Black Hills State cruises into D-II national semifinals with win over Minnesota-Duluth
BHSU will face No. 2 West Liberty (W.Va) on Thursday.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — For the second-straight year, the Black Hills State men’s basketball program is one of four left standing in Division II.
BHSU built a double-digit first-half lead that was never threatened, as the third-seeded Yellow Jackets sailed to an 86-68 win over sixth-seeded Minnesota Duluth in the Elite Eight on Tuesday afternoon at the Ford Center.
After the two sides traded baskets for much of the first 12 minutes, the Yellow Jackets (29-5) used an 18-4 run spanning seven minutes to expand a 27-24 edge to 45-28 just before the break. At halftime, BHSU led 45-32.
While the Yellow Jackets’ lead was cut to 10 points multiple times in the second half, they never let the Bulldogs get any closer, eventually stretching the advantage to as much as 20 points in the final minutes.
Big nights from Matthew Ragsdale and All-American Joel Scott propelled BHSU back to the national semifinals, a stage that the program had not reached prior to last season.
On the afternoon, Ragsdale poured in a game-high 25 points on 9 of 12 shooting, including a 5 of 7 mark from 3-point range, with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Meanwhile, Scott added 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting and matched Ragsdale’s five rebounds and three assists along with three blocks.
Sindou Cisse and Ryker Cisarik each scored 13 points for BHSU, as Cisse also led the team with six rebounds and five assists.
For UMD (26-10), Drew Blair and Charlie Katona shared the team-high in scoring with 16 points apiece, with Blair pulling down a game-high eight rebounds. Joshua Brown added 11 points, five rebounds and two steals, and Joshua Strong chipped in eight points and four assists.
BHSU will No. 2 West Liberty (W.Va) in the national semifinals on Thursday after winning 95-58 over No. 7 New Haven (Conn.). Game time on Thursday is still be announced.