Score: No. 4 South Dakota State 79, No. 3 Omaha 77
Records: South Dakota State (18-16), Omaha (18-14)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State's imperfect season got a perfect finish, as the Jackrabbits outlasted Omaha in The Summit League finals, 79-77, for their second straight Summit League title, and fourth in the last six years.
SDSU advances to the NCAA Tournament with an 18-16 record, while the Mavericks season comes to a close with an 18-14 mark.
Omaha needed just over four minutes to take a 13-5 lead, making five of its first eight shots, forcing six South Dakota State turnovers in the process. Marcus Tyus scored the first six points for the Mavericks before Tra-Deon Hollin buried a 3-pointer just two minutes into the game.
The Mavericks lead reach nine points at 16-7, but the Omaha offense cooled off a bit with a 2 for 10 cold spell, while the Jackrabbits heated up, going 5 for 5 from the field during that same stretch, which allowed SDSU to cut the lead to 19-16 on a Reed Tellinghuisen jumper with 12 minutes, 24 seconds left in the first half.
Ian Theisen scored his first points out of the media timeout, a 3-pointer that cut the Omaha lead to 20-19 with 11:41 on the clock, but the Jacks didn't close the gap until Skyler Flatten hit a 3-pointer with 8:24 on the clock that tied the game at 24, but it didn't last, as Tre'Shawn Thurman got a put-back dunk 19 seconds later to put the Mavs back in front.
The Jackrabbits eventually broke through, taking their first lead of the game on a Tellinghuisen triple from the top of the key with exactly six minutes left in the first half to put SDSU up 27-26, the first of five lead changes over the next two and a half minutes that ended with a Mike Daum and-1 that sparked a 7-0, first half ending run that gave SDSU a 37-31 lead at the break.
Omaha snapped the SDSU run on its first possession of the second half, and then immediately started one of its own, getting a 3-pointer from Tyus, quickly followed by a Jacks turnover, a Tyus and-1, another Jackrabbit turnover and a Thurman 3-pointer. A 9-0 eruption in the first 55 seconds of the half that put the Mavericks up 40-37, prompting a time out from the SDSU bench.
Tellinghuisen snapped the run out of the timeout, before Daum put the Jacks back in front at 42-40 with an old fashioned 3-point play less than two minutes into the half, a lead the Jacks held until the Mavs got it back 48-46 on a Zach Jackson layup four minutes into the half.
SDSU got the lead back 49-48 on a Chris Howell 3-point play out of the first media timeout of the half, and then extended it to 55-50 on a Daum triple a little more than six minutes into the final half, but the Mavs fired right back, using a 10-2 run to regain the lead at 60-57 midway through the first half, a run keyed by eight Omaha points off of three Jackrabbit turnovers.
The Mavericks lead lasted four minutes, when a Chris Howell 3-point play put the Jacks back in front at 66-64 with 7:46 left, but an Omaha layup and a flurry of free throws put the Mavs back in front 72-68 five minutes left.
A Daum 3-pointer with 3:34 left put the Jacks up 73-72, he then added a put-back layup 30 seconds later to make it 75-72. A Howell layup with two minutes left put SDSU up 77-72 and capped a 9-0 run before a Hollins triple cut the lead to 77-74 with 1:38 left.
A pair of Daum free throws stretched the lead to 79-74, but Mitch Hahn stroked a quick 3-pointer with 59 seconds left to get Omaha within 79-77. Neither team scored again, as a Hollins 3-pointer at the buzzer missed its mark, sealing the win for SDSU.
Daum earned tournament MVP honors after posting game-highs with 37 points and 12 rebounds. Howell added 12, all in the second half, while Tellinghuisen, who earned all-tournament team honors, finished with 11.
Thurman led four Mavericks in double figures with 21 points and with 8 rebounds. Hollins added 18, Tyus 17 and Hahn 14 points in the loss.
In a game that featured eight ties and 13 lead changes, Daum's 3-pointer with 3:34 left provided the final lead change. Daum also hit a pair of foul shots with 1:08 left for SDSU's final two points.
Inside The Box Score
- Chris Howell scored all 12 of his points in the second half
- Omaha scored 33 points off of 19 SDSU turnovers, while SDSU scored seven points off of nine Omaha turnovers
- SDSU finished with an 11-0 edge in bench points
- Omaha finished with an 10-0 edge in fast break points
Mike Daum, South Dakota State (MVP)
Tra-Deon Hollins, Omaha
Matt Mooney, South Dakota
Reed Tellinghuisen, South Dakota State
Tre'Shawn Thurman, Omaha
News & Notes
- Tonight's attendance of 9,441 is the second highest for a Summit League Men's Championship game.
- This season's men's tournament drew 39,912 fans, a new record. The overall total of 61,004 was second highest all-time.
- Mike Daum's 37 points rank as the second most in Summit League Championship Game history, just one off the all-time record. His 12 rebounds are the seventh highest total in a title contest.
- South Dakota State played in its fifth Championship Game in the past six seasons.
- Omaha made its Summit League Championship Game debut in its second season of tournament eligibility.
- Tonight's game marked the first time since 1993, and only the fifth time in history, that neither the No. 1 nor No. 2 seed appeared in the title contest.
- South Dakota State won its fourth Summit League Championship, moving into sole possession of second place for most titles. The Jackrabbits also moved into second with their 17th all-time tournament victory.
- South Dakota State is fourth school in a row to win consecutive Summit League Championships, dating back to a run that started in 2010 (Oakland 2010-11, South Dakota State 2012-13, North Dakota State 2014-15, South Dakota State 2016-17).
- Three of the last four and four of the last six Summit League Championship Games have been decided by three of fewer points.
SDSU earns The Summit League's automatic bid the NCAA Tournament, and awaits an opponent on selection Sunday.