NCC Basketball Championships: Semifinals
WOMEN'S NCC TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
#1 North Dakota 83, #4 Minnesota Duluth
Grand Forks, N.D. -- Playing in a game, at least for the previous few days, was not going to happen because of inclement weather, North Dakota soundly defeated Minnesota Duluth 74-54 in the semifinals of the North Central Conference Playoff Championship at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Although the the Fighting Sioux won by 20 points, things weren't going UND's way for much of the first half. The Bulldogs, who were led by a strong 20-point first half perfomance from Katie Winkelman, led by as many 27-20 with 6:09 remaining. However, the Sioux ended the half on a 20-3 run and took control from there.
Danye Guinn spaked that run. She hit a jumper for two of her six points off the bench.
The strong bench played continued in the second half. UND started the second half on a 17-4 run in the first 11 minutes. The Sioux continued to pull away and held the Bulldogs to only two field goals for the first 17 minutes. In the second half, the Bulldogs ended up shooting 6-of-21 from the field.
UND's bench played a major factor in the second half. Besides Guinn, who played 23 minutes, Kayla Bagaason had nine points and Val Sannes had five. UND's bench outscored the Bulldogs 25-5.
The Sioux defense also shut down Winkelman in the second half. Winkelman scored only one field goal in the second half.
The Sioux were led by a 25-point perfomance from Kierah Kimbrough. She went 10-of-13 from the field and also had five boards.
Karla Beck chipped 11 points and a season-high eight assists. Ashley Langen ended with 10.
#3 South Dakota 73, #7 Nebraska-Omaha 58
Vermillion, S.D. - South Dakota continued its postseason mastery at the DakotaDome with a 73-58 decision over Nebraska-Omaha in the semifinals of the North Central Conference Tournament before 2,825 at the DakotaDome.
For the 20th straight time this season, the Coyotes won a game in which it led and was tied at the halftime break. USD also won its fifth straight NCC Tournament game at the DakotaDome and improved to 2-3 in semifinal games of the tournament.
The Coyotes will now meet top-seeded North Dakota at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D. The Coyotes and UND will meet in the finals for the second time in three years. In the 2004-05 tournament, USD, the seventh seeded, advanced to the title game before falling to UND, 84-69.
Jenna Hoffman led the Coyotes in scoring with 16 points while also adding seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot in 31 minutes of work. Both Jeanna Hoffman and Ashley Bjorkman scored 13 points and both made three, three-point field goals. Bridget Yoerger tallied 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Coyotes perimeter game did heavy damage to the hopes of Nebraska-Omaha, which was looking for its second straight upset after knocking off Augustana on Wednesday. USD was able to connect on 11-of-29 three-point field goals for 37.9 percent. It is the 11th time this season, USD has scored double digits in three-point field goals and the Coyotes are 10-1 in those games.
Overall, USD had a solid shooting game by making 25-of-54 field goals for 46.3 percent. The Coyotes also converted 12-of-18 free throws for 66.7 percent.
Nebraska-Omaha was led in scoring by Karen Thies, who concluded her career with 15 points. Cayla Hargrove supplied 12 points and Alyssa Green had 10 points. Overall, the Mavericks hit 20-of-64 field goals for 31.3 percent. UNO was 8-of-24 from three-point range and 10-of-12 from the foul line for 66.7 percent.
South Dakota jumped out to a quick 7-0 (18.43, first) lead behind the play of Jeana Hoffman, who tallied all seven points. UNO responded with a 7-2 run as USD led, 9-7. The Coyotes had a 16-7 run to build a 25-14 lead at the 6:25 mark.
MEN'S NCC TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
#2 Minnesota State 78, #3 St. Cloud State 73
Mankato, Minn. -- Minnesota State downed St. Cloud State, 78-73, to advance to the finals of the North Central Conference Championship in Bresnan Arena in Taylor Center.
The Mavericks (26-3) were led in scoring by Paris Kyles, who scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including a perfect six-of-six from the free throw line. It marked the second time this season that Kyles has scored 20 points in consecutive contests.
St. Cloud State was led by David Dreas who scored a game-high 31 points on 12-of-22 to go with five assists. Dreas scored all of his points in the games first 30 minutes and the Maverick defense held him to just three shots (0-3) in the final ten minutes of the contest.
