Summit stunner!

Dick Carlson/Inertia: ABOVE: South Dakota State’s Tevin King drives around C.J. Duff of Western Illinois at the 2019 Summit League Basketball Tournament at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. BELOW: SDSU’s David Jenkins scores two of his 29 points as Isaac Johnson defends during the Jacks’ 79-76 loss to the Leathernecks.

Eighth-seeded Leathernecks stop top-seeded Jackrabbits, 79-76

SIOUX FALLS – Western Illinois made history, while South Dakota State’s historic run came to an end.

The Leathernecks became the first No. 8 seed in Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship history to knock off the No. 1, controlling play early before holding on late to defeat the three-time defending-champion Jackrabbits 79-76 in the quarterfinals Saturday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

“Obviously, it’s a tremendous win, a tremendous victory for our team, for our program, for our university,” said WIU coach Billy Wright, whose team moved to 10-20. “Give these kids all the credit – they kept chipping away at it, kept chipping away at it.”

The visitors on the scoreboard – and in the stands – led for more than 39 minutes.

They were up 38-28 at halftime and pushed the advantage to a game-high 14 points – 50-36 – with 15:11 remaining.

“All the credit in the world to Western Illinois,” said SDSU coach T.J. Otzelberger. “I thought Coach Wright had their squad ready to go; they had a tremendous game plan; they were physical; they were aggressive; and they deserved to win the game, quite frankly.

“I’m proud of our guys that we continued to fight, even in adversity, but they did a great job establishing themselves early in the game, so credit to them, and we weren’t able to make enough plays late.”

The Jackrabbits made numerous plays down the stretch, but the Leathernecks kept answering.

WIU’s last double-digit lead came at 72-61 with 2:36 showing on the clock.

It was far from over.

A David Jenkins 3-pointer followed by Tevin King’s steal and layup cut the deficit to 72-66 with 2:11 left.

The wild finish later saw Jenkins hit a trey with 14 seconds to go as SDSU pulled within 77-76.

WIU’s Keshon Montague, who entered the game for the first time with less that a minute to go, was fouled with 10 seconds to play.

He was 2-of-3 at the line for the season at that point.

He made both.

Jenkins was isolated at the top of the key looking for the equalizer, slipping and nearly losing the ball only to see his defender also hit the deck.

However, the sophomore’s open look from just left of the top of the key rimmed off and Western Illinois prevailed.

SDSU hammered WIU during the regular season, winning 100-58 in a league-opening road game and then 86-66 in the finale a week ago in Brookings.

The Jackrabbits’ loss might come as shocking, but the Leathernecks have some recent close calls as the No. 8 seed, taking the No. 1 seed to the brink each of the past two seasons.

They fell 78-69 in overtime to South Dakota in 2017.

WIU led at halftime against SDSU a year ago. Trailing by two with 38 seconds remaining, they eventually fell 66-60.

Wright listed experience as the difference in their March Madness fate this year.

“Having that experience, that familiarity, that sense of each year our goal is to get better,” he added. “Preseason get bigger, stronger, faster; nonconference; conference; and when we get a chance to go to the postseason we feel like we’ve been playing our best basketball once we get here.

“Obviously, last year, we came up just short once again, and got it done this year. So credit to the guys being in the program who understand and being able to do this before, that’s important.”

Otzelberger called WIU’s physicality the biggest factor.

“They did a good job of preparing, similarly to last year. We knew it was going to be a heck of a game; we knew it was going to be more physical. Coach (Billy) Wright did a tremendous job getting those guys ready to go and I think that physicality took us out of our rhythm. We like to play free and open in space – it just felt like the game was choppy for that reason. We never really got our rhythm.

“I felt like the first half – everybody’s talking about the second half – but the first half is the one we didn’t play very well. If we would’ve played the second half over again, we would have been in great shape – we had great rhythm and pace and we got to the basket and we got the shots we needed, but again, credit to them. (They had) a great game plan, great execution and the physicality was really the difference.”

WIU’s 7-foot senior, Brandon Gilbeck, posted a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year blocked three shots and altered a few more.

Ben Pyle and Kobe Webster led the squad with 17 points apiece, while Zion Young and Isaac Johnson both added 13.

