W. Illinois, NDSU meet in Summit League semis
No. 8 seed Western Illinois (10-20, 5-12) vs. No. 4 seed North Dakota State (16-15, 10-7)
Summit League Conference Tourney Semifinals, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Monday, 6 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: North Dakota State is set to face Western Illinois with a spot in the Summit League championship game up for grabs. In the regular season, North Dakota State won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 2, when the Bison outshot Western Illinois 54 percent to 46.2 percent and made six more 3-pointers en route to a 78-76 victory.
SQUAD LEADERSHIP: North Dakota State’s Tyson Ward has averaged 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds while Vinnie Shahid has put up 12.5 points. For the Leathernecks, Kobe Webster has averaged 16.7 points and 4.5 rebounds while Brandon Gilbeck has put up 9.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.
WONDERFUL WEBSTER: Webster has connected on 41.8 percent of the 177 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 14 of 26 over the last five games. He’s also converted 69.9 percent of his foul shots this season.
SCORING THRESHOLDS: North Dakota State is 0-8 when its offense scores 65 points or fewer. Western Illinois is a perfect 9-0 when it holds opponents to 66 or fewer points.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: Western Illinois is a perfect 9-0 when it holds an opponent to 66 points or fewer. The Leathernecks are 1-20 when opponents score more than 66.
DID YOU KNOW: North Dakota State has attempted the second-most free throws among all Summit League teams. The Bison have averaged 17.7 foul shots per game this season and 24 per game over their last three games.