Jackrabbits extend Summit reign
South Dakota State wins fourth consecutive conference crown
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A pair of free throws by Jill Young with seven seconds to play in overtime lifted South Dakota State to its fourth consecutive championship in the Summit League tournament final on Tuesday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits, who went 24-8 on the season and won the league's regular-season championship, defeated No. 3 seed Missouri-Kansas City 78-77 to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
UMKC rallied from a 62-56 deficit to force an overtime when Brianna Eldridge tied the game with a layup with one minute to play. SDSU missed two three-point attempts and UMKC missed a shot before regulation ended.
In the extra session, UMKC went ahead 73-71 on two free throws by Eilise O'Connor. The Jacks regained the lead on a layup by Leah Dietel, who was fouled on the play and hit the free throw for a 74-73 advantage. The Jackrabbits stretched the margin to three on a driving basket by Tara Heiser. But back-to-back baskets by O'Connor put UMKC back on top 77-76 before Young made the deciding free throws.
UMKC opened the game with a 9-0 run on three layups by Kim Nezianya and a 3-point basket by Dayon Hall-Jones, and pushed the margin to 19-6 on a layup by Jade Tinner at the 12:15 mark.
SDSU, which made only two of its first 14 field goal attempts, closed within seven at 23-16, following a layup by Heiser, but the Kangaroos scored the next 10 points to open a 33-16 lead when Emile Blakesly nailed a three-pointer with 3:07 to play.
|S. DAKOTA STATE VS. UM-KANSAS CITY|
SDSU cut the margin to nine when Gabby Boever hit a three-pointer with three seconds left, making it 36-27 at the half.
The Jackrabbits carried the momentum into the first two minutes of the second half, tying the game at 36-all on a 3-pointer by Ashley Eide. The Jacks got their first lead on another 3-pointer by Eide with 12:30 to go, making it 45-44.
Young went 4-for-4 at the line in the overtime period and finished with 13 points, sharing the team lead with Eide. Jennie Sunnarborg had 12 points and nine rebounds and Heiser, starting in place of injured Steph Paluch, added 12 for the Jackrabbits.
UMKC's Dayon Hall-Jones was the high scorer for the game with 27 points, hitting 11-of-26 field goal attempts with four 3-pointers. Nezianya added a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double while O'Connor finished with 11 points in a losing cause for the Kangaroos.
UMKC had five more field goals than SDSU but the Jacks hit 12 3-point shots -- three by Young -- and were 12-of-16 at the foul line while UMKC was just 4-for-8.
SDSU shot 42.2 percent (27-of-64) for the game, while UMKC checked in at 44.4 percent (32-of-72). UMKC had a 46-37 rebound advantage, but the Jacks won the battle of the boards 22-21 after intermission.
The game was tied 11 times and there were five lead changes.
While SDSU has won every Summit League tournament it has played in since joining NCAA Division I and is now 12-0 in tourney play, it was only the second championship game appearance for the Kangaroos, who were also runner-up in 2005. UMKC dropped to 22-11 overall, losing to SDSU three times on the season.