Top-seeded NDSU punches ticket to Big Dance

NDSU's Vinnie Shahid earned Championship MVP honors scoring a game-high 25 points.
NDSU's Vinnie Shahid earned Championship MVP honors scoring a game-high 25 points.

Press Conferences: North Dakota State | North Dakota

The Basics
Score: No. 1 North Dakota State 89, No. 6 North Dakota 53
Records: North Dakota State (24-8), North Dakota (15-18)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Top-seed and defending tournament champion North Dakota State scored the first 13 points of Tuesday's championship game against No. 6 North Dakota en route to a record-setting 89-53 win.

With the win, NDSU earns its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth overall.

Despite the record-breaking outcome, it took a while for NDSU to find its groove after a 5-for-13 start to start the game but the Fighting Hawks started 0-for-7 from the floor during that seven-minute stretch and never recovered from the slow start.

UND snapped the initial drought with a Marlon Stewart layup but NDSU reeled off the next eight points to break the game wide open, pushing the lead to 21-2 midway through the first half.

The Bison kept their foot on the gas for the rest of the half, tying a championship-game record with 49 points thanks to an 8-for-11 effort from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes.

The onslaught continued in the second half as the Bison led by as many as 39 and finished with a 55 percent clip from the field.

Vinnie Shahid led the Bison with 25 points as he picked up his second straight Championship MVP award. He was joined on the all-tournament team by classmate Tyson Ward, who added 23 points and tied a career-high with 13 rebounds.

Jared Samuelson pitched in with 11 points in the win. Sophomore Sam Griesel tacked on eight points and rounded out a trio of Bison on the all-tournament squad. They were joined by UND's Marlon Stewart, who had 12 points in the title game, and Oral Roberts' sophomore Kevin Obanor, who had double-doubles in both of his contests in Sioux Falls.

De'Sean Allen-Eikens led the Fighting Hawks with 17 points and Filip Rebraca had 10 points in the loss.

North Dakota State will find out its opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday (March 15) on CBS at 5 p.m. CT.

Turning Point
The first 6 minutes, 54 seconds of the game. The Bison only went 5 for 13 from the floor in the opening minutes, but the Fighting Hawks went 0 for 7 from the floor and 0 for 2 from the free throw line. Six different Bison scored during that stretch to open a 13-0 lead.

All-Tournament Team
Sam Griesel, NDSU
Kevin Obanor, ORU
Vinnie Shahid, NDSU (MVP)
Marlon Stewart, UND
Tyson Ward, NDSU

Inside the Box Score

  • NDSU's 49 first-half points tied a championship-game record for points in the first half (Wright State 1993, vs. Illinois-Chicago)
  • The Bison set a title game record for the largest margin of victory at 36 points, topping the 33-point margin by Valparaiso over IUPUI in 2002 (88-55), which was the only other time the No. 1 and No. 6 seeds met up in the title game.
  • NSDU shot 72.7 percent from 3-point range in the first half (8-for-11), while UND went 1-for-10.
  • The Bison finished with a 52 percent clip from 3-point range (13-for-25).
  • NDSU's 13 triples in the game rank as the second-most all-time in a title game, one behind both Valparaiso in 2002 and South Dakota State in 2018.
  • NDSU's 89 total points rank as the fifth most all-time in a title game.
  • Tyson Ward's fifth double-double of the season gives him 14 in his career.
  • Ward set a title game record by going 5 for 5 from 3-point range, and his five makes ties him for fifth in a Summit League title game.

News & Notes

  • NDSU improves to 19-7 all-time in the tournament, with a 5-2 mark in the finals.
  • The Bison also won the tournament in 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2019.
  • The Bison fell in the tournament finals in 2013 and 2016.
  • UND falls to an even 2-2 all-time in the tournament, with an 0-1 mark in the finals.
  • UND leads the all-time series with NDSU, 162-138, with NDSU holding a 6-5 advantage in neutral site game.
  • Tuesday's game marked the 300th meeting between the longtime rivals, who first played on March 4, 1905.
  • NDSU and UND last met in a postseason game on March 6, 1993, down the hall from the PREMIERE Center at the Sioux Falls Arena in the North Central Conference Tournament finals. UND won 72-59.
  • The No. 1 seed improves to 21-6 all-time in the tournament finals
  • The No. 6 seed falls to 0-2 in the tournament finals (2003: Valparaiso 88, IUPUI 55)

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