When South Dakota State took on Southern Utah their fans had to be smiling. As the two seed they'd knocked off IUPUI in the first round and were given a gift when sixth seeded Southern Utah eliminated 3rd seeded Oakland. In the first game of the evening they had seen top seeded Oral Roberts eliminated by fourth seeded Western Illinois. Their path to the NCAA Tournament, by seed, was now 7th-6th-4th, I don't think you can ask for more than that! Southern Utah played a great first half and really fought hard, but was no real match for South Dakota State in the second half. It didn't help matters that Southern Utah lost their leading scorer to injury early in the game and never got him back. Without him in the game South Dakota State pulled away en route to a 63-47 game. South Dakota State's Nate Wolters wowed me during the game and showed why he is the favorite to be the Summit Player of the Year next season.
I liked a lot about the arena in Sioux Falls. The sight lines are fantastic and it was a nice place to watch a couple of games. It's a bit old, but it seems to have a lot of character and I look forward to returning for next year's tournament. During the game I was able to tweet with several other Summit League fans/media members about South Dakota State and their chances next season. It has been really nice getting to know a few other Summit League fans on twitter and figuring out who some of the media members are. A lot of them have written back to me and it makes me really excited to watch UNO be a full member of the league next year. I feel much the same way about the 800GP. It was awesome to get to participate in it. I probably didn't quite get to as many games as I thought I would, but I made it to more than enough to make a difference in our push for 800 games. I have gotten to know a few people online through it, and I hope to get to know more people through Season 9 and wherever the future may take us. I get giddy telling people about the project and what we were able to accomplish. It's amazing how many experiences we've shared. It's hard to believe how fast it's gone though. It seems like just yesterday we were kicking Season 8 off, and yet here we are on the last day. Thanks to all the editors who made these recaps possible! Thanks to Kyle for all the work he's done in starting this up and thanks to everyone who recapped games all the year long! See you all in Season 9!
This year I think we ended with a win!
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 63, SOUTHERN UTAH 47 03/05/2012
SOUTHERN UTAH 14-17 (8-10) -- M. Massey 3-8 1-4 7; D. Heuir 5-13 3-7 14; R. Jones Jr. 3-5 2-2 9; R. Taylor 3-9 1-4 7; W. Collie 1-5 0-0 3; J. Johnson 1-3 0-0 2; T. Koehler 1-1 0-0 2; J. Stevenett 1-1 0-0 2; J. Jeffery 0-0 0-0 0; B. Cameron 0-0 0-0 0; C. Hanks 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 18-45 8-19 47. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 26-7 (15-3) -- B. Carlson 2-3 0-0 5; N. Wolters 10-17 10-12 31; J. Dykstra 7-10 1-2 17; T. Fiegen 1-2 1-3 3; G. Callahan 2-9 0-0 5; C. White 0-2 0-0 0; T. Prince 1-1 0-0 2; M. Heemstra 0-1 0-0 0; Z. Horstman 0-0 0-0 0; Z. Monaghan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-45 12-17 63.
Three-point goals: SUU 3-8 (M. Massey 0-1; D. Heuir 1-3; R. Jones, Jr. 1-2; J. Johnson 0-1; W. Collie 1-1), SDST 5-17 (G. Callahan 1-6; N. Wolters 1-4; B. Carlson 1-2; J. Dykstra 2-5); Rebounds: SUU 29 (M. Massey 6), SDST 25 (N. Wolters 7); Assists: SUU 7 (D. Heuir 3), SDST 12 (N. Wolters 6); Total Fouls -- SUU 16, SDST 19; Fouled Out: SUU-None; SDST-J. Dykstra.