SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Vinnie Shahid scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, and North Dakota State beat Omaha 73-63 on Tuesday night in the Summit League Tournament title game to earn its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2015.
The No. 4-seeded Bison (17-15) also got 15 points and seven rebounds from Tyson Ward.
North Dakota State saw a 14-point second-half lead evaporate before securing the win with a late run. Omaha (21-10) tied it at 51 with 8:37 to play and had a chance at the lead, but Matt Pile missed a free throw on a potential three-point play. From there, the Bison went on a 9-0 run and were never threatened again, sealing the win with free throws down the stretch.
Mitch Hahn scored 16 points and Zach Jackson had 15 for Omaha. Pile finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds while KJ Robinson scored 11 points.
Ward got back on track after scoring a season-low three points in North Dakota State’s semifinal win over Western Illinois. He had 25 points in a quarterfinal win over Oral Roberts.
Ward had 11 against Omaha at halftime, and then Shahid took over. Shahid’s 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 2:10 remaining lifted the lead back to 10.
The No. 2-seeded Mavericks had gone the final 6:44 of the first half without a field goal. North Dakota State built a 41-27 halftime lead.