Woodside’s shot leads Bison to NCAA tourney

Published 1:02 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — North Dakota State went to its “Woodside offense” and came away with an NCAA tournament berth by downing Oakland University for the Summit League championship Tuesday.

Woodside’s 17-foot jumper from the top of the key with 3 seconds left gave the Bison a 66-64 victory and kept their season alive in the first year of Division I eligibility.

No. 1 seed NDSU (26-6) trailed through much of the game — by 14 points in the first half — and needed a rally in the final five minutes to win.

Email newsletter signup

“I’ve been working on my offense for a while,” said NDS coach Saul Phillips. “It’s called ‘get the ball to Woodside and get out of the way.’ It’s been effective.”

Woodside, the Summit League player of the year, finished with 17 points. He averaged 23 on the year and had one game of 60 points this season.

Scoring honors for the Bison went to Michael Tveidt, who had 21 points and was 4-4 in 3-point shots, the last of which with 1:26 left put NDS ahead 64-62 and capped an eight-point run.

Oakland’s Keith Benson responded with a dunk for a 64-all tie with 12 seconds to play. Rather than call time out, NDS charged down court and gave Woodside the ball.

“We talked about it all year where if it’s a close game and it comes down to the wire and we need a shot to go up or to tie we’ve talked about not calling a time out but going with the flow,” said Woodside. “That way the defense can’t set up and that gives us the opportunity to get into transition.”

“(Lucas) Moormann set a great screen and gave me just enough time, and Benson was sagging a little and I knocked it down.”

A long 3-point try by Oakland’s Johnathon Jones at the final horn bounced out.

“When it left my hand it looked good,” Jones said. “But it wasn’t.”

Oakland (22-12) surged ahead in the first half on 63 percent shooting. The Golden Grizzlies cooled to 32 percent in the second half.

“I thought we played 36 outstanding minutes and four minutes down the stretch we played like a very young team,” said Oakland coach Greg Kampe of a team that starts a freshman, two sophomores, a junior and a senior.

Erik Kangas and Will Hudson each had 16 points for No. 3 seed Oakland. Jones added 15 and Benson had 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

“To go from surrendering 62 percent shooting in the first half to 32 percent in the second half — that’s the difference in the game right there,” said Phillips.

“This group has grown. The offensive end has always come relatively easy for them. This defensive end has been going to the dentist every day for five years. We finally got it taken care of and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”