Five South Dakota State players scored in double figures and the Jackrabbits turned in their top shooting performance of the season, cruising past Fort Wayne, 86-59, in semifinal action Monday afternoon at the Summit League Basketball Championship.
Top-seeded SDSU (24-7) will play for an unprecedented fifth consecutive Summit League tournament title against the University of South Dakota (17-14) at 2:30 this afternoon at the Sioux Falls Arena. The Jackrabbits have won 14 Summit League Tournament games in a row.
The Jackrabbits shredded the Fort Wayne defense in the first half to the tune of 68 percent (19 of 28) shooting from the field. With drives to the basket and crisp interior passing, SDSU made 18 of its 20 field goal attempts inside the three-point arc in the first 20 minutes.
SDSU never trailed, gaining an 18-7 lead less than eight minutes into the game with a 10-0 run that included a pair of baskets by reserve Tara Heiser of Watertown. The Jackrabbits put together another 9-0 spurt to go up 29-12.
The fourth-seeded Mastodons trimmed the deficit to nine points at 33-24, but SDSU ended the half on a 13-5 run to take a 46-29 lead into intermission.
The Jackrabbits finished the game 33 of 57 (58 percent) from the field, but were only 2 of 12 from three-point range. SDSU converted 18 of 20 free throw attempts and held a 37-22 rebounding advantage.
Ashley Eide paced the Jackrabbits with 16 points. Gabrielle Boever added 10 points, four assists and four steals. Off the SDSU bench, Megan Stuart posted a season-high 11 points in only six minutes of action, while Heiser and Katie Lingle each tallied 10 points. Leah Dietel contributed eight points and a game-high seven rebounds.
SDSU held a 43-15 advantage in bench points and outscored the Mastodons 58-16 in the paint.
The Jackrabbits have knocked Fort Wayne out of the Summit League Basketball Championship each of the last four years.
|in Sioux Falls|
South Dakota State 66, Oakland 53
IUPUI 59, Kansas City 47
Fort Wayne 106, Western Illinois 101 (2 OTs)
South Dakota 73, North Dakota State 53
South Dakota State 86, Fort Wayne 59
University of South Dakota 82, IUPUI 72
South Dakota State (24-7) vs. University of South Dakota (17-14), 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)