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Bison trio dominates Miles, CSU

FARGO -- Saul Phillips' scout team claimed another win over Tim Miles. After North Dakota State's men's basketball team sealed an 83-69 win Saturday afternoon over Miles and the Colorado State team he is rebuilding, Phillips couldn't help but fla...

FARGO -- Saul Phillips' scout team claimed another win over Tim Miles.

After North Dakota State's men's basketball team sealed an 83-69 win Saturday afternoon over Miles and the Colorado State team he is rebuilding, Phillips couldn't help but flash back to three years ago to the same Bison Sports Arena floor.

That's when Phillips was a Bison assistant in charge of a scout team comprised of true freshmen like Ben Woodside, Brett Winkelman, Mike Nelson and Lucas Moormann. That group produced its share of wins over the Bison varsity, coached by Miles.

"It was almost like this group being on the scout team all over again," said Phillips, who became NDSU's head coach last spring when Miles left for Colorado State. "It was like a glorified scrimmage, only in front of a whole bunch of people."

This time, in front of 5,134 fans, the freshmen were veteran juniors who used their experience to hold off Miles' pesky, young and inexperienced squad.

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Winkelman, Woodside and Nelson combined to score 65 of NDSU's points. The trio combined for 10 points in the final 4½ minutes, when the Bison used an 11-2 run to seal their first win over Colorado State, extend their home winning streak to 15 and improve their record to 6-5.

"They are hard to play against," said Miles, who received an appreciative ovation before the game. "I almost started bawling, then after seven straight points by Nelson, I wish I could have rewound everything."

Miles was referring to Nelson scoring the Bison's first seven points. He had nine of his 17 points less than eight minutes into the game, sparking the Bison to a 17-8 lead. Before Colorado State knew what hit them, the Bison had a 42-26 lead.

After regrouping at halftime, the Rams still trailed 50-34 with 16 minutes remaining.

"We wanted to come out and put the game away," said Winkelman, who led all scorers with 26 points. "But they didn't break. We knew coach Miles has always done a great job of getting his guys going when they are struggling."

Utilizing a combination of a full-court trapping defense and the inside scoring of 7-foot senior Stuart Creason, the Rams withstood three NDSU runs. They cut the lead to 51-43 with 13:57 remaining, to 59-50 with 10:40 remaining and 72-67 with 4:34 remaining.

Creason scored 13 of his 25 points during those rallies. He ended up making 9 of 10 field goals and all seven of his free throws.

"We kind of wanted Stuart Creason to beat us by twos, and gosh darn it, he almost did it," Phillips said.

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But it wasn't enough as the Bison made 7 of 8 free throws in the final four minutes while Colorado State turned the ball over three times and misfired on a hurried 3-pointer. The Rams fell to 5-5.

"That kind of stuff will kill you at the end of the game," said Creason, who along with 7-footer Ronnie Aguilar are the only players back from last year's 17-13 team.

"I was just hoping we wouldn't throw the ball into the bleachers and hit my mom in the head," Miles said. "We just make enough mistakes that never lets us get over the hump. We don't resemble a Mountain West Conference team yet."

Nonetheless, Bison players said it was more satisfying beating a high-major Mountain West team than beating their old coach. Never mind that Miles took advantage of some extended TV timeouts to chat with his old players.

During one break, he pointed to the crowd and asked Woodside if that was his girlfriend. Woodside joked back and said, "Which one?"

"He was trying to get in my head," said Woodside, who scored 22 points. "I've heard that day in and day out for three years. I'm getting used to it."

"It was hard not saying something to them during those breaks," Miles said. "I was just trying to soften them up a little ... they were rolling."

Just like they did in those scrimmages three years ago.

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The Forum and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

North Dakota State 83, Colorado State 69

CSU (5-5): Stuart Creason 9-10 7-7 25. Willis Gardner 6-13 2-4 15. Marcus Walker 6-12 0-1 12. Josh Simmons 3-8 2-2 8. Andre McFarland 2-6 0-0 4. Flynn Clayman 1-2 0-0 3. Adam Nigon 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 28-53 11-14 69.

NDSU (6-5): Brett Winkelman 10-22 5-7 26. Ben Woodside 5-12 10-11 22. Mike Nelson 6-10 2-2 17. Sam Sussenguth 3-4 2-2 8. Michael Tveidt 2-7 0-0 4. Lucas Moormann 2-4 0-0 4. Freddy Coleman 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 29-62 19-22 83.

Halftime: NDSU, 42-30.

Total fouls: CSU 18, NDSU 13. 3-point goals: CSU 2-9 (McFarland 0-1, Walker 0-1, Gardner 1-4, Flynn 1-2, Simmons 0-1), NDSU 6-12 (Winkelman 1-4, Tveidt 0-1, Woodside 2-3, Nelson 3-4). Rebounds: CSU 26 (Creason 8), NDSU 36 (Winkelman 11). Assists: CSU 11 (Gardner 5), NDSU 13 (Woodside 8). Steals: CSU 6 (Jesse Woodard 2), NDSU 4 (Winkelman 2, Woodside 2). Blocks: CSU 3 (Creason 3), NDSU 2 (Winkelman, Tveidt). Turnovers: CSU 14 (Simmons 4), NDSU 12 (Tveidt 4, Woodside 4).

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