MINOT, N.D. William Giddings connected on a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to lift Southwest Minnesota State to a thrilling 75-72 victory over Minot State on Saturday night.
SMSU (16-10, 13-7 NSIC) was in complete control for much of the game only to see Minot State (8-16, 4-16 NSIC) rally back and take a two-point lead with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Giddings then tied the game with two free throws with 43 seconds left before the SMSU defense forced a shot clock violation with 5.5 seconds remaining.
Giddings took the inbounds pass from midcourt and drove to the top of the key before stopping and connecting on the game-winning field goal.
The victory kept the Mustangs in sole possession of third place in the NSIC South Division standings and holding a two-game lead over three teams.
Giddings finished the game with a team-high 20 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Shaun Condon scored 14 points off the bench, while Mitch Weg added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Minot State scored the game's first two points, but the Mustangs quickly took the lead and built a 12-5 lead five minutes into the game. SMSU held a nine-point advantage several times in the half before using a late run to take a 42-29 halftime lead.
The Mustangs maintained the double-digit lead in the early stages of the second half, and even extended the lead to 59-40 at the 11-minute mark.
SMSU still held a comfortable 63-48 lead following a Condon field goal with 8:27 left, but Minot State started its rally and outscored the Mustangs 24-7 over the next seven minutes to tie the game at 70 with 2:11 remaining.
Williams gave the Beavers the lead with two free throws with 1:06 left in the game.
On SMSU's next possession, Vinard Birch missed two field goals, but Giddings secured an offensive rebound on the second miss and was fouled. Giddings then tied the game with two free throws with 43 seconds remaining.
Minot State called a timeout with 18 seconds remaining, but following the timeout Southwest forced the Beavers into a shot-clock violation turning the ball back to the Mustangs for the final shot by Giddings.
Southwest Minnesota State concludes the regular season next weekend with two big home games. They will play Concordia-St. Paul on Friday before facing NSIC-leading Minnesota State on Saturday.
SMSU 75, MINOT STATE 72
SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (16-10 OVERALL, 13-7 NSIC): William Giddings 5-8 7-7 20, Vinard Birch 3-9 2-2 8, Mitch Weg 5-6 0-0 10, Shaun Condon 3-7 6-6 14, Travis Meinders 2-2 0-0 5, Joey Bartlett 2-4 0-0 5, Matt Zager 1-4 3-4 5, Cole Martin 1-3 0-0 2, Nick Smith 3-5 0-1 6. TOTALS: 25-48 (52%) 18-20 (90%) 75.
MINOT STATE (8-16 OVERALL, 4-16 NSIC): Samuel Johnson 4-7 2-2 10, Chris East 4-5 4-4 12, EJ Williams 6-12 9-10 26, Dominique McDonald 3-9 1-2 7, Nathan Mertens 1-1 2-3 4, Thomas Korf 4-9 2-2 13, Dan Yale 0-2 0-0 0, Isiah Gandy 0-2 0-0 0.
HALFTIME: Southwest Minnesota State 42, Minot State 29. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Southwest Minnesota State 7-13 (Giddings 3, Condon 2, Meinders 1, Bartlett 1); Minot State 8-22 (Williams 5, Korf 3). REBOUNDS: Southwest Minnesota State 30 (Weg 7); Minot State 20 (East 8). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Southwest Minnesota State 19 (none); Minot State 19 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Southwest Minnesota State 11 (Birch 3); Minot State 11 (Williams 4). STEALS: Southwest Minnesota State 4 (Weg, Condon, Martin, Smith 1); Minot State 4 (East 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Southwest Minnesota State 3 (Zager 2); Minot State 2 (Gandy 2). TURNOVERS: Southwest Minnesota State 16; Minot State 12.