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Men's basketball: North Dakota State nips South Dakota State in overtime

Feb. 1—BROOKINGS — The Jacks/Bison basketball rivalry delivered once again.

It always does.

In their first meeting since North Dakota State knocked rival South Dakota State out of last year's Summit League tournament, the Bison outlasted the Jackrabbits 74-73 in overtime on Thursday night, sending a Frost Arena crowd of 3,418 fans home stunned. It was the Bison's first win in Brookings since 2016.

The Jacks were clinging to a 73-72 lead in the final seconds when a runner by NDSU's Boden Skunberg was no good, but as a throng of bodies from both teams collided for the rebound, Bison freshman Noah Feddersen managed to somehow tip the ball in the air and right through the net for the game-winning points.

The Jacks still had a chance after Feddersen's tip-in, leaving themselves 1.0 seconds after completing a deep inbound pass and calling a quick timeout. But Luke Appel's long 3 from the top of the key after the timeout was no good.

It was, players from both teams admitted, exactly how they expect games in this rivalry to go. Physical. Tense. Emotional. Down to the wire. And completely draining by the time it's over.

"Oh yeah," said Skunberg, who finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. "With the crowd like that — we feed off of it. We love being the villain."

It was a gut-wrenching defeat for the Jacks, who fall into a tie for first place in the Summit League at 5-3 (12-11 overall). They led by 10 early in the first half, only to watch NDSU go on a 24-4 run to take control. The Jacks fought back to find themselves trailing 33-30 at the break, and they had the momentum on their side when Zeke Mayo hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

But ultimately SDSU dropped its second straight game, while the Bison (10-12, 3-4) picked up their second win in their last three games, following a stretch where they'd lost seven of eight.

"You can't not be frustrated with a loss like that," said Jacks forward William Kyle. "Especially a game like this. These games are always close and you never want to lose these, especially at home."

Mayo had 35 points for SDSU, going 13-of-14 at the line and 9-of-23 from the field. The Jacks drew up the final shot for Mayo but he was well-defended and SDSU settled for Appel's shot at the buzzer.

Kyle had 12 points and Appel 10 points and 11 rebounds, but SDSU shot just 38 percent from the floor and were 7-of-27 from outside.

Andrew Morgan had 12 points and Jacari White 10 for NDSU, whose bench outscored SDSU's 29-8.

The Bison were just a little bit better from the floor (42.4 percent) and the arc (7-of-18) and that was enough to make the difference.

"Just a terrific college basketball game," said Bison coach Dave Richman. "Things haven't been easy for us this year. To come in here and fight and claw and get a win like this is something we hope we can build off of."

Indeed, things had not been going well for NDSU. But this is the kind of win that can turn a season around.

"We talked to our guys on Monday — we had hit rock bottom," Richman said. "But that's OK. Sometimes that's what it takes. But we were also only (2.5) games out. It's still early February. We just have to keep getting better. For us to come into this environment and win — we need environments and experiences like this to prepare us for March."

Both teams will take on their in-state rivals next, with NDSU visiting UND on Saturday and SDSU hosting USD on Sunday.

"We can't hang our heads or feel sorry for ourselves," Kyle said. "We have another big one. We have to get back to it and come back Sunday and bounce back."