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#DecadeAtTheFalls top basketball championship moments from 10 years in sioux falls

Western Illinois claimed its first tournament championship and NCAA Tournament bid since 1995 with a 77-69 overtime victory over IUPUI. The result almost never came to be. With 2.2 seconds remaining and the Leathernecks trailing by three, Taylor Hanneman hit a three-pointer as time expired to force the extra session. From there, WIU took control with a 9-0 run to start overtime and never looked back to secure the school’s first crown in over two decades and its first in Sioux Falls.
Emily Clemens scored 21 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished out 11 assists to lead No. 1 seed Western Illinois to an 84-82 semifinal victory over Omaha. Her first career triple-double and only the second in Summit League Tournament history, lifted WIU into just its third ever league championship game and first in 11 years.
The 2016 Summit League Basketball Championships drew an all-time high 65,533 fans, eclipsing the previous best by over 4,500.
Along the way, new attendance standards for a men’s session (10,306), men’s championship (10,188) and men’s tournament (36,661) as well as marks for a women’s session (9,816), women’s championship (8,647) and women’s tournament (28,872) were set.
The Summit League Basketball Championships entered a new era with a move into the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The spectacular new facility doubled the seating available from the tournament’s previous home at the Sioux Falls Arena. Fans enjoyed modern amenities throughout the building’s concourse, concessions and more, providing a true first-class experience.
Oral Roberts’ Vicky McIntyre made history with the first triple-double in league tournament history by scoring 20 points to go along with 18 rebounds and 12 blocked shots in the semifinal contest against South Dakota State. Her 12 blocks eclipsed the previous tournament record by four and tied the league’s all-time single-game mark.
USA Today ran a piece on The Summit League Basketball Championships titled “Summit League: March’s best-kept secret” in its March 7 weekend edition. Sports writer Scott Gleeson called the event one of the country’s most underrated college basketball tournaments and described the tournament’s revenue and the boost of moving into the new and larger arena one year from the time of the article.
Fort Wayne posted a 106-101 double-overtime victory over Western Illinois in the quarterfinal round, marking the longest and highest scoring game in tournament history. The game saw 14 ties and 15 lead changes over the course of its 50 minutes of play. The Mastodons’ Stefanie Mauk twice extended the game with clutch moments, hitting a three-pointer to knot the game with four seconds remaining in regulation and scoring a layup to again even the score with three seconds left in the first overtime. With the game hanging in the balance, Haley Seibert hit a layup to put Fort Wayne ahead, then stole the ball and made a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left, before WIU missed a three-point attempt that would have sent the game to a third extra session.
Top-seeded Oakland defeated South Dakota State, 110- 90, in the semifinal round. Beside combining to be one point shy of the highest-scoring game in tournament history, the teams featured a pair of future NBA Draft picks in OU’s Keith Benson and SDSU’s Nate Wolters. Benson, a senior, scored 18 points in the game before becoming a second-round selection (48th overall) three months later. Wolters, a sophomore, scored 23 points and dished out seven assists. Two years later, he too would become a second-round pick, 38th overall.
Thanks to Midco Sports Network, all 14 men’s and women’s tournament games were televised for the first time. MidcoSN aired each game of both the men’s and women’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. ESPN2 aired the men’s championship, ESPNU the women’s title game, and ESPN Full Court picked up five men’s games for its Full Court subscription package.
Ben Woodside’s jumper with four seconds left lifted North Dakota State to a 66-64 victory over Oakland in the championship game of the 2009 Summit League men’s basketball tournament to fittingly cap its inaugural season in Sioux Falls. The Bison rallied from a 12-point deficit in the last nine minutes to earn The Summit League’s automatic qualifier spot in the NCAA tournament in their first season of Division I eligibility.
The Bison also won The Summit League regular season title and finished the year 26-6. Woodside scored 17 points on his way to MVP honors.

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