sports 2 days ago

Northern State men's basketball survives on Andrew Kallman's shot

American News, Aberdeen, S.D. — Cuyler Meade American News, Aberdeen, S.D.

Jan. 13--This Wolves men's basketball team has never been tested like this.

Andrew Kallman, a true freshman, has never been tested like this in collegiate play.

But the Wolves did it. Kallman did it. And the streak goes on.

No. 9 Northern State needed a Kallman 3-pointer from the corner with 2.2 seconds left to pull out an incredible, gutsy victory, 71-69 over visiting Wayne State Friday night at Wachs Arena.

Down a point after the Wildcats had taken their first lead of the hard-fought contest with 20.5 seconds left at Wachs Arena, the Wolves' offensive play fell apart. Point guard Ian Smith had fouled out. Darin Peterka got caught on the dribble. But somehow, as the sharks of the Wildcats defense smelled blood in the water -- and a massive upset -- and collapsed toward the left corner, the ball found its way to Kallman, alone, in the right corner.

Kallman had time. Maybe too much time. He breathed, visibly, calibrated, took aim, and fired.

A dart. Bullseye.

"Shoot the ball, hope that it goes in," Kallman said after the game of what was going through his mind as he put up the game-winner. "We work on that every day in practice. We work on our shot every day, just have to hope for the best."

The Chaska, Minn., native -- who said he hit a 3-pointer to tie it in a section final play as a prep player -- is the only of several promising true freshmen who sees playing time in this, a dominant, veteran-heavy, version of the Wolves men. As the conference schedule has continued, he's seen less and less time on the court, but he's remained sharp. The Wolves needed him Friday night to extend their winning streak to 16 games and avoid their first conference and home loss of the campaign.

"We thought maybe we could get (Wayne defender Trevin Joseph) on a back cut for a layup," Wolves head coach Paul Sather said of the final possession. "He'd been biting on stuff all night. We hadn't run our back cut play against him yet, and they did a pretty good job of guarding it. It wasn't there. The end of the day, you put the ball in your best player's hand, and you set a ball screen, which was working pretty well. I thought that was the best thing we did against their zone in the second half, but attacking, gets guys watching, and they had to help on Darin (Peterka's) baseline drive and he found Andrew. Our play didn't work, so we went to what we have been doing. Without Ian in the play, I thought Darin did a great job of stepping up and making that play."

It was, frankly, an ugly game for the Wolves, who shot 37 percent from the field in the first half, nearly a season low, and by far the low of the conference season. They wouldn't have needed Kallman if not for foul trouble, if not for missed shots the Wolves always make, and if not for some tenacious defense by the Wildcats.

"I thought (Friday) Wayne was the better team," Sather said. "But I thought we made more plays."

The Wolves don't get Kallman's shot if they don't have courageous efforts by D.J. Pollard and Ian Smith, who broke the Wolves out of scoring slumps with regularity and who found a way to find a bucket off the dribble when nothing else was working.

"We've got nice veteran guys who understand and have been in this position," Sather said. "Those guys all did a great job of being poised and composed. That's what you count on, guys making plays, and they did (Friday)."

Smith had a team-high 20 points; Pollard was right behind him with 18. Kallman's 12 rounded out the Wolves in double digits.

The Wolves gave away 17 turnovers, a season high, and it showed. In fact, Kallman himself coughed up the turnover that led to the lead-taking bucket for Wayne State. But he, and the Wolves with him, remained composed.

"(Kallman) had a turnover late in the game, and you learn from that," Sather said. "You have that turnover, but you come back and make that play, and good for him. Happy for him."

It seemed fitting that Kallman would be the last man to touch the ball, though his game-winner left 2.2 seconds on the clock. The long inbound try from Wayne, following a timeout, was tipped into the air by a sky-high Gabe King and caught by Kallman, who hurled it into the rafters to allow time to expire.

"I was just hoping for the best," Kallman said. "Trying to get the 'dub.'"

The Wolves improve to 17-1 and are 11-0 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. Next up is a home tilt against Augustana Saturday.

Follow @CuylerMeade_aan on Twitter.

Northern State 71,

Wayne State 69

NSIC at Wachs Arena

Wayne State (10-9, 5-6 NSIC): Jordan Cornelius 2-3 3-3 7, Kendall Jacks 4-11 2-3 10, Vance Janssen 2-3 5-6 9, Matt Thomas 2-4 2-2 6, Brian Goodwin 2-3 2-3 7, Trevin Joseph 7-15 1-2 16, Austin Esters 2-4 0-0 5, Ben Dentlinger 0-1 0-0 0, Luke TerHark 0-1 0-0 0, Tony Bonner 4-10 1-2 9, Totals 25-55 16-21 69.

Northern State (17-1, 11-0 NSIC): Logan Doyle 2-2 3-4 7, Ian Smith 6-13 6-9 20, D.J. Pollard 5-8 7-8 18, Gabe King 3-4 0-0 7, Darin Peterka 1-6 0-0 2, Andrew Kallman 4-5 0-0 12, Justin Decker 1-4 0-0 3, Cole Dahl 0-2 0-0 0, Carter Evans 0-5 2-2 2, Totals 22-49 18-23 71.

Wayne State 27 42 -- 69

Northern State 33 38 -- 71

3-point field goals -- WSC 3-10, Thomas 0-2, Goodwin 1-2, Joseph 1-3, Esters 1-1, Dentlinger 0-1, TerHark 0-1; NSU 9-19, Smith 2-4, Pollard 1-3, King 1-1, Peterka 0-3, Kallman 4-5, Decker 1-1, Dahl 0-2. Total Fouls -- WSC 17; NSU 20. Fouled out -- WSC Bonner; NSU Smith. Rebounds -- .WSC 26, Cornelius 1, Jacks 6, Janssen 2, Thomas 2, Goodwin 2, Joseph 2, Esters 1, Dentlinger 1, TerHark 1, Bonner 5; NSU 37, Doyle 6, Smith 7, Pollard 3, King 1, Peterka 4, Kallman 1, Decker 2, Dahl 5, Evans 6. Assists -- WSC 6, Jacks 1, Janssen 1, Thomas 1, Goodwin 1, Esters 1, TerHark 1; NSU 12, Doyle 3, Smith 2, Pollard 1, Peterka 3, Dahl 1, Evans 2. Turnovers -- WSC 10; NSU 17. Steals -- WSC 11, Cornelius 1, Jacks 1, Janssen 1, THomas 2, Goodwin 2, Joseph 2, Esters 1, Bonner 1; NSU 6, Doyle 1, Smith 1, Peterka 2, Kallman 2. Blocks -- WSC 1, Cornelius 1; NSU 4, Pollard 1, Evans 3.

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