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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 08 2010

Men's basketball: Bison fall in overtime to Oral Roberts

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – There will be no March Madness for the North Dakota State men’s basketball team this year. The Bison simply left the Sioux Falls Arena on Sunday night mad.

The defending Summit League tournament champions rallied from a big second half deficit, but any last-second heroics didn’t materialize in a 65-64 overtime loss to Oral Roberts.

NDSU ended its season a disappointing 11-18.

“It’s hard to swallow, we came here to win,” said Bison forward Michael Tveidt. “It’s frustrating. Our record might not put us position for people to believe we could do it, but we believed we could do it.”

Dominique Morrison scored seven of his 16 points in overtime, but he also missed the front end of a bonus free throw with 11 seconds remaining. That gave NDSU a chance, but guard Nate Zastrow’s shot with three seconds left hit the rim and the Bison couldn’t get in possession for a tip-in at the buzzer.

It was pretty much the story of the season for NDSU: close, but not close enough.

“If you haven’t seen us play this year, that game was reminiscent of how quite a few went down,” said NDSU head coach Saul Phillips.

Tveidt’s driving jumper with 14 seconds left tied it at 56-56 in regulation.

The Eagles didn’t get a great look on its possession and for the second time on Sunday, a Bison team went into overtime.

The NDSU women also dropped a one-point decision to Missouri-Kansas City. This time, ORU took a quick five-point lead in the five-minute overtime, but that didn’t phase the Bison. Sam Sussenguth cut it to 65-64 with a reverse layup with 11 seconds remaining.

That would be the final score.

“This time of year, it doesn’t matter how you get it done, how the game goes, how bad you played, just get it done,” said ORU head coach Scott Sutton. “You live to fight another day and that’s what we did tonight.”

The Bison dug themselves a nine-point halftime hole with some poor shot selection late in the first half. The Eagles’ balance – four players with either six or eight points – forged a 38-29 lead.

The Golden Eagles opened the second half with a 6-2 run that made it 44-31 with NDSU’s only points two free throws by Eric Carlson. The Bison did not get their first field goal until Jordan Aaberg’s three-point play with 13:07 remaining.

“You can beat yourself up on every little play that might have been,” Carlson said. “It’s just how it works.”

That cut the Golden Eagles’ advantage to 46-36 and it was 50-38 halfway through the second half when the Bison started to make some noise. Seven straight points – NDSU’s best run of the game – made it a two-possession game.

Later, Tveidt’s jumper cut the margin to 54-51 with just over four minutes remaining. That’s where the Bison got stuck on offense, not converting on four straight possessions with the score not changing.

Tveidt and Josh Vaughan both missed 3-pointers that would have tied it.

Tveidt finally broke through, however, taking the ball to the hole and converting a three-point play with 1:01 left.

“I felt some magic there,” Tveidt said of the second half and overtime.

ORU, meanwhile, was getting little on its offensive end. And that’s how NDSU rallied – with defense. The Golden Eagles shot 27 percent in the second half.

“We weren’t playing as a team in the second half,” Morrison said. “In overtime, we got another shot – play hard for five minutes and that’s what we did.”

Tveidt finished with 22 points and Carlson 14.

“I knew this group didn’t want to go home,” Phillips said. “Tveidt loves to play in this building and I was confident we would mount a run there.”

NDSU (11-18): Tveidt 9-17 2-4 22, Carlson 4-12 6-6 14, Sussenguth 5-7 0-0 10, Pennick 1-1 1-3 3, Vaughan 3-14 1-2 7, Lundberg 0-1 2-2 2, Zastrow 1-5 0-0 3, Aaberg 1-1 1-1 3, Nagel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-58 13-18 64.

ORU (20-12): Morrison 7-21 1-2 16, Craion 3-10 4-5 10, Ford 4-10 0-0 8, Holdman 2-3 0-0 5, Niles 6-17 0-0 14, Stokes 0-2 6-6 6, Bell-Holter 3-5 0-0 6, Manghum 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-69 11-13 65

Halftime: ORU 38, NDSU 29. Total fouls: NDSU 18, ORU 20. Fouled out: Craion. Rebounds: NDSU 34 (Carlson 8); ORU 48 (Bell-Holter 9). 3-point goals: NDSU 3-12 (Tveidt 2-4, Vaughan 0-6, Zastrow 1-2); ORU 4-10 (Holdman 1-2, Niles 2-5, Manghum 0-1). Assists: NDSU 13 (Pennick 4); ORU 8 (Three with 2). Turnovers: NDSU 12 (Pennick 4); ORU 15 (Niles 5). A-6,285.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546