SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — What usually has a South Dakota flavor, this year’s Summit League Tournament men’s basketball championship will have a North Dakota taste Tuesday night.

Rivals North Dakota State and North Dakota will square off in the 8 p.m. title game at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

After NDSU held off Oral Roberts in Monday night’s first quarterfinal game, UND claimed a 73-56 win over Purdue-Fort Wayne in the second quarterfinal game.

“I’m just proud of our guys … it’s always a game of runs, ups and down and our guys have learned how to deal with that,” said UND’s first-year head coach Paul Sather, whose team was picked to finish eighth in the league. “It’s kind of fun isn’t it? It’s special when they believe in what we are doing and they believe in each other. These guys get all the credit.”

UND and NDSU beat each other during the regular season — with NDSU winning 83-74 in Fargo on Jan. 19 and UND winning 71-68 in Grand Forks on Feb. 22.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

“Listen … I can’t tell you how much respect I have for those guys and how they play the game,” Sather said of NDSU. “They are a great team and have great leaders.”

In their last meeting, Marlon Stewart drained a 3-pointer late in the game to beat the Bison.

“I don’t know how you saw how the last one ended,” said UND’s Kienan Walter, who scored 20 points. “I can’t wait. Everything has just ended perfectly for us.”

It marks the first time UND has reached the Summit title game, competing in the league for the second year. It marks the seventh time NDSU has reached the Summit title game. Six times since 2012, South Dakota State has played in the title game while South Dakota has played in it once.

UND, the No. 6 seed for this year’s tournament, knocked off No. 3-seed South Dakota in the quarterfinals. Fort Wayne, the No. 7 seed, upset No. 2-seed South Dakota State in the quarterfinals.

UND gave Fort Wayne a dose of its own medicine with hot 3-point shooting. The Fighting Hawks ended up making 11-of-24 3-pointers while Fort Wayne made only 6-of-31 of its treys.

UND built a 42-27 lead with 16 minutes remaining of the game. But Matt Holba’s two straight 3-pointers helped cut the lead to 44-38 with 12 minutes remaining.

That’s all the closer Fort Wayne would get.

Billy Brown’s 3-pointer made it 51-38. Stewart’s 3-pointer made it 56-41. Kienan Walter’s made it 63-47 with 4:10 remaining. Stewart’s driving shot gave UND its biggest lead, 65-47, with 3:30 remaining - capping a 9-2 run.

UND, which averages 7 made 3-pointer field goals per game, had 7 treys by halftime when it built a 32-25 halftime lead.

Much like it did when it made 10 3-pointers in its Jan. 5 83-69 home win over Purdue-Fort Wayne, UND was red shot from behind the arc in the first half.

Kienan Walter sank three treys in the first 2½ minutes of the game. De’Sean Allen-Eikens sank two 3-pointers to give UND a 21-11 lead with 10:25 remaining of the first half. Gertoutus Urbonovicius hit a deep 3-pointer to give UND a 26-11 lead with 7:50 remaining, capping a 13-0 run.

Fort Wayne, which made 13-of-36 3-pointers in its 77-74 quarterfinal upset win over No. 2 seed South Dakota State, made only 2-of-15 3-points in the first half. But a 6-0 run helped Fort Wayne cut the lead to 29-25 with 1:06 remaining. Filip Rebraca’s traditional 3-point play gave UND its 32-25 halftime lead.



PFW (14-19 overall): Godfrey 3-17 7-7 13, PAtrick 1-4 0-0 3, Dylan 5-7 0-0 10, Holba 5-13 3-6 17, Billups 1-6 0-2 2, Rollins 0-3 0-0 0, Havey 0-0 0-0 0, Black 4-10 0-0 8, Benford 0-0 0-0 0, Grundy 0-0 0-0 0, DeBerry 1-5 1-4 3. Totals: 20-65 (FG), 10-15 (FT).

UND (15-17 overall): Stewart 5-9 2-4 15, Brown 1-2 0-0 3, Rebraca 6-8 2-4 14, Walter 5-10 6-6 20, Allen-Eikens 3-6 2-2 10, Danielson 0-4 0-1 0, Igbanugo 1-4 6-6 8, Urbonavicius 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 22-44 (FG), 18-23 (FT).

Halftime: 32-25. 3-point goals: PFW 6-31 (Patrick 1-3, Holba 4-11, DeBerry 1-4), UND 11-24 (Stewart 3-5, Brown 1-2, Walter 4-7, Allen-Eikens 2-5, Urbonavicius 1-1). Total fouls: PFW 22, UND 17. Rebounds: PFW 33 (Dylan 5, Billups 5, Benford 5), UND 37(Rebraca 10, Walter 9). Assists: PFW 12 (Godfrey 3), UND 17 (Stewart 4, Brown 4). Turnovers: PFW 7 (Godrey 3), UND 13 (Stewart 3, Brown 3).