Well, different year, same result for the University of South Dakota men’s basketball team after losing 66-65 to North Dakota State in a close game Wednesday at Scheels Arena.
The Bison (12-6, 2-2 Summit) snapped a two-game losing skid in Summit League play after Kory Brown’s big night.
Brown had both career highs in points (21) and rebounds (15) and recorded a rare first half double-double.
“This is a great one, it’s up there,” Brown said about where this game ranks individually for him.
The Coyotes (9-10, 1-4 Summit) have yet to win in Fargo since the 2001-2002 season and have been 0-8 ever since.
But USD junior guard Shy McClelland had a chance to snap that losing streak in Fargo for the Coyotes. With three seconds left on the clock McClelland’s shot missed, and the basketball rolled off the rim as the game ended.
“I think I waved at it a little bit to blow it off the rim, it was that close,” Brown said about McClelland’s last second shot attempt. “I think I jumped twice before it actually came off (the rim).”
NDSU was up 16 points with 8:26 left in the second half, but USD freshman forward Dan Jech hit a two-point jumper to start a Coyote run.
After trailing NDSU 35-26 at halftime and going on a 11-0 scoring run with 5:45 left to play in the second half, USD found itself back in the conference matchup down 59-54 after a McClelland three-pointer.
With 3:49 left in the game, McClelland went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, and the Coyotes were within one possession, 61-58.
But with 2:48 left the Bison extended its lead to six-points after an A.J. Jacobson free throw.
Jacobson, a sophomore, finished the game with 13 points on 2-of-7 shooting and five rebounds.
McClelland would make a layup with 22 seconds left in the game, but those were the last points scored by the Coyotes.
McClelland finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, but senior guard Casey Kasperbauer was USD’s leading scorer with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
“If it leaves his fingers it’s going in,” Bison freshman Khy Kabellis said about Kasperbauer’s shooting ability. “I just tried to stay on him and not let him get shots off and make him put it on the floor if he got the ball.”
NDSU, now back on a winning streak, had to fight for the victory over USD. The Bison almost blew a late big lead due to the fact that the Coyotes started to press NDSU’s guards.
“It took us out of our rhythm offensively,” Kabellis said. “It helped them get back in the game a little bit, but once we started getting used to it, we started being able to get some good shots in our offensive and we started to not let them get back in the game as much.”
Kabellis had to play his most minutes ever (40) because the Bison were short handed at the guard position, after Carlin Dupree decided to leave the team earlier this week.
“It was the first time I’ve played that many minutes,” Kabellis said, who had nine points off three key three-pointers. “I was just locked in on defense.”
NDSU will be back in action at 4:30 p.m. Saturday against South Dakota State in another conference clash at Scheels Arena.