“We’ve been improving every single week,” said Pyle, a true freshman. “So we knew we had a chance to win this game, we just had to come out and execute. … We really looked at the film, and being able to play them back-to-back, we could just focus on them for almost two weeks straight.”

Jenkins did a majority of his damage late, finishing with 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting.

Tevin King totaled 19 points, eight boards, three assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.

Mike Daum was limited to 10 shot attempts, making five of them while posting a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

“We know we’re going to get a bid to the NIT, so we still get to play games in the postseason and we still have more games (ahead),” the three-time regular-season and tournament MVP said. “For us, it’s another loss. A loss we had at the start of the season, it’s the same thing now.

“So we turn around tomorrow, wake up in the morning, get back to work. We have games coming up; you know, the sun’s going to come back up, so it’s really no time to get down on ourselves.

“Of course we’re going to sulk on it a little bit tonight, guys are going to be in their feelings – but who isn’t in their feelings after a loss.

“So we just have to keep moving forward, realizing that we still have games left with this core group of guys, and just keep getting closer together as a team.”

South Dakota State dropped to 24-8.

The National Invitational Tournament pairings are announced Sunday.

Notes

Daum remained ninth in NCAA Division I history with 3,042 career points. He’s 20 off the South Dakota collegiate record. Daum has 1,225 rebounds, 268 3-pointers and 53 double-doubles in his career. … Jenkins has 1,175 points and 193 3-pointers, including 109 this season – tied for the eighth most in league history – in his career. … SDSU is 20-6 in the Summit League tourney, having won five of the past seven titles. … Valparaiso holds the league record with six consecutive postseason crowns from 1995-2000. SDSU’s streak of three is tied for the second longest with Oral Roberts (2006-08).

WESTERN ILLINOIS 79, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 76

Western Illinois (10-20)

Ben Pyle 5-12 4-6 17, Brandon Gilbeck 5-8 3-7 13, Zion Young 5-9 2-2 13, Kobe Webster 6-15 2-4 17, C.J. Duff 2-7 0-1 4, Keshon Montague 0-0 2-2 2, Isaac Johnson 6-11 1-3 13, Jordan Hughes 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-63 14-25 79.

South Dakota State (24-8)

Mike Daum 5-10 6-7 16, Alex Arians 1-2 0-0 3, Skyler Flatten 2-7 1-2 5, Tevin King 7-12 4-7 19, David Jenkins 11-23 4-8 29, Ryan Krueger 1-3 2-2 4, Owen King 0-1 0-0 0, Matt Dentlinger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 17-26 76.

Halftime – WIU 38-28. 3-point goals – WIU 7-19 (Webster 3-5, Pyle 3-8, Young 1-3, Johnson 0-1, Duff 0-2); SDSU 5-20 (Jenkins 3-9, Arians 1-1, T. King 1-2, Daum 0-1, O. King 0-1, Krueger 0-2, Flatten 0-4). Rebounds – WIU 43 (Gilbeck 13); SDSU 38 (Daum 11). Assists – WIU 7 (Gilbeck 2, Webster 2); SDSU 10 (T. King 3). Steals – WIU 7 (Johnson 4); SDSU 6 (Daum 2, T. King 2). Blocks – WIU 3 (Gilbeck 3); SDSU 5 (Daum 2, T. King 2). Turnovers – WIU 15; SDSU 14. Total fouls – WIU 24; SDSU 22. Fouled out – Young. Technical fouls – None. A – 8.071.

 Omaha 81, North Dakota 76

The Mavericks led by as many as 10 in the first half, before taking a 48-46 advantage into the break. They survived a late rally by the Fighting Hawks to advance.

UND’s Marlon Stewart, who scored a game-high 26 points, made 1-of-2 free throws with 2:09 left and hit a 3-pointer with 1:16 to go to pull his squad within 77-76.

A bucket by reserve Wanjang Tut gave UNO a 79-76 lead with 16 seconds left.

Mitch Hahn grabbed a defensive rebound after Stewart’s contested reverse layup fell off and then went 2-of-2 at the foul line to seal the deal with 5 seconds to go.

UNO held a 14-5 advantage in offensive rebounds.

