Sioux Falls, S.D. • Nate Wolters struggled to get his chances for most of the game. Once he did, the Summit League's player of the year proved worthy of the title and added another tournament MVP.
Wolters scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half to lead South Dakota State past North Dakota State 73-67 on Tuesday night in the Summit League Tournament finals.
The victory sends the Jackrabbits (25-9) to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
The Bison held South Dakota State to 47.9 percent shooting overall, and Kory Brown and TrayVonn Wright played Wolters tight to hold him to nine points in the first half.
"It's tough to find any driving lanes out there," Wolters said. "My team did a great job picking me up."
Jordan Dykstra had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Jackrabbits. Taylor Braun led North Dakota State (24-9) with 23 points, including two consecutive three-point plays where he aggressively sliced into the paint.
The Jackrabbits' sole NCAA appearance came last year, when they earned a trip to the dance but fell in the opener 68-60 to Baylor.
Valparaiso 62, Wright State 54 • In Valparaiso, Ind., Erik Buggs scored a career-high 22 points, Will Bogan added 14 and top-seeded Valparaiso closed with an 18-4 run to rally past Wright State in the Horizon League Tournament championship game. The win sends the Crusaders (26-7) back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 with a six-game winning streak and the school's single-season record for victories.
Texas State 68, Seattle 56 • In Las Vegas, Joel Wright scored 26 points to lead Texas State over Seattle in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Texas State moves on to play No. 2 seed Denver in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
LIU Brooklyn 91, Mount St. Mary's 70 • In New York, C.J. Garner scored a career-high 31 points and LIU Brooklyn punched its ticket for the NCAA tournament with a win over Mount St. Mary's in the Northeast Conference Tournament final.