Champion: South Dakota State
Score: No. 2 South Dakota State 61, No. 1 South Dakota 55
Records: South Dakota State (26-6), South Dakota (26-6)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State took the lead midway through the third quarter and went on to win its seventh Summit League Women's Basketball Championship in eight years with a 55-49 victory over top seeded South Dakota.
The Tuesday afternoon game at the Denny Sanford Premier Center attracted a championship game record crowd of 8,647.
The Jacks are now 21-1 in Summit League tourney play. With the victory, the Jackrabbits earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division I women's tournament. Both teams are now 26-6. USD, which won the regular season title, has been in the championship game each of the past four seasons.
The Coyotes led 11-10 and 27-26 at the first two quarter breaks. The eighth and final lead change of the game came when Ellie Thompson hit a pair of free throws to break a 32-32 tie with 4:03 to play in the third period. The game was tied at 34, 36 and 38 before the Jacks got some breathing room when Thompson scored inside and Kerry Young hit a three-pointer, making it 43-38.
After Nicole Seekamp's basket pulled the Coyotes within three at 50-47, SDSU got a three from Madison Guebert and a pair of free throws by Macy Miller pushing the margin to 55-47. When Young hit a pair of free throws with 1:01 to play, the margin was ten, 59-49.
Defenses dominated much of the game as both teams shot 33.9 percent from the field. SDSU was 19-of-56 but had seven threes and made 16 of 23 free throws. USD was 20-of-59 from the field with five threes and 10-of-19 at the line.
Miller, a sophomore, posted an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double and was named tournament MVP. Gruebert, a freshman, added 14 points while Thompson finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal. Clarissa Ober had seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks while reserve Gabby Boever had just two points but eight rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Seekamp led USD with 22 points and also contributed four rebounds, four steals, three assists. Kelly Stewart was the only other USD player in double figures with 11.
South Dakota State's lead was trimmed to 50-47 after Nicole Seekamp sank a layup with 4:35 to go. With the game in the balance, SDSU ran off five straight points to put the game at 55-47 with less than three minutes on the clock. The eight-point lead was too much for the Coyotes to overcome and SDSU finished the game victorious 61-55. It is the Jackrabbits' second straight league tournament crown and make the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history.
Inside The Box Score
- South Dakota shot just 53% (10-19) from the free throw line while SDSU shot 70% (16-23) at the line.
- USD scored 22 points off 15 SDSU turnovers while SDSU scored just 6 points off 12 South Dakota turnovers.
- The Coyotes outscored the Jackrabbits 16-6 in second-chance points.
- Both teams shot 34% from the field on the game.
- USD shot just 5-15 (33%) from the three-point line.
News & Notes
- Today's attendance of 8,647 sets a new women's championship session attendance record. Total women's attendance of 28,872 also set a new overall mark.
- Today's game marked the third time in the last four years South Dakota and South Dakota State have squared-off in the championship game. SDSU has won all three meetings.
- South Dakota has advanced to the title game each of the last four years, while South Dakota State has been in the finals seven of the last eight years.
- The Jackrabbits won their seventh title in school history and become just the second No. 2 seed to win the title since 2003 (SDSU, 2015).
Madison Guebert, South Dakota State
Macy Miller, South Dakota State (MVP)
Nicole Seekamp, South Dakota
Mikaela Shaw, Omaha
Kelly Stewart, South Dakota
South Dakota State advances to the NCAA Tournament. The Jackrabbits await its tournament pairing, which will air Monday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN.