North Dakota State looked like they were going to cruise second half against Kansas City. Rocky Kreuser had just completed a special first half and the Bison lead ballooned to 16 at the break. The Bison increased that lead to as much as 22 after a Grant Nelson dunk with 14:15 remaining. Even those of us who have watched Kansas City all season and should know better started packing up our bags at that point. As Kansas City Players Josiah Allick and Brandon McKissic said postgame, however, Kansas City just kept grinding.
Led by sophomore Josiah Allick the Roos did what they have done all season. They battled. After what Allick described as a first-half he let his teammates down, Allick came out and dominated the second half sparking a second-half comeback that fell just short as Brandon McKissic’s drive to the basket was blocked by North Dakota State’s Kreuser. A pair of late free throws secured the victory for the Bison.
Some fans on Twitter felt there may have been contact on that final drive with no whistle and Kansas City Coach Billy Donlon pointed out postgame that although no one in NCAA basketball takes more shots at the rim than the Roos, there was a free throw disparity of 26-17, without seeing the replay it looked like the block up top was pretty clean.
Kreuser led a balanced scoring attack for North Dakota State with 16 and Tyree Eaddy and Jarius Cook added 15 each. Kansas City was led by Allick who scored 23 and McKissic added 13. Kansas City proved repeatedly in their first season they were a great addition to the Summit League, including a full family section at tonight’s game
So we move on to Monday’s semi-finals. Where the top 4 seeds all advance. We have said all season there is a separation between the top 4 and the rest of the league. We have also said it’s hard to determine which of those 4 teams is truly the best. So lookout for some fantastic basketball Monday night as South Dakota State and Oral Roberts tip-off first and South Dakota and North Dakota State provide the nightcap.