State Buzzer Beater Edges NIU Men's Hoops, 57-56, For Holiday Stores
GranTree Classic Title
After enjoying thrill of a buzzer-beating victory on Thursday
night, the Northern Illinois University mens basketball squad
experienced the other side of that equation in Fridays championship
of Montana State Universitys Holiday Stores GranTree Clasic.
North Dakota State Universitys Brett Winkelman's lay-up at
the buzzer helped the Bison to the 57-56 title game victory over
the Huskies as an encore to their 76-75 Thursday night victory over
the host MSU Bobcats.
Montana State did recover from that setback to post a 75-71 consolation
game win over San Jose State University, a team which lost 80-78
when Northern Illinois James Hughes tipped home an inbound
pass with just five-tenths of a second left to be played. The four
down-to-the-wire contests were reflective of the balanced field
in the MSU tourney.
NDSU, which trailed by nine at intermission, 33-24, fought back
into a three-point lead, 53-50, on a bank shot by tourney MVP Andre
Smith with 5:36 left in the game. After Hughes hit a left-baseline
12-footer, the Bison moved back up by three, 55-52, on a pair of
free throws by Ben Woodside with 3:27 left to be played.
The Huskies Michael McKinney drained two free throws to pull
NIU to within one point, 55-54, before Hughes hit a one-handed jumper
for a one-point Northern Illinois lead at 56-55.
On the ensuing
possession, Hughes blocked a Smith jumper before NIU's Cory Sims
came down with the rebound with 38 seconds left.
Coach Rob Judsons crew trimmed the 30-second clock down to
six seconds before a Todd Peterson three-point miss gave North Dakota
State a chance to push the ball upcourt and get the gamewinner.
Woodside paced NDSU with 15 points while Smith added 13 and Winkelman
finished with 11. Northern Illinois was led by Hughes game-high
18 plus 16 more from McKinney, who were both named to the all-tournament
With the win, North Dakota State in the third year of a five-year
transition to NCAA Division I status boosted its record to
7-7. The buzzer-beating loss the second so far this year
for NIU dropped the Huskies to 6-3.
Two stats jump out, one is our free throw shooting and the
other is the rebounding, Judson noted. They got the
free throw line 21 times to our 11 and they made 14 of their 21
while we hit only six of our 11.
" In addition, we have to shore up our rebounding," Judson
continued. "They got 16 offensive boards."
North Dakota State enjoyed a 14-6 advantage for second-chance points.
on a night when we didnt shoot particularly well, although
we got some good looks," Judson said. "Its a tough
loss, but well learn from our mistakes.
need to have a few more assists than turnovers.
returns home on Jan. 3 to open Mid-American Conference play at the
NIU Convocation Center with a 7:05 p.m. contest against Miami (OH)
information, contact Matt Brendich