SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Omaha men's basketball saw a late lead slip away Tuesday night, as South Dakota State won the Summit League championship 79-77 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The loss halted the Mavericks' five-game win streak and dropped them to 18-14 on the year after their first appearance in the league’s championship game.
Omaha was led by 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks from junior Tre'Shawn Thurman, who shot 8-of-12 for the night. Senior Tra-Deon Hollins added 18 points, six boards, four steals and three assists, and senior Marcus Tyus had 17 points with five steals. Sophomore Mitch Hahn pitched in 14 more points with four 3-pointers.
Thurman and Hollins were both named to the Summit League Championship All-Tournament Team for their performances over the tournament. They were joined by SDSU’s Tellinghuisen, South Dakota’s Matt Mooney and Tournament MVP Mike Daum.
Daum, the league's player of the year, turned in 37 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double with five threes. Chris Howell (12) and Tellinghuisen (11) also scored in double figures.
Omaha shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59) from the field, while SDSU rang in at 48.3 percent (29-of-60). The Jacks hit at 92.9 percent (13-of-14) at the foul line and had a 44-25 advantage on the glass.
The Mavericks, who committed just nine turnovers for the night, forced 19 SDSU miscues, outscoring the Jacks 33-7 off turnovers.
Omaha capitalized on nine SDSU turnovers in the first nine minutes of the game, building its largest lead at 16-7 with a Thurman 3-pointer. The Jacks came back to tie it at 24-24 with a Skyler Flatten three, but Thurman responded with a dunk off an offensive board to put the Mavericks ahead by two with 7:39 until the break. Daum later knocked down a triple to put SDSU up 30-28, but Hahn drilled one of his own to make it 31-30 Omaha with 3:55 to go. It was Omaha's last score of the half, as the Mavericks were held scoreless for the remaining time while SDSU took a 37-31 edge by halftime.
The Mavericks came out firing in the second half, as a Thurman trey up top punctuated a 9-0 run to make it 40-37 Omaha less than a minute in. The second stanza proved back and forth, however, as it featured eight lead changes and seven ties.
After four straight free throws between Hollins and Jackson, Omaha led 72-68 with 5:00 left to play, but Daum rattled off seven straight to spot SDSU a 75-72 edge with 2:47 to go. After a Hahn three with 59 seconds left pulled the Mavericks within two, they had a final chance to win it on a shot at the buzzer, but the last 3-point attempt missed to give SDSU the 79-77 win and the Summit League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.