December 9, 2006

Wildcats win thriller in Fargo

Kansas State knew it would get all it could handle Saturday night from North Dakota State. The Bison had knocked off then eighth-ranked Marquette in its most recent outing and had a rowdy sellout crowd of more than 6,000 fans packed into the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo, N.D., but the Wildcats never backed down, scoring 52 second-half points on its way to a thrilling 83-81 victory that snapped NDSU's four-game winning streak.

The Wildcats (6-3) and Bison (6-3) essentially traded the lead back and forth over the last nine minutes after K-State erased a pair of 10-point second half deficits, and as exciting as that stretch was, it hardly topped the final seconds.

NDSU had an opportunity to win or tie after taking over possession with 12.5 seconds left behind 83-81, and Bison guard Ben Woodside, who finished with a game-high 31 points, forced a shot from behind the arc as time expired. There was contact between Woodside and K-State's Clent Stewart as Woodside leaned into the leaping Stewart. No foul was called much to the displeasure of Bison fans, but Wildcat coach Bob Huggins had little doubt that the correct call - no call - was made.

"That's why we have good officials on the game. If they make that call, that's a total bailout. That's not a foul," Huggins said. "(Stewart) is allowed to jump straight up. They can't jump into them. When we jump straight up and he jumps into us, that's not a foul. That's verticality. That was the right call."

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