2023 Summit League Tournament Day 1 Recap


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Evan Patzwald, Co-Sports Editor

Day one of the newly expanded Summit League Tournament is complete and since the tournament expanded to 10 teams this year, that meant introducing a first round before the quarterfinals. Here’s a look at how the games turned out where the lower seeds came out victorious in three out of the four games played Friday at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.



No. 8 St. Thomas 61 No. 9 Western Illinois 50

St. Thomas and Western Illinois kicked off the 2023 Summit League Tournament Friday afternoon and was the first year where all member schools of the conference made the tournament rather than the top eight. The Tommies came out victorious in their first tournament appearance and advance to play No. 1 SDSU Saturday at 12:30. Senior Maggie Negaard had 18 points, all of which came in the second half. Mallory McDermott had 11 points for WIU in a losing effort.


No. 7 Denver 65 No. 10 Kansas City 66

The second game of the day was a thriller as the game ended in a game-winning buzzer-beater 3-point shot from Sanaa St. Andre to upset Denver. Kansas City trailed by as many as 16 points in the second quarter but fought all the way back led by 30 points from Manna Mensah, shooting 9-of-19 from the floor, with six rebounds and three assists. Emma Smith had 18 points to pace Denver, but their season ends in the first round. No. 10 Kansas City advances to play No. 2 North Dakota State at 3 p.m.



No. 8 Denver 68 No. 9 North Dakota 83

Denver and North Dakota opened the men’s bracket of the Summit League Tournament, and the Fighting Hawks came out victorious with a 15-point win over the Pioneers Friday night. UND advances to play No. 1 Oral Roberts Saturday at 6 p.m. Going into halftime, North Dakota held a 31-27 lead, but broke the game open in the second half, outscoring Denver 52-41 in the final 20 minutes. Matt Norman led North Dakota in scoring with 25 points and was 6-for-11 from 3-point range. Lukas Kisunas had an efficient game for the Pioneers with 27 points, shooting 12-of-15 from the field in the loss.


No. 7 Kansas City 61 No. 10 Omaha 73

The final matchup of the day was between Kansas City and Omaha for the chance to play No. 2 SDSU Saturday night. The game was knotted up at 10 points apiece 10 minutes into the game until the Mavericks went on a 35-12 run the rest of the half to take a 23-point lead into the break. The final score made the game look close, but the Roos never stood a chance as they had been missing All-Summit League Second Team member Shemarri Allen because of injury. Allen got suffered a season-ending injury Feb. 18 and was averaging 17 ppg prior to the injury. Sophomore Frankie Fidler led a balanced Omaha offense with 21 points and three rebounds.