Minnesota State controlled most of the first half, however never pushed a lead greater than seven. St. Cloud State took a 28-27 lead on a Matt Schneck dunk with five minutes remaining in the half, however the Mavericks closed the opening stanza with a 11-4 run to take a 38-31 advantage into the break.
The Mavericks opened the second half shooting the ball well, however Minnesota State could not extend its lead to more than seven. St. Cloud State tied the game at 51 after Dreas hit a jumper with 12:13 remaining and both teams traded baskets until the Huskies would push a four point lead with 4:55 remaining at 67-64.
Minnesota State cut the deficit to one as senior guard Luke Anderson - who was fouled in the act of shooting a three-pointer - made three free throws. The Mavericks then regained the lead when junior center Atila Santos delivered a dunk with 3:33 remaining.
St. Cloud would tie the game at 72 with 1:09 remaining when senior guard Adam Sullivan hit a three-point basket from the left wing. On the ensuing possession, Kyles connected on a lay-up to give MSU a 74-72 lead, one which it would not relinquish.
The Huskies had a shot to tie the game when Dreas missed a three-point basket from the left wing with three seconds remaining. Sophomore forward Jake Morrow gathered the rebound, was fouled, and sank a pair of free throws with 0.2 remaining to ice the win.
The Mavericks won despite shooting 39.3 percent from the floor. It marks the fourth time this season that MSU less then 40 percent from the floor, playing to a 3-1 record in such games.
St. Cloud State shot 51.7 percent from the floor, including 55.2 percent in the second half.
The Mavericks owned the battle of the boards, 37-30, including a 12-7 edge on the offensive end. Minnesota State made 29 trips to the free throw line, connecting on 27 of its chances. St. Cloud State shot a frigid 8-of-15 from the line.
Jesse Clark passed out a team-high four assists in the win. Santos added eight points, and freshman Curt Greeley scored seven.
#1 South Dakota 60, #4 Minnesota Duluth 56
Vermillion, S.D. -- South Dakota lived up to its #1 seeding in the North Central Conference Postseason Tournament with a 60-56 victory over #4-seed Minnesota Duluth in a semifinal game played in front of 2,825 spectators in the DakotaDome.
The victory was the 400th win at South Dakota for head coach Dave Boots. USD's all-time winningest coach, Boots is now 400-155 with the Coyotes and owns a career mark of 515-218.
Dylan Grimsley led the Coyotes with 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and also dished out four assists. Steve Smith added 14 points on 7-of-11 from the field, and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds along with nabbing a season-best three steals. Eric Hall was the third Coyote to reach double-figures with 11 points while dishing out a season-high five assists.
Minnesota Duluth was led offensively by Jordan Nuness and John Vaudreuil, who had 15 points apiece. Bryan Foss had a game-high 10 rebounds along with seven points in his final collegiate contest.
The Coyotes managed to shoot 51.0% from the field, including 56.0% in the second half alone, while limiting UMD to just 36.5% from the floor. Besides the discrepancy in the field goal percentage, most of the remaining team stats were fairly close as the Bulldogs held a slight 39-33 rebounding advantage, with turnovers basically a wash with USD committing 14, just one fewer than Minnesota Duluth.
The first half featured the two teams trading runs, as the Coyotes opened the game with seven straight points before UMD responded with a 21-4 run to hold a 21-11 advantage with 10:16 left on the clock. South Dakota came right back with a 12-2 run of its own to even the score at 23-23 with 3:32 remaining. The Bulldogs did close out the half with a mini 4-2 run to enjoy a 27-25 lead at the break.
The second half was very tight through the first five minutes of play as USD regained the lead at 33-32 with 15:53 remaining, then exchanged baskets with the Bulldogs. The Coyotes took the lead for good on a lay-up by Grimsley with 14:49 left on the lcock, and stretched the lead to eight points by holding a 42-34 advantage at the 11:43 mark.
UMD did not go away quietly as it ripped off a 9-1 run to even
the score for the final time of the night at 43-43 with 8:49
remaining. However, a quick 12-5 Coyote burst moved the score to
55-47 in favor of South Dakota with 3:25 remaining. Neither team
scored over the next two minutes of play, and USD was able to put
the game away down the stretch to advance to the NCC Postseason