Woodside’s 31 leads North Dakota St. to 68-60 win over Bucknell
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Ben Woodside scored 31 points and Brett Winkelman added 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead North Dakota State to a 68-60 win over Bucknell in the first round of the Golden Bear Classic on Friday afternoon.
Playing for the first time since Dec. 15, North Dakota State (7-5) fell behind early but took control of the game behind Woodside and Winkelman to roll to its third straight win in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
North Dakota State, which won’t be eligible to play in the postseason until next year while making the transition to Division I status, advanced to the championship game of the two-day tournament and will play the winner of California-Long Beach State on Saturday.
Woodside outscored Bucknell himself during the first 11 minutes. The junior guard, who entered the game 12th in the nation in scoring but is not eligible for individual NCAA honors due to the school’s eligibility status, had 13 points as North Dakota State took a 15-10 lead.
Bucknell stayed close and trailed 20-14 with six minutes left in the first half before Josh Vaughan sank a pair of 3-pointers to spark a 12-4 run for North Dakota State, which took a 32-18 lead into the break.
North Dakota State continued to pull away in the second half and led by as much as 55-31 with just under nine minutes left. Bucknell managed to chip away and was within 65-56 with 1:08 remaining but got no closer.
Josh Lithicum scored a career-high 18 points and matched his best with 11 rebounds for Bucknell (4-7), which missed its first 17 3-pointers and finished 3 of 21 from beyond the arc. Leading scorer John Griffin, fifth on the school’s career 3-point list, went 0-for-7 on treys and finished with four points.
The 13-day layoff was the longest for North Dakota State since a 16-day break in 2000-01. The Bison were coming off an impressive 83-69 win over Colorado State before beating Bucknell.