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SDSU clinches spot in men's championship game


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) –Defending league champion South Dakota State (24-9) advanced to the title game of the 2013 Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament with a 72-56 semifinal victory over Fort Wayne Monday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.

For the second night in a row, Fort Wayne got off to a fast start. SDSU started off failing to score on its first five possessions, and the Mastodons capitalized on the one-and-done performance by SDSU by opening a 10-0 lead. Chad White hit a jumper to get the Jackrabbits on the board.

When Fort Wayne's all-league guard Frank Gaines hit his third three-pointer of the game, the Mastodons had a 16-5 lead, and were up 23-11 following a layup by Joe Edwarads with 11:03 to play in the half.

Then the Jacks started chipping away as White's traditional three-point play made it 25-21 before Nate Wolters added a pair of free throws cutting it to 25-23.

And SDSU actually took the lead once, on a basket by Marcus Heemstra, before Gaines hit another trey, giving Fort Wayne a 34-32 halftime lead.

After that, it didn't take long for South Dakota State to take charge. White hit back-to-back threes for a 44-41 SDSU lead, and when Jordan Dykstra hit a three with 12:52 to play, the Jacks were on top 52-45. Dysktra ended a 10-0 SDSU run with another basket for a 54-45 margin.

And when Dykstra hit a three, off Wolters 10th assist of the game, it was 53-48.

While SDSU shot 67 percent (12-of-18) in the second half, including 7-of-10 on three-point attempts, Fort Wayne had just nine field goals on 39 percent shooting (9-of-23) including 1-for-9 on threes.

Wolters finished with an 18-point, 12-assist double-double. White was 6-for-7 from the field including 4-of-5 on three-point attempts, and finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Tony Fiegen hit 6-of-8 shots and scored 16 points.

For the game, the Jackrabbits shot 61.5 percent (24-of-39) and were 15-of-17 at the foul line. SDSU also had a 29-17 rebound advantage as Dykstra finished with nine points and nine boards.

Gaines led all scorers with 25 points, counting four three-point baskets among his nine field goals. But he was the only player in double figures for the Mastodons, which shot 44 percent for the game (22-of-50). Luis Jacobo led Fort Wayne on the boards with five rebounds.

Fort Wayne, the No. 5 seed, ends its season 16-17.

Courtesy: The Summit League