Rhone 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-56 18-25 72.
Halftime: NDSU 34, ORU 40. Total fouls: NDSU 22, ORU 22. Fouled out: Sango, Stokes. 3-point goals: NDSU 5-14 (Tveidt 3-6, Woodside 1-3, Winkelman 1-3, Nelson 0-1, Moormann 0-1), ORU 4-12 (Jarvis 2-7, Morrison 2-3, Sango 0-1, Stokes 0-1). Rebounds: NDSU 26 (Winkelman 6), ORU 28 (Morrison 6). Assists: NDSU 9 (Woodside 7), ORU 11 (Sango 5). Blocks: NDSU 0, ORU 2 (Morrison, Ford).