Top Two Seeds Advance to Men's Semifinals

Men's Quarterfinal Game 1: (1) South Dakota State vs. (8) IUPUI - Photo by Inertia Sports Media
Men's Quarterfinal Game 1: (1) South Dakota State vs. (8) IUPUI - Photo by Inertia Sports Media

(1) South Dakota State 66, (8) IUPUI 49


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State used a pair of double-digit runs to outscore IUPUI 66-49 in the quarterfinals of The Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.

IUPUI had leads of 5-0 and 7-3 to start the game before SDSU went on a 15-0 spurt, opening an 18-7 lead on a layup by Jordan Dykstra with 10:42 left.

IUPUI cut the margin to 31-27 at the halftime and hung around for much of the second half. With the Jaguars within four, at 43-39 after a jumper by Donovan Gibbs, SDSU went on a 10-0 run to take charge. Nate Wolters made a layup with 8:37 left to make it 53-39.

SDSU had three players in double figures led by Wolters with 20 points. He also had four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Tony Fiegen contributed a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Dykstra also finished with 15 points.

Mitchell Patton, who had most of his playing time in the second half limited by foul trouble, led IUPUI with 17 points. Gibbs had 10 points and nine rebounds.

SDSU shot 51 percent for the game (26-of-52) including 60 percent (15-of-25) in the second half. The Jacks also had a 30-22 rebounding advantage and committed a season low three turnovers with none in the second half.

SDSU, The Summit League regular-season co-champion and defending tournament champion, advances to Monday's semifinal game with a 23-9 record.

IUPUI shot 47.6 percent (20-of-42) and ends the season 6-26.

Notes

--The No. 1 seed is now 22-0 all-time in Summit League quarterfinal games.

--South Dakota State won its third consecutive quarterfinal game and its fourth in five tournament appearances.

--South Dakota State's 17-point victory margin was the most in a No. 1 vs. No. 8 quarterfinal since Oral Roberts' 28-point win over Centenary in 2008.

--Tony Fiegen's double-double is the first in Summit League Tournament play since last season's quarterfinal round.

--With seven field goals, Nate Wolters moved into eighth place on The Summit League's all-time list with 763, one shy seventh.

--Wolters' 20 points moved him into a tie for 18th on The Summit League's season list with 680 alongside Kansas City's Michael Watson (2003-04).

--IUPUI's loss was its 16th consecutive, the eighth-longest losing streak in Summit League history.

Quotes

South Dakota State head coach Scott Nagy

"We talked about this before the game that it could be a possibility that IUPUI could completely alter the way they play the game and slow the game way down. It sucked the life out of us in the first half.  In the second half I think it was our offense that saved us, not our defense. We played with better pace and got our offense going."

on Tony Fiegen
"He made what I thought was the biggest shot of the game when they had cut it to two (33-31); a 15-footer from left wing. And he had six offensive rebounds. I can't remember the last time he had six offensive rebounds. He was a senior for us tonight. He played like it."

on how the team's perspective has changed over the last five years since becoming postseason eligible
"We shot this morning and then USD came in. I was talking to Dave (Boots). That five-year moratorium is a tough period. They've handled it a lot better than we have. I remember when first played in this tournament.  It was so fun just to be playing for something again. We've built this thing (program) over the last few years…now the expectations are different. There is not a lot of celebrating in the locker room now because they know the expectations – their expectations, the expectations of our fans. It's just a lot different feel. But that's OK. I'd rather be where we are now rather than where we were five years ago."

South Dakota State forward Tony Fiegen

on SDSU taking the ball inside the whole game
"IUPUI is maybe one of the teams we match up well against in The Summit League. We wanted to go inside from the get go."

on whether he felt sense of urgency or desperation as a senior
"Knowing that it is my last tournament and probably my last basketball, I guess there is some sense of desperation. But with Nate and I being seniors; and Jordan (a junior who lettered his freshman and sophomore year also) we've got plenty of experience. We've just got to make sure we're making hustle plays.

on the pressure of being the top seed
"The talk in the locker room is we can definitely tell the difference in being the hunted instead of the hunter.  There's a little more pressure, but we can't pay any attention to that."

IUPUI head coach Todd Howard

"We played well against them in minor stretches. The game just got too long. We thought we needed to shrink the game.  Really, our formula was about pieces of the pie: poise, rebounding, defending and being confident. I thought most of the game we were pretty prevalent and successful in three phases of those and the ball didn't bounce our way a few times and that has been the story of our year. Extremely proud because I thought they overcame a lot and Mitch (Patton) played a whale of a game and really had us in the game.  Very proud of the short handedness we have been in and commended the guys on what they brought tonight. We knew we were playing against a very, very good team and you need them to set par a bit and they weren't. I thought we were on all cylinders for some stretches there and gave us a chance."

on playing a slower style of play in a typically high scoring conference
"Regardless of who we were playing we wanted to play hard and develop players, I think you have seen that development in Gibbs and Patton. Playing our brand of basketball gave us a chance in half of these last games down the stretch."

on the season
"You are probably judged internally on how you respond. Our practice the other day was phenomenal and it was our 97th practice and two of them have been poor all year, because they are pros. Despite the circumstances, I think they were judged with how they approached things and how they dealt with things that were certainly tough."

IUPUI center Mitchell Patton

on the matchups down low and what got him going
"Tonight I tried to make my moves quick and tried to get the middle every time I could. It was getting real physical down there; the refs were letting us play."

on picking up his fourth foul early in the second half
"That was tough. I thought I was there, personally, for it but obviously the refs thought differently. It's tough when you look up and it was a five-point game at that point and you know you're right there. I have confidence in all my teammates coming in for me that they can do just as well as me.  It was tough coming out but I have all the confidence in my team."


