SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Senior Ashley Eide, made key plays in the last five minutes as South Dakota State rallied to claim its fifth-straight Summit League Tournament championship with a 56-53 victory over South Dakota Tuesday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits take a 25-7 record into the NCAA tournament. For the third consecutive year the Jacks have won the title after trailing at halftime of the championship game. South Dakota was leading 32-28 at the break this time.
Eide's three-point basket gave South Dakota State a 50-48 lead with 5:28 to play. Her two free throws at 4:37 broke the last tie of the game and put SDSU ahead for good at 52-50.
Then Katie Lingle got a layup off an assist from Eide, pushing the margin to 54-50.
With the Coyotes within one after Polly Harrington's layup, Eide made two more free throws for the final margin with 19 seconds left.
South Dakota had three shots in the final five seconds, but came up empty.
Lingle's basket with 6:32 to play gave SDSU its first lead since 12-10, making it 47-46.
Megan Waytashek led SDSU with 11 points and Eide finished with 10 points and four assists. Gabby Boever had nine points, seven steals, three rebounds and two assist and Lingle finished with 10 rebounds, eight points and four blocked shots.
South Dakota's Nicole Seekamp, the tournament MVP, led all scorers with 20 points, but her last points came on a three-pointer with 18:23 to play, making it 35-30 Coyotes.
Tempestt Wilson added 10 points for the Coyotes, who got nine rebounds from Lisa Loeffler as they built a 44-34 advantage on the boards.
The defenses dominated the game as both teams shot less than 30 percent in the second half. South Dakota was 8-for-28 after intermission and its 28.6 percent was better than South Dakota State's 26.9 percent as the Jacks were only 7-for-26. For the game, USD had five more field goals than SDSU and shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57), while the Jackrabbits made just 29.1 percent of their shots (16-of-55).
The Jacks cashed in on a 19-for-23 effort at the foul line as the Coyotes made 9-of-13 free throws and were just 2-for-11 on three-point shots. South Dakota also had 16 turnovers, six more than South Dakota State.
The Coyotes came into the tournament as the No. 3 seed and advanced to the championship game in their first year of NCAA Division I eligibility, finishing 17-15.
Courtesy: The Summit League