Bison hold on for NCAA invitation

Lawrence Alexander scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half to help North Dakota State hold off South Dakota State 57-56 on Tuesday in Sioux Falls, S.D., to win the Summit League tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Jackrabbits fouled Alexander with 8 seconds remaining and he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving South Dakota State a final shot. However, George Marshall’s three-point attempt was wide left.

A.J. Jacobson added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Bison (23-9). Cody Larson scored 19 points to lead the Jackrabbits (23-10), who scored the final seven points of the game.


• NO SURPRISE, IT’S ZAGS: Kyle Wiltjer had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 7 Gonzaga shot its way past Brigham Young 91-75 in Las Vegas for the Zags’ third consecutive West Coast Conference tournament title. Gonzaga (32-2) clinched its 14th WCC tournament title and will wait to find out if it will receive a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament Sunday. BYU (25-9) will endure an agonizing Selection Sunday for the second year in a row.

• VICTORY FOR VALPO: David Skara scored 12 points, E. Victor Nickerson had 11 and host Valparaiso (28-5) beat Wisconsin-Green Bay (24-8) 54-44 to win the Horizon League tournament championship.

• THAT GUY’S GOOD: Rodney Pryor scored 17 points and Robert Morris (19-15) denied St. Francis (N.Y.) its first NCAA tournament bid, beating the top-seeded Terriers (23-11) 66-63 in the Northeast Conference tournament final in New York.


• RETURN TRIP FOR SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: South Dakota State is going back to the NCAA tournament after cruising to its sixth Summit League title in seven years. Macy Miller scored 19 points, Ellie Thompson had 18 and the Jackrabbits beat South Dakota 72-57 in Sioux Falls. South Dakota State (24-8) led 37-19 at the break while limiting the Coyotes (25-7) to 13 percent shooting from the field.

• PERFECTION: Princeton beat host Penn 55-42 to cap a perfect regular season. The 13th-ranked Tigers (30-0) became the 15th team to enter the NCAA tournament unbeaten.

• BIG BLUE: DePaul (26-7) beat No. 24 Seton Hall 78-68 in Rosemont, Ill., for its second consecutive Big East tournament title, dropping the Pirates (28-5) to 0-4 in conference title games.