No. 1 vs. No. 2 for The Summit League Championship

(Photo Credit: Inertia)
(Photo Credit: Inertia)


The Basics
No. 1 South Dakota State 78, No. 5 North Dakota State 57
Records: South Dakota State (27-6), North Dakota State (15-17)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Top-seed and two-time defending tournament champion South Dakota State got off to a hot start on Monday against No. 5 seed North Dakota State in The Summit League semifinals, and fended off the lone Bison run to secure a 78-57 win an a fourth straight trip to the tournament finals.

South Dakota State scored the game's first 10 points, as North Dakota State opened 0-of-3 from the field with a pair of turnovers. Even though the Bison fired back with five straight to halve the lead, SDSU responded with a 13-1 run to take a 23-6 lead, capped off by a David Jenkins, Jr. 3-pointer with 10:42 left in the opening half.

Up 25-12 with just under seven minutes left in the first half, the Jackrabbits poured it on again, this time with an 11-0 run over the next 3:38. That gave SDSU a 36-12 lead with just over three minutes to play in the half, a lead that the Bison would cut down to 38-20 at halftime.

The Bison scored the final six points of the first half and 11 of the first 12 points in the second half to trim the Jackrabbits lead to 39-31, highlighted by a Paul Miller steal and layup less than three minutes into the second half which drew a timeout from the SDSU bench with 17:27 remaining.

The Jackrabbits responded with an 11-1 run out of the timeout to push the lead back into double figures at 50-32 with two ticks under 15 minutes on the clock, and built it to as many as 30 points near the end of the game to secure the win and the team's fourth straight trip to the tournament finals.

Jenkins led all players in the game with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Mike Daum added 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the game's only double-double.

Tyson Ward led four Bison in double figures with 15 points, with Miller adding 14, Cameron Hunter 11 and A.J. Jacobson 10 points in the loss.

Turning Point

  • Leading 10-5 less than five minutes into the game, the Jackrabbits went on a 13-1 lead to push their lead to 17 points at 23-6 midway through the first half.

Inside The Box Score

  • SDSU did not trail in the game at any point, and led for 39:08
  • NDSU did not score any second chance points, while SDSU finished with six
  • The teams combined for just eight offensive rebounds: SDSU 5, NDSU 3
  • Daum's 20th double-double of the season gives him 31 for his career

News & Notes

  • South Dakota State improves to 6-3 all-time in the tournament semifinals, and to 19-5 all-time in the tournament
  • North Dakota State falls to 5-1 all-time in the tournament semifinals, and to 13-7 all-time in the tournament
  • SDSU beat NDSU three times in the same season for the first time since the 1979-80 season
  • SDSU improves to 3-1 all-time against NDSU in The Summit League Championships, with all three of the previous meetings coming in the tournament finals (2013, 2015, 2016)
  • NDSU's lone win at the tournament over SDSU came in the 2015 finals, when the Bison won as a No. 3 seed over the top-seeded Jackrabbits
  • SDSU advances to the tournament finals for the fourth straight season, and for the sixth time in seven years


The Basics
No. 2 South Dakota 76, No. 3 Denver 58
Records: South Dakota (26-7), Denver (15-15)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Second-seeded South Dakota used a pair of first half runs to cruise to a comfortable 76-58 win over No. 3 seed Denver in Monday's Summit League semifinal at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, setting up an in-state battle with top-seed South Dakota State in Tuesday's tournament final. 

South Dakota scored the first four points of the game, Denver scored the next five to take its first--and as it turned out--its only lead of the game, as the Coyotes fired back with eight straight to take a 12-5 lead. South Dakota added a 12-0 run later in the half to blow the game open at 26-9 with nine minutes left.

The Coyotes kept pouring it on, and led by as many as 22 points twice in the first half, including at the end, when they took a 47-25 lead into halftime, thanks largely to some great shooting. South Dakota went 18-of-30 from the floor in the first half and shot 60 percent, while Denver got off exactly as many shots, but made half as many as the Coyotes.

South Dakota's shooting percentage fell in the second half, but Denver's stayed the same, which prevented the Pioneers from putting together any kind of a run. The Coyotes built the lead to as many as 26 points and kept the Pioneers from getting any closer than 20 points until the final minutes of the game.

Matt Mooney led all players and three Coyotes in double figures with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including an 2-of-3 effort from 3-point range. Triston Simpson added 11 points and Tyler Hagedorn 10 points in the win.

Daniel Amigo scored 16 points to lead the Pioneers, with Ade Murkey adding 10 points as the only other Denver player in double figures.

Turning Point

  • The 6:27 stretch in the first half, starting at the 15:45 mark, when the Coyotes outscored the Pioneers 22-4, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 26-9 lead they would never relinquish.

Inside The Box Score

  • Denver finished with a 36-30 advantage in points in the paint, and a with a 26-10 edge in second chance points
  • South Dakota went 8-of-18 from 3-point range, while Denver went 3-of-20

News & Notes

  • This is the first championship game the 'Yotes will play in since joining The Summit League 
  • South Dakota improves to 1-2 all-time in the tournament semifinals, and to 4-5 all-time in the tournament
  • South Dakota lost both of its previous two semifinal games against South Dakota State (2015, 2017)
  • Denver remains winless at 0-3 all-time in the tournament semifinals, and falls to 3-5 all-time in the tournament
  • Denver beat South Dakota 71-55 in the 2014 tournament quarterfinals, the Pioneers first-ever Summit League Tournament game, and the only previous meeting between the teams at the event


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