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Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attendance: 4,076
Shahid leads NDSU past Omaha 73-63 in Summit League final
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Vinnie Shahid scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, and North Dakota State beat Omaha 73-63 on Tuesday night in the Summit League Tournament title game to earn its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2015.
The No. 4-seeded Bison (17-15) also got 15 points and seven rebounds from Tyson Ward.
North Dakota State saw a 14-point second-half lead evaporate before securing the win with a late run. Omaha (21-10) tied it at 51 with 8:37 to play and had a chance at the lead, but Matt Pile missed a free throw on a potential three-point play. From there, the Bison went on a 9-0 run and were never threatened again, sealing the win with free throws down the stretch.
Ward got back on track after scoring a season-low three points in North Dakota State's semifinal win over Western Illinois. He had 25 points in a quarterfinal win over Oral Roberts.
Ward had 11 against Omaha at halftime, and then Shahid took over. Shahid's 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 2:10 remaining lifted the lead back to 10.
The No. 2-seeded Mavericks had gone the final 6:44 of the first half without a field goal. North Dakota State built a 41-27 halftime lead.
North Dakota State: Has a 1-3 record in the NCAA Tournament, including an 80-75, overtime upset of No. 5 seed Oklahoma in 2014. This was the Bison's fifth title game appearance in seven years.
Omaha: This is the second time Omaha has played in the Summit League title game. The program has never played in the NCAA Tournament.
North Dakota State: The Bison will find out their NCAA Tournament opponent on Sunday.
Omaha: The 21 wins are the most in the Mavericks' Division I history. They lose one senior in Zach Jackson.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Updated March 12, 2019