Not much excitement comes out of North Dakota—the state has a population of 635,867.
No disrespect towards North Dakota or its inhabitants, but its pretty surprising that Friday's Stephen F. Austin vs. North Dakota State match-up turned into a thriller.
The Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin started the game up 20-2 and were up by 13 with five minutes left, but Ben Woodside put his Bison on his back and brought them back into the game, eventually sinking two foul shots to send the game to overtime.
The second foul shot recorded Woodside's 33rd point of the contest.
The Lumberjacks and Bison stayed hand in hand for the entire first overtime, Woodside scored seven more points, and the score remained tied as the buzzer sounded.
Much of the same happened in the second overtime, which ended in a 100-100 tie—Woodside's nine points were not enough to secure the victory.
In another back and forth five minute session, Woodside scored 11 points, but his potential game-winning three-pointer could not fall with two seconds left and the Bison fell as losers, 112-111, in three overtimes.
If you spent time adding up his point totals at the end of each section of the game, you would notice that Ben Woodside set this season's high with 60 points.
He had an extra fifteen minutes to beat Stephen Curry's 44, but any time that a college player scores in the 60's, it is meritorious of praise.
The senior guard, originally from Minnesota, only hit 14 field goals—two of which were from beyond the arc—but he shot an excellent 30-35 from the charity stripe.
He went to the line 35 times!
Woodside was redshirted as a freshman, but has played in every game since becoming eligible. He's always been a scorer—he averaged 17.5, 16.4, and 20.7 points per game in his first three years and is posting 20.7 per game this season. This performance will certainly boost his average.
The Summit League is weak this season with Oral Roberts not being the same force in the conference, so Woodside has one last solid chance of making the NCAA Tournament.
The Bison are already 2-0 in the Summit and are 4-3 overall—one of their wins came against Oral Roberts.
If Woodside keeps up his consistent scoring, the Bison could end up in the Tournament.
Congratulations to Ben Woodside and the North Dakota State Bison (even though they lost tonight).
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