« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Kevin Schnepf, Published December 19 2008

Bison win ugly over Valley City State

In a span of less than 40 hours, North Dakota State’s men’s basketball team will change from favorite to underdog.

As heavy favorites against Valley City State on Thursday night, the Bison were able to pull away from the pesky Vikings with an 83-61 win before 1,392 fans at the Bison Sports Arena.

Saturday at 2 p.m. in Los Angeles, the Bison will be the major underdog against Southern California – a team earlier in the season that was ranked in the top 25.

“I kind of compare what Valley City was trying to do against us to what we did against Wisconsin, Marquette and Texas Tech,” Bison head coach Saul Phillips said, referring to two Bison upsets and a near upset in Texas during the last three years. “As an underdog, you go into those games and hope to disrupt the opponent as much as you can and hope for the best.”

Valley City, an NAIA team with a 6-6 record, certainly disrupted a Bison offense that ranks third nationally in scoring averaging 90.3 points per game. The Vikings held leads seven times in the first half – their last at 25-24 with 4:35 remaining.

Even with 11:30 remaining of the game, the Vikings were still in the game – trailing only 54-44. That’s when the Bison went on a 12-2 run to seal the win and improve their record to 6-3.

“Give them a lot of credit,” said Bison forward Brett Winkelman, who led all scorers with 23 points. “They made it a rough, ugly, scrappy, halfcourt game. We just had to fight our way through it.”

It got even uglier two minutes into the second half when Ben Woodside, fresh off of last Friday’s record-setting 60-point game, limped off the court after twisting his left ankle. Woodside, the nation’s second-leading scorer with a 26.9 average, returned to the game four minutes later and finished the game with 18 points.

Woodside, who now needs 30 points to become NDSU’s all-time leading scorer, said he has every intention of playing Saturday against USC.

“Hopefully, it won’t bother me too much,” Woodside said. “I’ll be playing no matter what.”

Woodside scored four of his points during a 13-6 run that helped the Bison take a 37-30 halftime lead. After twisting his ankle, he scored six more points during the 12-2 run that gave the Bison a 66-46 lead with 8:04 remaining.

“It felt more like scrapping out there than basketball,” Woodside said.

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but Bison head coach Saul Phillips will take the win.

“They play really hard,” Phillips said of Valley City, which officially marked this game as an exhibition. “They certainly didn’t back down an inch. I’ll be cheering for them the rest of the season. They made a fan out of me.”

The Vikings, hoping to claim a Dakota Athletic Con-ference championship and advance to the NAIA national tournament, got key contribu-tions from three area players.

Calvin Kraft, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Casselton, N.D., led the Vikings with 15 points. Mike Stowman, a 6-2 senior from Tower City, N.D., had eight points – including his 3-pointer that cut the Bison lead to 54-44. And Zac Wolff, a 6-7 senior from Park Rapids, Minn., had eight points and six rebounds.

“This was an opportunity more than anything,” Kraft said, referring to the under-dog role. “Anytime you get a chance to play against a tal-ented team like that, it’s al-ways fun to go out and be as competitive as possible.”

VCSU (6-6): Macomber 1-6 2-2 4, Wolff 4-9 0-0 8, York 1-1 0-0 3, Kraft 6-10 0-0 15, Anderson 0-4 0-0 0, Jesser 1-3 0-2 3, Young 3-7 2-2 9, Stowman 2-3 2-2 8, Klingberg 5-8 1-2 11. Totals: 23-51 (FG), 7-10 (FT).

NDSU (6-3): Winkelman 9-14 4-5 23, Tveidt 1-2 2-2 4, Moormann 4-6 2-2 10, Woodside 5-13 7-8 18, Nelson 3-7 0-0 6, Flowers 2-6 0-0 4, Cole-man 2-2 1-2 5, Riley 0-1 0-0 0, Pennick 0-0 0-0 0, Carlson 2-3 0-0 4, Vaughan 3-3 0-0 9, Sussenguth 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 31-59 (FG), 16-19 (FT).

Halftime: NDSU 37, VCSU 30. 3-point goals: VCSU 8-13 (York 1-1, Kraft 3-4, Jesser 1-3, Young 1-1, Stowman 2-3), NDSU 5-10 (Winkel-man 1-2, Woodside 1-3, Vaughan 3-3). Total fouls: VCSU 21, NDSU 14. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: Valley City bench. Rebounds: VCSU 26 (Macomber 8, Wolff 6), NDSU 31 (Moormann 5, Flowers 5). Assists: VCSU 11 (York 4, Kraft 3), NDSU 11 (Woodside 4). Steals: VCSU 5 (Young 2), NDSU 8 (Moormann 3). Turnovers: VCSU 18 (Anderson 5), NDSU 6 (Carlson 2). A-1,392.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be

found at www.areavoices.com