Fourth-seeded Bison punch ticket to Big Dance

North Dakota State junior guard Vinnie Shahid was named The Summit League Tournament MVP after he scored a team-high 22 points against Omaha to help the Bison advance to the NCAA tournament.
North Dakota State junior guard Vinnie Shahid was named The Summit League Tournament MVP after he scored a team-high 22 points against Omaha to help the Bison advance to the NCAA tournament.

Press Conference: (4) North Dakota State(2) Omaha

The Basics
Score: No. 4 North Dakota State 73, No. 2 Omaha 63
Records: North Dakota State (18-15), Omaha (21-11)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – North Dakota State played in four straight Summit League Tournament finals from 2013-2016, winning two of them. After missing the last two, the No. 4 seed Bison returned on Tuesday to upend No. 2 seed Omaha in a run-filled 73-63 win.

Tournament MVP scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as the Bison regrouped after letting a 14-point halftime lead slip away to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time.

The teams swapped mini-runs early in the first before North Dakota State broke up a 23-22 advantage with a 13-3 run, capped by a Cameron Hunter 3-pointer which pushed its lead into double figures for the first time at 36-25.

After an Omaha timeout, NDSU's run grew to 16-3 out of the break on another Hunter triple. The Mavericks only got a pair of free throws from K.J. Robinson after that as the Bison held their opponent without a field goal for the final 6 minutes, 19 seconds of the first half to take a 41-27 lead into the locker room.

The tables turned quickly at the start of the second half, as the Mavericks used a 12-2 run to slice the Bison lead down to 43-39, which drew a timeout from the NDSU bench with 15:21 remaining.

North Dakota State regained the momentum out of the timeout and scored the next eight points, only to see the Mavericks fire right back with a 12-0 run, which tied the game at 51-all with 8:37 remaining.

The Bison defense locked in again and Shahid took over from there, scoring seven of the next nine points to give NDSU a 60-51 advantage at the under-four media timeout. Even though the Mavericks cut the lead to as few as six points three times down the stretch, they ran out of time before they could get any closer.

Shahid led a trio of Bison in double figures with Tyson Ward adding 15 and Cameron Hunter adding 12 points off the bench.

Senior Mitch Hahn led four Mavericks in double figures with 16 points -- all in the second half. Senior Zach Jackson added 15 and Matt Pile recorded a double-double with 12 points a tournament-high 14 rebounds. Robinson also scored 11 points in the loss.

All-Tournament Team

  • Mitch Hahn, Omaha
  • Zach Jackson, Omaha
  • John Konchar, Purdue Fort Wayne
  • Vinnie Shahid, North Dakota State (MVP)
  • Tyson Ward, North Dakota State

Turning Point

Vinnie Shahid drilled a 3-pointer with 8:17 left in the game that broke a 51-all tie and snapped the Maverick's 12-0 run. NDSU never trailed again.

Inside the Box Score

  • The NDSU bench outscored the Omaha bench, 19-6
  • Omaha finished with 11 second-chance points off eight offensive rebounds, while North Dakota State finished with four second-chance points off five offensive rebounds
  • NDSU tied a season-low with five turnovers, as the teams combined for just 12 turnovers in the game
  • Pile tied a career-high with 14 rebounds in recording his ninth double-double of the season
  • Shahid scored at least 20 points in a game for the seventh time this season

News & Notes

  • North Dakota State improves to 15-7 all-time in the tournament, with a 4-2 mark in the finals, with the most recent win coming in 2015 as a No. 2 seed, a 57-51 win over No. 1 seed South Dakota State, and the most recent loss coming as a No. 5 seed to No. 2 seed SDSU, 67-59 in 2016
  • Omaha falls to 4-4 all-time in the tournament, with an 0-2 mark in the finals, falling 79-77 as a No. 3 seed to No. 4 seed South Dakota State in 2017
  • The No. 2 seed won a total of seven tournament titles, including three of the last seven, the last by South Dakota State in 2016
  • The No. 4 seed won a total of five tournament titles, the last by South Dakota State in 2017 until Tuesday.
  • The last No. 2 seed vs. No. 4 seed finals came in 2012, when No. 2 seed SDSU defeated No. 4 seed Western Illinois, 52-50 in overtime
  • Either North Dakota State or South Dakota State won each of the last eight tournaments, 9 of 11 tournaments in Sioux Falls, and all five in the PREMIER Center, three by SDSU and two by NDSU

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2018-19 Basketball Media Day
October 19, 2018 2018-19 Basketball Media Day