Bison Win Second Straight Title in Thrilling Fashion over SDSU

Bison Win Second Straight Title in Thrilling Fashion over SDSU

Men's Basketball Championship Page

The Basics
Score: No. 2 North Dakota State 57, No. 1 South Dakota State 56
Records: North Dakota State (23-9), Oral Roberts (23-10)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – North Dakota State overcame a furious comeback by attempt by South Dakota State and won its second straight Summit League men's basketball tournament championship with a 57-56 victory Tuesday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

With the win, the Bison earn the league's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, with a 23-9 record. SDSU, which tied NDSU for the regular season title and came in as the number one seed, is 23-10.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball until NDSU hit six straight attempts, including an 8-0 run during which Lawrence Alexander scored all the points on three baskets including a pair of threes.

Trailing 55-47, SDSU got back within one and had the last shot which bounced off the rim no good as the buzzer sounded.

With eight seconds to play, missed a shot which went out of bounds and the officials awarded the ball to the Jacks. But after reviewing the replay, they overturned the ruling and gave NDSU the ball. The Jacks fouled immediately on the inbounds play and the Bison missed the front end of a 1&1 free throw, with SDSU coming down with the rebound but a three-point attempt by Deondre Parks missed the mark.

After a 23-23 first half, SDSU opened a 38-34 lead before the Bison took the lead for good at 39-38 on a pair of free throws by A.J. Jacobson.

Alexander led all scorers with 25 points, hitting 6-of-9 three-point attempts. A.J.Jacobson was the only other Bison in double figures, with 12.

Cody Larson led the Jacks with 19 while parks finished with 13.

NDSU finished the game shooting 38.5 percent (20-52) and had a 43-36 rebounding advantage as Jacboson, Kory Brown and Paul Miller had eight each. SDSU shot 31.6 percent (18-57). Reed Tellinghuisen led the Jacks with nine rebounds.


Turning Point
The men's championship game was in doubt throughout much of the night, as neither team was able to open up a double-digit lead all night. Nine points was the largest lead of the game and that belonged to North Dakota State with 6:36 to play. South Dakota State closed the game on a 7-0 run to cut their deficit to a single point at 57-56. 

Lawrence Alexander missed the front end of a one-and-one with 7.9 seconds left and Cody Larson grabbed the defensive rebound and quickly handed the ball to Deondre Parks who took the ball down court and missed a last-second three-pointer, giving the Bison their second straight Summit League Tournament Title.

Inside The Box Score

  • North Dakota State's Lawrence Alexander was the game's top-scorere with 25 points.
  • The teams were tied with 22 points in the paint apiece.
  • South Dakota State led in second-chance points, 13-4, despite being out-rebounded, 43-36.
  • The Jackrabbit shot just 26% (5-19) from three.
  • The game saw nine ties and eight lead changes.

News & Notes

  • Tonight's attendance of 9,033 is the second-highest figure for a Summit League Men's Championship.
  • The total attendance for this year's men's tournament was 35,612, nearly 12,000 more than the previous record set in 2013.
  • Combined men's and women's attendance at this year's Summit League Championships totaled 60,007, smashing the previous record (from 2013) by over 15,000.
  • North Dakota State continues a pattern as the third consecutive team to win back-to-back Summit League Championships.
  • South Dakota State is the first No. 1 seed since 2005 to lose in a Summit League Championship game.
  • North Dakota State's Lawrence Alexander is the third consecutive Summit League Player of the Year to also earn Tournament MVP in the same season.
  • South Dakota State and North Dakota State met in The Summit League Championship game for the second time in three years.
  • Tonight's title game marked just the third time in history, and first since 2001 that league co-champions met in the tournament championship game.
  • The matchup between top two seeds was the fourth in the past six years and the 16th overall. The No. 1 seed has won 11 of those meetings.
  • Tonight's result marked only the second time in the past 10 years that a team other than the No. 1 seed won The Summit League Tournament.
  • The one-point decision was the second in the last four years and it marked the third time in the last four years the championship game has been decided by one possession.

All-Tournament Team
Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State (MVP)
Obi Emegano, Oral Roberts
A.J. Jacobson, North Dakota State
Cody Larson, South Dakota State
Deondre Parks, South Dakota State 

Up Next
North Dakota State will await its selection and placement into the NCAA Tournament field. The pairings will be announced Sunday, March 16.