SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – No. 4 Fort Wayne erased 22 points of a 23-point deficit but couldn’t get the final basket needed to complete the rally; as No. 5 North Dakota State edged the Mastodons 86-82 in the 2018 Summit League Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals on Sunday (March 4) evening.
North Dakota State scored the game’s first 10 points but the ‘Dons quickly cut the deficit to two at 12-10. NDSU grew their lead back by connecting on seven of their first 12 attempts beyond the arc. NDSU finished the first half shooting 56.3 percent (18-of-32) from the floor and held a 49-31 lead at the break.
NDSU took a lead as large as 23 in the first four minutes of the second half.
Fort Wayne’s rally started with the ‘Dons down 20 with 12 minutes left. Fort Wayne followed with a 36-17 run, connecting on 12-of-14 from the floor. Bryson Scott had 16 points in the run including a stretch of eight consecutive points.
The stretch ended with a Scott layup that put the ‘Dons within one point at 81-80 with 1:29 on the clock. NDSU didn’t have a basket in the final minutes, but connected on 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Konchar had a highlight reel chase down block on a layup attempt by NDSU’s Paul Miller in the final minute to keep the deficit at one. But a pair of Fort Wayne turnovers down the stretch hurt the Mastodons’ chances to finish the comeback.
Scott finished with 29 points and five rebounds. Scott brought his Fort Wayne career points total to 1,250, moving into eighth place in program history.
Konchar totaled 29 points with 12 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal. He moved into sixth place in Fort Wayne history, bringing his career point total to 1,414.
North Dakota State finished the game at 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the field. Miller had 29 points for the Bison. Fort Wayne totaled a 48.3 percent (29-of-60) mark from the floor in the game.
NDSU improves to 15-16. Fort Wayne falls to 18-14. The Bison will play top seed South Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament Semifinals on Monday.