FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- In a battle of the top two teams in the Summit League standings, the North Dakota State men’s basketball team emerged victorious with a 71-69 overtime win over South Dakota State on Thursday night inside the Scheels Center.
NDSU improved to 21-8 overall and 12-3 in The Summit League. SDSU closed its regular season slate at 22-9 overall and 13-3 in the league. The Bison can earn a share of the Summit League regular season title with a win vs. Omaha on Saturday in Fargo.
The game saw 14 lead changes and seven ties.
NDSU senior Tyson Ward led all players with 24 points, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Vinnie Shahid totaled 12 points for the Bison, and Rocky Kreuser finished with 11 points and six boards.
Freshman guard Noah Freidel led the Jackrabbits with 23 points. Sophomore forward Matt Dentlinger added 20 for SDSU.
Ward sank a pair of free throws to put the Bison up 60-58 with 33 seconds left in regulation, but SDSU responded immediately with a dunk from Dentlinger to tie the game. A potential game-winning jumper from Shahid bounced several times on the rim before falling off as time expired.
SDSU went ahead 69-68 on a corner three from Freidel with 1:18 left in overtime. After a defensive stop by the Bison in the final minute, Ward scored a bucket in the lane to put NDSU up 70-69 with 20 seconds on the clock.
Kreuser registered a game-saving block at the defensive end, and made 1-of-2 free throws to set the final margin at 71-69.
NDSU has now won 12 of the past 15 meetings in Fargo against the Jackrabbits.
The Bison host Omaha at 4 p.m. Saturday in the regular season finale. A win would clinch NDSU’s fourth Summit League regular season title since 2009.