Top-seeded South Dakota State advanced The Summit League Championship Semifinals on Saturday with a quarterfinal win over No. 8 seed IUPUI, using a pair of runs, a 20-point night from Summit League Player of the Year Nate Wolters and a double-double from Tony Fiegen to secure a 66-49 win.
“We talked about this before the game that it could be a possibility that IUPUI would completely alter the way they played and try to slow the game down, so in terms of knowing that it might be coming, we were prepared for it,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “It sucked the life out of us in the first half and we didn’t play with much pace. I think we were a little frustrated by it, but we didn’t let it completely effect us, I thought in the second half it wasn’t the defense that won it for us, it was the offense.”
The Jackrabbits improve to 23-9 with the win, while the Jaguars’ season comes to a close with a 6-26 overall record.
SDSU fell into an early 7-3 hole, but responded with a 15-0 run that put the Jacks up for good at 18-7 with 10:42 left in the first half.
Despite the run, and despite never trailing again, the Jaguars did not go quietly, and cut the lead to just four points at 31-27 at halftime.
Following the break, the Jags came out in the second half and cut the lead to as few as two points at 33-31 with 17:34 to play and to three points roughly two minutes later before the Jacks answered with a 10-2 run that turned a 41-37 lead into a 53-39 advantage with 8:37 on the clock.
IUPUI snapped the run with just over eight minutes remaining, but would get no closer than 12 points for the remainder of the game.
Wolters’ 20 points lead all players in the game, adding three rebounds and four assists. Both Fiegen and Jordan Dykstra finished with 15 points in the win. Fiegen added a trio of assists and 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Dykstra added six rebounds.
Mitchell Patton led the Jaguars with 17 points. Donovan Gibbs finished with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds in the loss.
With the win, the Jackrabbits advance to play the winner of the Fort Wayne vs. Oakland game on Monday at 6:05 p.m. in the Sioux Falls Arena. The No. 4 seed Golden Grizzlies and the No. 5 seed Mastodons meet on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.
Courtesy: Ryan Sweeter, SDSU