Usually, this feature is reserved for players at our level who a.) have great performances in games that matter and b.) win. But sometimes we have to make an exception, or one-and-a-half. Ben Woodside of North Dakota State is our fifth Mid-Majority Baller of the Week for the 2008-09 season.
On Friday night in the opening round of the Drake Invitational (we can't bring ourselves to call it the Hy-Vee
Classic), the traveling fans and a few Des Moines locals witnessed history. In the opposite half of the mini-bracket and the early game, Mr. Woodside scored 60 points in 51 minutes of a triple-overtime game
against Stephen F. Austin. All the numbers were big -- the 112-111 final score, the 14 field goals by the 5-11 Albert Lea, Minnesota native, his 30-for-35 performance from the line. He also found the time to grab eight rebounds and eight assists. But that 60 points is what buzzed across the national wires. A full 22 of those points came in the last 8:51 of the second half
. This was the highest single-game point total in Division I since 2000, when Arizona State's Eddie House scored 61 in double-overtime (warning: Pac-10 content)
But that wasn't all! The next day, in the consolation game, Woodside went off for 31 against Georgia Southern in a 98-77 win
for the Bison, shooting 8-for-15 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the line. He also tallied 10 assists to notch the little guy's double-double. All in all, a 91-point weekend is not bad at all. If anything, it gives Stephen Curry a new horizon to shoot for.
If you think you've heard this name before, you probably have. Especially if you live in a town called Madison. Woodside's first major national performance came as a freshman on Jan. 21, 2006 when he scored 24 against Wisconsin
and helped NDSU bring down the Badgers 62-55 in the school's first year of Division I reclassification. Now a senior, he has a career full of points (1,764 to date) and great 3-point shooting. He's averaging 40.9 percent from behind the arc, and he's one of those guys who doesn't mind the new distance. He's shot 51.4 percent (19-for-37) since the NCAA painted the double-rainbow on every floor. He's also been polishing his dime collection: his assist-to-turnover ratio has increased each year, and now he's sitting at a solid 2-to-1, with 7.6 assists per contest.
And about the whole not leading your team to victory thing, let's put that in its proper perspective. This Ruthian round number came in a game that will not matter one iota on Selection Sunday. Let's face it, North Dakota State, as a member of the Badlands Conference, is not a candidate for an at-large bid and will sink or swim based on its league performance (and, thanks to having finished reclassification, NDSU is eligible for the postseason
). Does it matter that this happened in a losing cause? In a month, nobody will remember that the Bison had lost, nobody will remember the SFA player's winning layup
, just that 60. So congratulations, Ben Woodside, you are the Mid-Majority Baller of the Week.