Defending Champ Bison Return to Finals with Narrow Victory

Defending Champ Bison Return to Finals with Narrow Victory

Men's Basketball Championship Page

First Half Highlights // Second Half Highlights

The Basics
Score: No. 2 North Dakota State 60, No. 3 Oral Roberts 56
Records: North Dakota State (22-9), Oral Roberts (18-14)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Defending champion North Dakota State earned its third straight trip to the Summit League men's tournament title game with a 60-56 Victory over Oral Roberts Monday night in Sioux Falls.

Tuesday's championships game will be a matchup of the teams which shared the Summit League regular season title, top seed South Dakota State, 23-9, against the 22-9 Bison. The teams split during the year, each winning at home.

NDSU led ORU 34-26 at halftime and increased the lead to ten early in the second half.  ORU rallied to tie the game but could not get the lead. With the score knotted at 56, A.J. Jacobson scored on a drive to put the Bison ahead for good.  A three point attempt on an inbounds play by ORU was blocked by Lawrence Alexander, who was fouled and hit two free throws for the Bison, giving them a two possession lead with 12 seconds left.

Alexander led NDSU with 15 points while Carlin Dupree had 13 points with a team high seven rebounds and Jacobson finished with 11 points.

ORU was led by Obi Emegano with 25 points and eight rebounds while Bobby Word scored 10.

NDSU shot 47 percent (23-49) while ORU checked in at 39 percent (20-52).

ORU is now 18-14.

Monday's semifinal round at the Denny Sanford Premier Center set a tournament single session attendance record with 10153 in the stands.

Turning Point
The men's semifinal between North Dakota State and Oral Roberts was in doubt for most of the night as neither team lead by more than 10 points the entire night. Oral Roberts had possession with just over a minute to play and down two points, 58-56, when Lawrence Alexander blocked a three-point attempt by ORU's Bobby Word. Lawrence collected the loose ball and was immediately fouled. The 2015 Summit League Player of the Year proceeded to knock down two clutch free throws to secure the 60-56 Bison victory.

Inside The Box Score

  • North Dakota State outscored the Golden Eagles 36-24 in the paint.
  • Obi Emegano of ORU had a game-high 25 points and eight rebounds.
  • Neither team shot well from long range: NDSU 3-12 (25%), ORU 2-10 (20%).
  • Lawrence Alexander led the Bison with 15 points and played all 40 minutes of the ballgame.

News & Notes

  • Tonight's attendance was 10,153, a new all-time high for any Summit League Tournament session. That total increases the men's tournament attendance to 26,579, which makes this the highest attended in Summit League history, eclipsing the previous record of 23,710 in 2013.
  • The combined attendance to date for this year's men's and women's tournament is just 820 short of the all-time record set in 2013.
  • North Dakota State and Oral Roberts met for the third time in Summit League Tournament history with the Bison claiming its first win over the Golden Eagles.
  • The No. 2 seed now owns a 12-5 all-time record against the No. 3 seed in Summit League Tournament semifinal games.
  • North Dakota State extended its Summit League Tournament win streak to four games, tying for 10th-best all-time.
  • The Bison are making their third consecutive Summit League Championship Game appearance, marking the longest such streak since 2009-11.
  • The Summit League Championship Game will feature a match-up of regular season co-champions for the first time since 2001. It will also mark the second time in three years that South Dakota State and North Dakota State will play in the title game.

Up Next
North Dakota State advances to the finals and will face South Dakota State Tuesday night. The final game is scheduled for a 8:00 p.m. CT tip-off and will be televised regionally on Midco Sports Network and nationally on ESPN2.