The Mavericks’ Zach Jackson had 21 points, Tut 18 (on 7-of-10 shooting), Hahn 14 and Matt Pile 12 before fouling out.

OMAHA 81, NORTH DAKOTA 76

North Dakota (12-17)

Kienan Walter 1-3 0-0 2, Conner Avants 2-3 1-2 5, Marlon Stewart 9-18 7-9 26, Billy Brown 4-5 1-1 10, Cortez Seales 4-13 0-0 8, Aanen Moody 5-8 0-0 14, Filip Rebraca 3-4 0-2 6, Ethan Igbanugo 1-2 2-3 5, Carter Brooks 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-58 11-17 76.

Omaha (19-10)

Matt Pile 6-12 0-0 12, Mitch Hahn 4-10 4-4 14, JT Gibson 2-6 2-2 6, KJ Robinson 0-8 3-4 3, Zach Jackson 8-14 4-5 21, Ayo Akinwole 1-3 2-3 4, Wanjang Tut 7-10 3-3 18, Brett Barney 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 29-66 18-21 81.

Halftime – UNO 48-46. 3-point goals – UND 7-19 (Moody 4-7, Brown 1-1, Igbanugo 1-2, Stewart 1-5, Walter 0-1, Brooks 0-1, Seales 0-2), UNO 5-18 (Hahn 2-5, Tut 1-1, Barney 1-2, Jackson 1-3, Akinwole 0-1, Gibson 0-2, Robinson 0-4). Rebounds – UND 30 (Rebraca 10); UNO 41 (Hahn 9). Assists – UND 8 (Seales 3), UNO 8 (Pile 2, Gibson 2, Robinson 2). Steals – UND 2 (Avants 2, Rebraca 1); UNO 6 (Akinwole 2). Blocks – UND 3 (Brown, Moody, Rebraca); UNO 1 (Tut). Turnovers – UND 7; UNO 6. Total fouls – UND 19; UNO 18. Fouled out – Pile. Technical fouls – None. A – 8,071.

Sunday

 North Dakota State 86, Oral Roberts 73

The Bison dominated the second half to move on the semifinals.

The Golden Eagles made their first 10 shots and led by 13 points early. They were up 48-41 with 44 seconds left in the first half but didn’t score again for the next 7 minutes, 14 seconds.

NDSU cut the deficit to 48-43 at halftime and moved ahead 56-48 during ORU’s scoring drought.

Overall, ORU went 14:37 without a field goal, making 11 free throws during that stretch.

NDSU’s Tyson Ward scored in the paint with 6:15 left to make it 69-59 and Oral Roberts never got closer than 10 points down the stretch.

The Bison outscored the Golden Eagles 43-25 over the final 20 minutes.

NDSU shot 59.5 percent (25-of-42) for the game, while ORU ended up at 42.1 percent (24-of-57) – 20 percent (6-of-30) in the second half. The teams were a combined 17-of-30 from 3-point range in the first half and ended up 20-of-44.

Ward had a big game with 25 points, going 7-of-10 from the floor and 11-of-13 at the charity stripe.

Jared Samuelson added 15 points and reserve Cameron Hunter chipped in with 13 – 12 of which came during a 3-pointer flurry that helped keep the Bison in it early.

Rocky Kreuser totaled eight points, eight rebounds, four blocks and a pair of assists.

ORU’s Kevin Obanor posted a double-double of 23 points and 10 boards. Sam Kearns dropped in 16 points off the bench.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE 86, ORAL ROBERTS 73

Oral Roberts (11-21)

Kevin Obanor 5-13 12-15 23, Kaelen Malone 4-9 0-0 9, Deshang Weaver 2-4 0-0 6, Kerwin Smith 3-5 0-0 6, Francis Lacis 2-3 0-0 6, Sam Kearns 5-12 2-2 16, Aidan Saunders 2-5 1-2 5, Emmanuel Nzekwesi 1-6 0-4 2. Totals 24-57 10-24 73.

North Dakota State (16-15)

Vinnie Shahid 2-4 4-4 8, Sam Griesel 0-2 2-4 2, Jared Samuelson 3-5 6-6 15, Tyson Ward 7-10 11-13 25, Rocky Kreuser 3-8 2-5 8, Jaxon Knolek 0-0 0-0 0, Tyree Eady 2-2 0-0 5, Chris Quayle 0-0 0-0 0, Jarius Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Cameron Hunter 4-6 1-2 13, Deng Geu 2-3 0-2 4, Jordan Horn 2-3 0-0 6. Totals 25-42 26-36 86.

