After overcoming a 25-point deficit, the Herd fall just short of Summit League title
The NDSU men’s basketball team lost to Oral Roberts in the Summit League championship game 75-72. With the win, the Golden Eagles will represent the Summit League in the NCAA tournament.
The Bison were able to grab a 10-9 lead early in the first half before the Golden Eagles exploded for a 16-2 run that featured 13 points from Kevin Obanor and four ORU three-pointers. This put the Herd in a 25-point hole going into halftime.
However, the Bison were able to outscore the Golden Eagles 52-30 in the second half, pulling even at 72-72 with 36 seconds remaining. The NCAA’s leading scorer, Max Abmas, was able to draw a foul with 14.6 seconds left. He went one-of-two from the line to give ORU a one-point lead. The Golden Eagles came up with a stop on NDSU’s final possession and added two more free throws in the final seconds.
Abmas led the way for the Golden Eagles with 23 points while also adding seven assists. Obanor put up 21 points and nine rebounds before fouling out. Kareem Thompson chipped in 12 points to join them in double figures.
Senior Rocky Kreuser had a tremendous night as he scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds as he led the second-half comeback for the Bison. Tyree Eady was the only other member of the Herd to finish with double figures as he scored 15 points. While he struggled from the floor, Sam Griesel finished with six points, seven assists and 11 rebounds.
Oral Roberts will become the first team to win the Summit League tournament besides NDSU and South Dakota State since 2011. ORU was the number four seed in the Summit League Tournament bracket, while the Bison were the number three seed.
This was NDSU’s seventh championship game in the past nine seasons. With the loss, the Bison finished with a record of 15-12.