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Eric Peterson, Published December 11 2010

Classic climax: Last meeting between UND, NDSU men's basketball teams was one to remember

The last time the Bison and Sioux played in men’s basketball, the game was in Grand Forks and a Fargo kid made the signature play – a play that led to a Sioux victory.

“Knowing I hit that shot to help beat them when we knew we weren’t going to be playing for a while was pretty cool,” said former University of North Dakota guard Jade Jahner, a Fargo North graduate. “There is no question that, that was the highlight of my career there at UND.”

Jahner, a senior at the time, sank a desperation falling away 3-pointer at the end of regulation that forced overtime and helped the Sioux rally for a 76-73 victory against North Dakota State on Feb. 7, 2004. That game was played at Ralph Engelstad Arena before an announced crowd of 7,247 fans.

“I think being able to put that rivalry on hold with a win, it meant a lot to all of us.” said Jahner, who is now married and living in Plymouth, Minn.

Former Bison head coach Tim Miles, now the head coach at Colorado State, was on the other side of the emotion.

“We went up there and blew a lead late and Jade Jahner hit a 3-pointer from his keister to force an overtime and they beat us in overtime in a very good game,” said Miles, who had 3-3 record vs. the Sioux. “The last thing you want to hear about in the summer is losing to the Sioux.”

In this case, NDSU has had to wait six years for redemption. The return matchup is scheduled for 7 tonight at the Fargodome.

A crowd of more than 10,000 fans is expected.

“I think it’s good for the state,” Jahner said. “I think it’s good for NDSU. I think it’s good for UND. It’s a time to connect with friends.”

Rich Glas was the UND head coach for that last rivalry game. Glas now coaches across the river from NDSU at Division III Concordia. He earned career win No. 300 in that last Bison-Sioux game.

While Glas said he doesn’t recall the details of that game, the passion of the rivalry still resonates for him.

“You sure remember the excitement that the games generated,” said Glas, who was 16-17 against NDSU. “It’s a big thing, and look what NDSU is doing. They are moving it to the dome. It’s an opportunity to make money for them and their athletic program, trying to get the biggest crowd they’ve ever had. That’s what this game does.”

Jahner said he was at least the fourth option on the play that forced OT. That improbable shot tied the score at 69-69 as time in regulation expired.

“I just kind of threw it. It was almost like a dart,” Jahner said, “I was very surprised (it went in). I was grateful. If I had to repeat that shot 10 times, I might make it once.”

Jahner’s shot set off for Miles what proved to be a rough Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Miles forgot his wallet at REA and had to set up a time to pick it up the next day. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Miles and his wife, Kari, smelled a gas leak, called 911 and had to leave their home with their 3-year-old daughter. Miles took his family to his parents, who were staying in north Fargo.

While his mom greeted Miles with concern for his safety, his father broached a different subject.

“My dad goes, ‘Why didn’t you foul Jade Jahner at the buzzer in regulation,’ ” Miles said with a laugh.

Current Bison associate head coach Dave Richman was a graduate assistant for Miles in that last Bison-Sioux game. Current NDSU head coach Saul Phillips, an assistant at Wisconsin at the time, can remember getting a call from Miles right after that game.

“I tried to talk him off the ledge after the loss,” said Phillips, who joined Miles staff the next season as an assistant. “I watched tape immediately after I got the job here. It’s one of the first tapes I watched. It was a wild finish.”