Halftime – ORU 48-43. 3-point goals – ORU 10-24 (Kearns 4-10, Francis 2-3, Weaver 2-4, Obanor 1-3, Malone 1-3, Saunders 0-1); NDSU 10-20 (Hunter 4-5, Samuelson 3-5, Horn 2-3, Griesel 0-1, Ward 0-1, Ward 0-1, Kreuser 0-4). Rebounds – ORU 33 (Obanor 10); NDSU 28 (Kreuser 8). Assists – ORU 16 (Malone 8); NDSU 11 (Griesel 3, Eady 3). Steals – ORU 6 (Smith 2); NDSU 7 (Griesel 2, Ward 2). Blocks – ORU 0; NDSU 7 (Kreuser 4). Turnovers – ORU 11; NDSU 9. Total fouls – ORU 22; NDSU 18. Fouled out – Weaver, Kearns. Technical fouls – None.

• Purdue Fort Wayne 96, South Dakota 70

John Konchar posted a triple-double as the third-seeded Mastodons returned to form, hammering the Coyotes.

The senior point guard finished with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in 30 minutes of action. He had 8-8-9 at halftime as PFW led 52-25.

Konchar is the only NCAA Division I player in history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 200 steals. He has 2,052, 1,143, 550 and 253, respectively, to go with 87 blocks in 132 career games.

PFW shot 57.9 percent (33-of-57) for the game, including a 16-of-30 mark from deep.

Kason Harrell scored 21 points, Matt Holba 15, Dee Montgomery 11, and Dylan Carl and Marcus DeBerry 10 apiece.

The roller-coaster Mastodons went 9-7 in regular-season league games. They won their first four games, lost the next three, followed that with a five-game winning streak and then dropped their final four heading into the postseason.

USD’s Stanley Umude had 19 points, Tyler Peterson 15 and Triston Simpson 12. Senior Trey Burch-Manning left the game midway though the second half with an apparent ankle injury.

PURDUE FORT WAYNE 96, SOUTH DAKOTA 70

South Dakota (13-17)

Stanley Umude 9-18 2-3 21, Triston Simpson 4-12 3-4 12, Cody Kelley 2-13 0-0 5, Trey Burch-Manning 2-6 0-0 4, Tyler Peterson 6-12 1-2 15, Brandon Armstrong 0-2 3-4 3, Dan Jech 1-1 3-3 5, Logan Power 2-8 0-0 5. Totals 26-72 12-16 70.

Purdue Fort Wayne (18-14)

Dylan Carl 4-7 0-0 10, Matt Holba 4-6 3-5 15, Kason Harrell 10-13 0-0 21, Matt Weir 1-3 0-0 2, John Konchar 6-11 2-2 18, Jarred Godfrey 1-3 5-8 7, Dee Montgomery 4-6 0-0 11, Cameron Benford 0-1 0-4 0, Rylen Grundy 0-0 2-2 2, Marcus DeBerry 3-7 2-2 10. Totals 33-57 14-25 96.

Halftime – PFW 52-25. 3-point goals – USD 6-29 (Peterson 2-4, Umude 1-4, Power 1-4, Simpson 1-5, Kelley 1-9, Burch-Manning 0-1, Armstrong 0-2); PFW 16-30 (Holba 4-6, Konchar 4-7, Montgomery 3-5, Carl 2-3, DeBerry 2-5, Harrell 1-1, Godfrey 0-1, Weir 0-2). Rebounds – USD 41 (Burch-Manning 9); PFW 35 (Konchar 10). Assists – USD 13 (Simpson 8); PFW 18 (Konchar 10). Steals – USD 5 (Kelley 2, Armstrong 2); PFW 7 (Konchar 2, Godfrey 2, Montgomery 2). Blocks – USD 1 (Umude); PFW 7 (Benford 2, DeBerry 2). Turnovers – USD 10; PFW 8. Total fouls – USD 20; PFW 16. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None. A – 5,989.


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