(2) Western Illinois 54, (7) South Dakota 53


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –  No. 2 Western Illinois rallied from a 39-33 deficit with a 21-9 run as the Fighting Leathernecks outlasted No. 7 South Dakota 54-53 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday night.

It's the second time in a week that WIU has beaten USD in a nail biter. The teams ended the regular season in Macomb, Ill., March 2, with WIU winning 61-59.

Before Western Illinois started its run, South Dakota had its biggest lead of the game after a three-pointer by Brandon Bos with 8:56 to play.

USD led 25-21 at the half and Western Illinois trailed until Ceola Clark III hit a three-pointer with 4:48 to play, putting WIU up 42-41.  Adam Like made two free throws and followed that with a layup giving WIU a 46-41 lead with 3:55 to play.

When Trevor Gruis rebounded a missed free throw and scored for the Coyotes, it was 50-48 with 36 seconds left. But Jordan Foster hit a pair of free throws getting the Leathernecks back up by four before Clark's steal led to a break-away dunk by Remy Roberts-Burnett and a 54-48 lead with 19 seconds left.

Two USD free throws by Karim Rowson cut it to 54-50 with nine seconds left. WIU missed two free throws with six seconds to go giving USD another possession and Juevol Myles hit a three with two-tenths of a second left for the final margin.

Clark led all scorers with 21 points but was the only player in double figures for WIU. Myles had 14 and Gruis had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double for USD.

After shooting just 32 percent (8-of-25) in the first half, WIU hit 11-of-18 attempts in the second half, 61 percent, to finish the game at 44.2 percent.

USD shot 36.7 percent (18-of-49) for the game.  

WIU had a 32-31 rebounding edge. Michael Ochereobia had nine for the Leathernecks.

Western Illinois, which tied South Dakota State for the regular season title, will take a 22-7 record into Monday's semifinal.

South Dakota ends its first year of NCAA Division I tournament eligibility with a 10-20 record.

Notes

--Tonight's session attendance was 6,704, a sellout crowd. That total marks the highest for any Summit League Tournament session in Sioux Falls and the most since the 1994 Championship held at the Rosemont Horizon in suburban Chicago. The figure is also the highest quarterfinal attendance since 1994.

--South Dakota became the first Summit League team since Oakland in 2002 to lose its tournament debut. Current league members are 5-3 all-time in their initial Summit League Tournament outing.

--Western Illinois won its second consecutive quarterfinal game, marking the first time that the Leathernecks have achieved the feat since the 1996 and 1997 seasons.

--The last two one-point decisions at The Summit League tournament have been 54-53 Western Illinois victories – tonight and in last year's semifinal against Oral Roberts.

--Of the 107 combined points scored in tonight's game, 95 (88.8 percent) were scored by starters.

Quotes

Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari

"Give credit to South Dakota, every game we played them it went down to the wire. They are tremendous competitors, tremendously coached. We were fortunate tonight some of the open shots they normally hit, bounced out. Thank the lord for blessing us, we have a bunch of great guys. I think our team has character and like a lot of the teams here we have won a lot of games like this because we have not given in. We played to our identity. I thought we played to our second half defense was the difference."

on Ceola Clark III's performance and what he means to his team
"Ceola has put this team on his back. I'm not going to say he has changed his personality, he always did it when it counted, but now he does it for 40 minutes. I always tell Ceola that quote that one man makes the majority, and he is the majority for us.  I've been involved with tournaments like this and they always become possession oriented games. This was a possession oriented game and was a tremendous battle between Juevol Myles and Ceola. That was a tremendous thing as a coach to watch."

on what makes South Dakota a tough matchup for Western Illinois
"They never stop attacking. They never stop scoring and they never stop making free throws."

Western Illinois forward Adam Link 
on defending Trevor Gruis
"It's tough, he's a great player. He really battles hard down there." 
Western Illinois guard Ceola Clark III

on carrying the offensive load in the second half
"I think the team has a lot of confidence in me to put the ball in my hands and make the right decision. I was fortunate to knock down a few shots.  My teammates did a good job of getting me open and coaches did a good job of calling plays for me and I was able to knock down shots and give the team some momentum."

on playing tight games with USD
"I think it helps that we have been in this situation before so we know how to handle the situation."

on playing tight games this season
"I think coaches have done a great job recruiting character for our team. Guys that will dig down deep and really fight."

South Dakota head coach Dave Boots

"Another hard fought game with them. Ceola (Clark) made a couple big plays. His three with the shot clock winding down was really big. Give them credit, they got another tight ball game over us." 

on what happened in the last couple minutes when WIU took control
"We needed to make some shots, we had a couple turnovers, we missed a couple free throws in there. You can nitpick it. But our kids played hard. I was pretty proud of our team this game."

on losing several close games this year and whether it is the result of inexperience
"Outside of Trevor, all these guys are first- or second-year guys. This year outside of the North Dakota State, I think we were really competitive. Seven close losses. We're close.  We're making (progress), this was a good experience for us. We played independent for four years. We played in the Great West two years. Last year, we went through The Summit (regular season). Now, we've been in the (Summit) tourney. We've been through everything now. We got to get back in that gym. The players know their weaknesses. I don't need to spell it out there for them."

South Dakota guard Brandon Bos

on three closes loses to WIU this season
"Unfortunately for us, we came up short each time, but I don't think we should hang our heads."

on WIU's run in the last five minutes
"I thought we did a good job of battling through it. We didn't let them run away with anything." 

on what they take out of this tournament
"Any time you lose by one, that's something to motivate us. We got our feet wet. I think we played pretty well."


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