South Dakota State beats IPFW 72-56 in Summit semiSIOUX FALLS (AP) — Nate Wolters scored 18 points and notched 12 assists and South Dakota State got hot from behind the 3-point line in the second half Monday to overcome a slow start and beat IPFW 72-56 in the semifinals of the Summit League tournament.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Nate Wolters scored 18 points and notched 12 assists and South Dakota State got hot from behind the 3-point line in the second half Monday to overcome a slow start and beat IPFW 72-56 in the semifinals of the Summit League tournament.
The Jackrabbits (24-9) shot 70 percent from behind the arc in the second half after sinking just 2 of 7 3-pointers in the first half.
Chad White added 17 points and Tony Fiegen contributed 16 points for South Dakota State, which will meet the winner of the other semifinal between Western Illinois and North Dakota State in Tuesday's Summit League championship.
Wolters, who scored far below the school-record 53 points he hit against IPFW in February, said White helped turn the tide for the Jackrabbits, hitting two straight 3-pointers early in the second half — when South Dakota State was 7 of 10 from behind the arc.
“We were really struggling early, and Chad really got us going hitting those big shots,” Wolters said.
White said the packed crowd of Jackrabbit faithful at Sioux Falls Arena also helped get the team going.
“It's unbelievable,” White said. “The atmosphere is awesome. It's like playing at home.”
Frank Gaines led IPFW (16-17) with 25 points in 36 minutes of playing time, but no other Mastodon was able to reach double digits.
“It kind of got away from us in the second half,” Gaines said. “We couldn't really make anything.”
IPFW opened up a 10-0 lead, and the Jackrabbits spent the first half trying to close the gap. They pulled ahead briefly with 1:40 left in the half, but the Mastodons were ahead 34-32 at the break.
“I think the players would admit that we were pretty soft in the first half,” South Dakota State head coach Scott Nagy said. “The plan was get off to a better start.”
The Jackrabbits, who were just 2 of 7 from behind the 3-point line in the first half, got hot in the second half and eventually opened up the game with a 10-point run.
IPFW head coach Tony Jasick said that once the Mastodons’ offense slowed down, the Jackrabbits were able to quickly turn points.
“They're nearly unguardable in transition when the ball has energy,” Jasick said,
Nagy said he was happy the offense got on track, but he said it's defense and rebounds that win championships.
“We didn't give up one offensive rebound in the second half, and for us that's the difference,” Nagy said.