The No. 19 Northern State University men’s basketball team ended their season in the first round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament. The Wolves fell to Southeastern Oklahoma State 115-103 in overtime, finishing the year with a 26-7 record overall.
Northern led for a majority of the contest, however things began to slip away late in the second half. Three straight turnovers by the Wolves resulted in eight Savage Storm points, which cut the NSU lead to just three. Southeastern tied things up at 89-all with just under a second in regulation and the two teams headed to overtime. The Savage Storm out-scored the Wolves 26-14 in the overtime period and sealed the tournament advancing victory.
Both teams were efficient from the field shooting over 50.0 percent. Northern shot 52.1 percent from the floor and 55.9 percent from the 3-point line. They struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 44.4 percent, and ultimately gave up 13 turnovers, which resulted in 23 points for their opponents. Northern tallied 30 points in the paint, 36 points off the bench, nine points off turnovers, and eight second chance points. They out-rebounded SOSU 39-36, and knocked down a season high 19 from beyond the arc.
Cole Dahl led the team, matching his career high of 27 points. The junior hit 9-of-12 from the 3-point line and added five rebounds and one assist. Justin Decker and Ian Smith followed with 18 and 16 points respectively in the final game of their Northern State careers. Decker shot 53.8 percent from the floor and recorded a team second best five rebounds. Smith notched a double-double, adding a team leading ten assists, as well as four rebounds and one steal.
Bo Fries and Gabe King were the final Wolves in double figures with 13 and 11 points respectively. Fries pulled down a team leading six rebounds in his final game as a Wolf, and shot 71.4 percent from the floor and 60.0 percent from the arc.
Andrew Kallman rounded out the Northern starters with nine points of his own, shooting 50.0 percent from the floor. Mason Stark and Parker Fox tallied the final seven and two team points in the game. Stark shot 75.0 percent from the floor and was second on the team with five assists, while Fox recorded a team leading two blocks.
The 2018-19 Northern State University men’s basketball team concludes the season with a No. 19 NABC Top-25 ranking and 26-7 record overall. The Wolves won the NSIC Overall, North Division, and Tournament Championships. Ian Smith, Justin Decker, and Gabe King were named to the NSIC All-Conference teams, while Paul Sather was tabbed as the NSIC Coach of the Year. In addition, Smith earned the NSIC Tournament MVP award, while King and Mason Stark were named to the NSIC All-Tournament Team.
Courtesy: Northern State