Jeff Kolpack, Published January 06 2011
Sutton ejected as NDSU holds off Oral Roberts in men's basketballIt was North Dakota State vs. Oral Roberts in Summit League men’s basketball Thursday night. It turned into ORU head coach Scott Sutton vs. referee John Yorkovich in the last 11 seconds.
Things came to a boil for the visitors in an 80-74 Bison victory at the Bison Sports Arena. Sutton was tagged with two technical fouls, had to be restrained from going onto the court by his players and was still pointing his finger at Yorkovich as he walked to the locker room.
“I have a history with that guy,” Sutton said. “I think people in this league the last 12 years know I’m not a guy who loses his temper very often.”
Sutton said he could count the number of technical fouls in his career on both hands. He figured Yorkovich has called almost half of them, he said.
“I had problems with him up here few years ago, we kind of got a history,” Sutton said. “It’s a tough time in the game to get that call, and that fouled (Warren Niles) out. I don’t think I deserved the first technical to be honest. The second one; I deserved it. North Dakota State was fighting and they needed this game like we did.”
It was the first ejection by any team in NDSU’s Division I era. The call in question, a foul away from the ball that put Bison guard Mike Felt to the line, came with the game tied at 72-72 with about a minute left.
Felt’s two free throws made it 74-72.
Later, Sutton was tagged with a technical foul with Felt about to go to the free throw line with 11.6 seconds left. The head coach was tagged with another before Felt was able to get off his first attempt.
Combined with the foul, he hit six straight free throws – the most points Felt will probably ever make in his life with the clock stopped.
“It was just like practice,” Felt said. “We usually shoot five at a time and rotate. It was pretty much the same as that.”
They were part of his career high 22 points including some crucial 3-point field goals in the second half. Eric Carlson, in rare role of coming off the bench, added 14 points and nine rebounds. Michael Tveidt had 18 points.
“I played the same way,” Carlson said. “If anything, it was better since I was fresh after four minutes and everybody else had played.”
It was the least-talented team Oral Roberts brought to Fargo, certainly, mostly because of injuries to its top two players. But despite the loss of leading scorer Dominique Morrison to a knee injury last week, the Eagles still hung around.
A 9-2 Bison spurt to start the second half – usually the dagger in most games – made it a 49-40 advantage and an uphill climb for ORU.
NDSU went cold over the next five minutes, however, getting just a Freddy Coleman driving layup.
The Eagles took a brief lead – their only one of the game – when Hunter McClintock nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 52-51 with 11:33 remaining. That’s when Felt and Carlson took over, combining for the next 12 NDSU points.
It made it 63-54 with just over six minutes left.
“I told Mike Felt about a month and a half ago, just hang in there, you’re going to win a game for us this year,” said NDSU head coach Saul Phillips. “I’m proud of a lot of guys tonight.”
It ended a three-game Bison losing streak. ORU has lost eight of nine.