It’s a sprint to the finish line before the conference tournaments
It was a rocky weekend for the NDSU basketball teams. The men’s team saw their game-winning streak of seven wins snapped by UND on Saturday after taking down USD on Friday. The women’s team ran into an elite Coyote squad in Vermillion that is the proverbial favorite to take home the Summit League crown.
The NDSU men’s basketball team served the University of South Dakota Coyote’s their second home loss of the season on Wednesday. The Bison have extended their winning streak to seven games in a row with the 77-74 victory over USD. The team has now advanced to a 20-7 record, leaving the Coyotes 19-10.
Senior point guard Vinnie Shahid led the team in scoring with 27 points. Shahid went a career-high 12-14 from the free-throw line. Also scoring in the double digits was sophomore Rocky Kreuser (15), senior Tyson Ward (14) and sophomore Tyree Eady (10) who also had a career-high nine rebounds.
NDSU went on an impressive 14-4 run to close out the first half ahead, the score at the half was 35-28. The Coyotes answered early in the final quarter, gaining a lead of 49-48 after being down 10. The Bison then turned around and secured a corner three by Tyson Ward and put the team ahead again. USD also made a corner three in the last minute of the game, but the Bison finished the game making 9-10 free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
The next day, the Herd’s seven-game winning streak came to a heartbreaking end in Grand Forks on Saturday night. It was tight matchup up all game long, with the longest lead for either team being six points. NDSU shot 36.8 percent overall from three, and UND went an impressive 15-30 in the second half.
The game was a back and forth affair, but things ramped up in the waning minutes of the contest.
With just under five minutes left, UND’s Marlon Stewart hit a jumper, cutting the deficit to just one point. Vinnie Shahid answered immediately after, a bucket of his own, but less than a minute later, an and-one by Stewart tied the game up
Stewart secured a career-high 30 points with this play and was the architect of the Fighting Hawk’s upset.
Tyson Ward scored five points in six seconds to tie the game up with 21 seconds to go int he game.
Then, Stewart nailed a dagger from three with 0.9 seconds left in the game, securing the 71-68 victory
The Herd now has a massive home bout on Thursday against the Summit League-leading SDSU Jackrabbits.
The women’s basketball team didn’t walk away with a win in Vermillion. Coming off a win against Purdue Fort Wayne at home, the team couldn’t get it done against the Summit league-leading Coyotes on the road, losing 96-57.
This leaves the Bison at 8-17 and the Coyotes at 25-2. Junior Michelle Gaislerova led NDSU with 15 points, also in double digits was freshman Ryan Cobbins. Sofija Zivaljevic was just short of double digits with nine points, and junior center Danneka Voegeli led the team with six rebounds. The team went 8-8 at the free-throw line in the third quarter and had 17-points from off the bench.
The Bison trailed throughout as the game was over quickly. The Coyotes jumped out to 12-0 lead and never looked back. NDSU cut the lead late in the first quarter to just five, but that’s the closest they would come.
With South Dakota’s women’s basketball team being highly ranked nationally, this was going to be a tough matchup for any team. The Herd has been playing well the last two months, so the hope is the team can brush the loss off and finish the regular season strongly. The Bison have won back-to-back games twice this season so far, and have a shot of making it a third in these final three games.