Leathernecks Fall At The Buzzer To Bison


FARGO, N.D. – It was a heartbreaker at North Dakota State as the Western Illinois men’s basketball team fell at the buzzer in Fargo to the Bison, 71-69.

Boden Skunberg hit a basket at the buzzer to give NDSU the win after the Leathernecks overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to force a tie at 69-69 with 9.6 left.

The Leathernecks trailed 47-31 early in the second half, but behind Trenton Massner (24 points), Vuk Stevanic (14 points), Quinlan Bennett (14 points, eight rebounds) and Jesiah West (10 points, eight rebound), Western Illinois took a 60-59 lead with six minutes, one second remaining.

From there, the teams would go back and forth, punching and counter-punching as Western Illinois took a 65-61 lead on a three-point play from Stevanic before NDSU answered with an 8-2 run to take a 69-67 advantage with :19.

Massner would draw a foul and hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left before the Bison scored the game-winning shot.

The loss drops Western Illinois to 16-13 overall, 9-9 in the Summit League. The Leathernecks face St. Thomas in the Summit League Tournament next Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. Western Illinois is the four seed, the highest finish for the program in the Summit League since the 2012-13 season. The Tommies and Leathernecks split the season series, with each team winning on their home floor.

The Bison would shoot 50 percent (25-50) for the game. The Leathernecks shot 46 percent (36-56) for the game. The teams were even on the glass with 28 boards apiece.

Switching to a press in the second half, WIU was able to get NDSU out of rhythm and force seven turnovers after the break.


Copy Provided By Western Athletic Communications

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