The Herd’s comeback falls short in six-point loss
Moral victories are usually for the birds. Something bad has to happen for there to be a moral victory in the first place. However, the Bison’s six-point loss on Saturday may be described as a moral victory.
The Wolverines of Utah Valley led the Bison quite comfortably for most of the game. It doesn’t help that the Bison shot less than thirty percent from the floor in the first half.
The Bison also couldn’t seem to stop junior guard TJ Washington. Washington had a third of the Wolverines first-half points all by himself.
The trailed Utah Valley 20-18 lead with just under eight minutes to go in the first half. Then the Wolverines went on a 13-6 run to end the half, as the Herd went into the break down nine.
The second half started the Bison couldn’t seem to muster up any momentum. The two teams exchanged buckets for much of the second half. The Wolverine’s lead slowly grew to 15 with just under 10 minutes left in the game.
Then the Bison finally woke up.
Everyone in white seemed to do their part in the Bison’s march back into the game. A Jared Samuelson three here and a Tyson Ward jumper there mixed in with a string of good defensive possessions and the Bison were right back in the game.
The Bison’s 12-0 run was punctuated by a Hunter Cameron four-point play. The Herd now found themselves only down three with just over five minutes to go.
Washington answered for the Wolverines with a three to help Utah Valley relax a little bit. The Bison wouldn’t go away, but couldn’t seem to breakthrough.
Veteran point guard Vinnie Shahid pulled the Bison to within two with less than thirty seconds remaining, but that’s the closest the Herd would come. The Wolverines refused to miss any of their foul shots, as the game ended in a whisper.
Washington led the Wolverines and all scorers with 26 points. Shahid led the Bison with 23 points and didn’t leave the floor playing all forty minutes.
The 68-62 loss dropped the Herd to 4-3 on the year. With still over a month to play before conference play kicks off, the Bison are still figuring out what kind of team they want to be. With multiple returning starters from last year’s NCAA tournament team, expectations should be and are high.
NDSU has plenty of veteran leadership and talent, the Bison should be primed to make another run at a Summit League title. However, that’s still a long way off.
The Bison will now head to Moscow (no, not that Moscow) to take on the University of Idaho Vandals on Tuesday.