Griesel’s Free Throw Gives Bison 53-52 Victory over North Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. ( – The North Dakota State men’s basketball team erased a 10-point deficit in the second half, and Sam Griesel made the game-winning free throw with 5.2 seconds left to seal the 53-52 victory over North Dakota on Saturday evening at the CU Mortgage Direct Dakota Showcase held at the Sanford Pentagon.

NDSU scored 12 straight points between the 7:45 mark and 1:00 mark remaining in the second half, holding the Fighting Hawks scoreless for more than seven minutes. That stretch turned a 50-40 deficit into a 52-50 lead for the Bison.

Griesel finished with 14 points and six rebounds to lead NDSU, and Tyree Eady scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

UND led 29-26 at halftime. The Fighting Hawks led by as many as 10 in the second half, holding a 50-40 advantage with 7:45 remaining.

The Bison exploded for a 9-0 run over the next four minutes, capped by a three-point play from Griesel and a three-pointer by Eady. After a series of empty possessions for both teams, Griesel converted a tough bucket in traffic with 2:03 left to take the lead, and Rocky Kreuser sank 1-of-2 free throws with 1:08 on the clock to extend the run to 12-0.

The Bison led 52-50 with one minute remaining. UND’s Filip Rebraca tied the game with a bucket and was fouled, but he missed the free throw with 0:42 on the clock.

On NDSU’s final possession, Griesel drove to the hoop and was fouled, making the first of his two free throw attempts. UND’s three-point attempt at the buzzer missed.

Rebraca led all scorers with 21 of UND’s 52 points. Bison sophomore Maleeck Harden-Hayes finished with eight points, draining a pair of threes and extending a streak of five straight games with at least one trey.

The Bison are scheduled to play next on Dec. 22 at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.