NDSU Outlasts Denver, 61-50, to Advance to Semis

Photo by Inertia Sports Media
Photo by Inertia Sports Media

Men's Basketball Championship Page

First Half Highlights // Second Half Highlights

The Basics
Score: No. 2 North Dakota State 61, No. 7 Denver 50
Records: North Dakota State (21-9), Denver (12-18)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Freshman A.J. Jacobson scored 23 points and led No. 2 seed North Dakota State to a 61-50 victory over No. 7 seed Denver in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Summit League men's basketball tournament in Sioux Falls Saturday.

The  6-6 Fargo Shanley graduate played all 40 minutes. He hit 7-of-10 field goal attempts and added 8-for-12 at the free throw line while also contributing six rebounds and two assists.

The first session of the men's tournament drew a record 9,773 fans to the Denny Sanford Premier Center. NDSU, now 21-9, advances to Monday night's semi-finals while Denver ends its season at 12-18.

Denver led 27-23 at the half and started the second half with a pair of free throws  by Brett Olson to go up by six.

Then the Bison went on a 13-0 run, taking a 36-29 lead on Chris Kading's free throw before Denver got its first field goal of the second half at the 12:58 mark, a layup by Olson.

Summit League Player of the Year Lawrence Alexander added 12 points for the Bison, who made just 7-of-22 field goal attempts in the first half but shot 55 per cent after intermission, 11 of 20.

Olson led Denver with 24 points Cam Griffin contributed 10. Denver shot just 25 percent (6/24) in the second half and finished the game at 35.6 per cent. NDSU had a 36-31 rebound advantage.

Turning Point
After trailing by four at the break, North Dakota State outscored Denver by a 16-2 margin in the first 6:46 of the second half to take a seven-point lead. Denver never re-gained the lead and the majority of the second half was played within a seven-to-ten-point window before the Bison sealed the deal with a 61-50 victory

Inside The Box Score

  • North Dakota State protected the basketball well and only had eight team turnovers.
  • NDSU outscored Denver 34-24 in the paint.
  • Brett Olson (Denver) had a game-high 24 points and eight rebounds and played all 40 minutes.
  • A.J. Jacobson paced the Bison with 23 points to go along with six rebounds and played all 40 minutes.
  • The teams combined to shoot 2-for-26 (7.7%) from three-point range.

News & Notes

  • Satruday night's session attendance of 9,773 is a new all-time Summit League record for any session in 31 years of tournaments. Previous best was 9,247 set at the 1993 championship game in Dayton, Ohio.
  • The attendance figure of 9,773 is the highest quarterfinal attendance to date for any Division I conference tournament this season.
  • North Dakota State is 5-1 in its last six Summit League Tournament games, including three consecutive opening wins.
  • Denver fell to 0-2 in Summit League Tournament games, both losses to North Dakota State.
  • The No. 2 seed defeated the No. 7 seed in The Summit League quarterfinal for the sixth consecutive year.

Up Next
North Dakota State advances to the semifinals and will face the winner of Sunday's contest between No. 3 Oral Roberts and No. 6 IUPUI. The semifinal game is scheduled for a 8:30 p.m. CT tip-off and will be televised regionally on Midco Sports Network and nationally on ESPN3.