Most fans and observers probably looked at the 3 day Dakota Showcase event in Sioux Falls as a chance to get a sense for the power balance in the Summit League. Through the first two days, it certainly appeared we would get that clarity. SDSU was 2-0 and looked the part. The North Dakota schools each stood at 1-1 and the USD was 0-2.
In the opener, the Coyotes played now very familiar UND. Having played the Hawks in the final two games last year in the regular season finale and the Summit Tournament opener. They split those 2 games with Hawks taking the one that really mattered.
USD added Xavier Fuller to the starting lineup and he played really well. Scoring 15 points in his first career start. The game was largely Stanley Umude vs Filip Rebraca however. Umude finished with 30, Rebraca 26 for UND in a tightly contested game throughout. A key stretch came at the end of the first half when in the final minute USD saw their 8 point lead reduced to 3 going into the locker room. In the end, North Dakota came away with a 75-71 win.
Next up was the Bison from NDSU. Mason Archambault shined off the bench scoring 17 points going 5/7 from deep. The energy from the Yotes was evident from the tip, but scoring droughts plauged the Yotes in addition to a technical foul on Coach Lee which gave the Bison the advantage and a 74-67 win.
Then came Saturday night. The Yotes. The Jacks. Coming in the odds makers had USD as a heavy underdog. (-11 at tip). The Yotes once again displayed a ton of energy early on and it didn’t take long to see that Stanley Umude was not going to let his team lose again. Following a well deserved ejection of Jacks guard Noah Friedel, SDSU struggled to find their rhythm offensively and Umude siezed on it. Safe to say Stanely was ‘in the zone’. He ended the game with 41, but it was the degree of difficultly on many of those shots that left your jaw on the floor.
AJ Plitzuweit added 17, Xavier Fuller 12 in the Yotes most complete effort to date. Through two days of the Showcase we thought we had some answers, on Saturday night, the Yotes at least made sure our answers were not written in ink just yet. Next up, is a home tilt with Drake on Wednesday. The Jacks do not have another game scheduled for over a month.