Macie’s day


Rotert:Kristin Rotert attempts a running jump shot in SDSU’s win over IPFW Sunday. Rotert finished with a game-high 24 points. SDSU plays Oakland for the title Tuesday. – Collegian Photo by Stephen Brua


Marcus TraxlerAssistant Sports Editor

Macie Michelson was fouled hard with 11 seconds left by IPFW’s Jordan Zuppe in Monday’s Summit League semifinal game. The two quickly got up and stared each other down.

A stare down would accurately describe the emotions of a game that the was called for weeks ago and pitted two teams that have acquired a distaste for each other.

Michelson calmly knocked down a pair of free throws, keying the Jacks to a 70-67 victory over the Mastodons in the Summit League women’s semifinals in Sioux Falls. SDSU will appear in its third consecutive Summit League championship game Tuesday at 3 p.m. when they meet upstart four-seed Oakland.

With opportunities to foul both Jill Young and Kristin Rotert, the Mastodons passed and fouled Macie Michelson, a 63 percent free throw shooter on the season. Michelson capitalized on the chance at hand and cashed in a pair to move the lead to three points with 11 seconds left.

IPFW ultimately got the ball into the capable hands of Zuppe with a chance to tie but she was off-balance and the horn blared before she was able to fire.

“We made enough big plays. I think it’s a sign of a team that has come a long way and has a chance to play for a championship tomorrow,” said SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston.

Monday’s game took on a very physical look from the opening tip, but the Jacks hit their first eight shots of game and constructed a nine point lead in the first six minutes. Rotert made her presence felt in the first half of the game, finding her stroke behind four first half three-pointers. Despite that start, SDSU only led by seven at halftime, 39-32.

“I was trying to make the most of every opportunity that I have left and there aren’t too many games that I have left in my career and I want to be a part of this program for as long as I can,” said Rotert, who had a game-high 24 points.

Putting away the Mastodons proved to be a difficult task. SDSU was always close to breaking the game wide open but IPFW never let the lead get past 10 until the Jacks led 66-55 with 5:20 left. The Mastodons slowly cut the lead to one point with 1:20 left and had the deficit at one with 31 seconds left before the pair of Michelson free throws.

“There’s a lot of adrenaline at the end of the game. It’s a big game to get us to another big game and we just tried to make the most of it. We played hard, we played tough and we made plays,” Michelson said.

IPFW wanted this matchup. They didn’t want the result.

“I thought we had a good game plan and we matched up well with them. We put ourselves in a position to win in a tough environment. I just didn’t go our way down the stretch,” said IPFW head coach Chris Paul, who found his team on the wrong end of the tilt he wanted after the Feb. 21 SDSU victory in Fort Wayne.

The Jacks’ matchup with Oakland is a rematch of the 2009 championship game and SDSU will be ready to play Tuesday.

“Runner-up at this point is the same as losing in the first round,” Johnston said.

#1.2074462:2247397066.jpg:Rotert:Kristin Rotert attempts a running jump shot in SDSU’s win over IPFW Sunday. Rotert finished with a game-high 24 points. SDSU plays Oakland for the title Tuesday.:Collegian Photo by Stephen Brua