Dakota State, seeded third in the A.I.I./Independent Conference Tournament, but playing on its home floor because they won the bidding process to host the tournament, defeated the Jimmies 80-71, although both teams already knew they were going to nationals after semifinal wins Saturday.
It was the first loss for the No. 8 Jimmies (25-6) since Feb. 1. They had beaten Dakota State twice previously this season, including in Madison, S.D. They'll find out who and when they play in the opening round of nationals when the brackets are released Wednesday.
"The most frustrating thing from my perspective is that we beat all these teams and then we still have to play a road game in the conference tournament. It's not an ideal situation. It doesn't reward the teams that had the best year and that affected our women's team too," said JC men's head coach Matt Murken. "That said, we did not play our best basketball by any means. You have to give Dakota State credit. They beat us tonight."
It was an uphill fight all night for the Jimmies. But despite that they were within one (63-62) with four minutes to play. But the Trojans (18-12) scored the next eight points to pull away.
"We had it cut to down one, we just couldn't seem to capitalize and get over the hump," Murken said. "In college basketball, it's tough to win on the road. We've been really good on the road this season, but we didn't play as well tonight as we have some other nights."
Byron Jones had 21 points to lead the Jimmies, including five three-pointers. Travis Burley added 19 points and 8 rebounds. Drew Preiner and Davon Thomas chipped in with 13 apiece.
JC 71, DSU 70
The Jimmies beat Dickinson State for the fourth time this season Saturday night, nipping the Blue Hawks 71-70 in the semifinals.
Jimmies had four players in double figures en route to their 25th win in 30 games.
Jones led the way with 18 points, while Burley had another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. B.J. Mertens and Thomas chipped in with 10 apiece in the Jimmies' 25th win of the season.
The Jimmies had a 10-4 run late in the half to erase a 5-point Blue Hawk lead and then they hung on down the stretch.
A.I.I./Independent Conference Tournament at Madison, S.D.
Semifinals - Jamestown College 71, Dickinson State 70
Dickinson State 32 38 - 70
Jamestown College 37 34 - 71
Dickinson State - Casper Hesseldal 11, Tevin Hurd 8, Jarek Hansen 9, Matthew Lee 27, Jeff Hurd 5, Pierce Brooks 10. Totals: 25-55 FG, Three-pointers: 12-25 (Hansen 3, Brooks 3, Lee 2, T.Hurd, Hesseldal, J.Hurd), 8-15 FT, 34 Rebounds (Lee 11), 22 Fouls, 20 Assists (Lee 4, Hesseldal 4), 20 Assists (T.Hurd 8), 12 Turnovers, 2 Blocked shots (Hesseldal, Brooks), 5 Steals (Lee 2).
Jamestown College - Travis Burley 16, Brandon Robbins 7, Byron Jones 18, B.J. Mertens 10, Drew Preiner 5, Davon Thomas 10, Mark Hoge 5. Totals: 25-58 FG, Three-pointers: 6-18 (Robbins 2, Mertens 2, Preiner, Thomas), 15-26 FT, 39 Rebounds (Burley 13), 21 Fouls, 11 Assists (Jones 5), 14 Turnovers, 4 Blocked shots (Burley 2, Thomas 2), 7 Steals (Jones 4).
Records: Jamestown College 25-5; Dickinson State 12-18.
Championship Sunday - Dakota State 80, Jamestown College 71
Jamestown College 34 37 - 71
Dakota State 42 38 - 80
Jamestown College - Travis Burley 19, Brandon Robbins 1, Byron Jones 21, Drew Preiner 13, Davon Thomas 13, Mark Hoge 4. Totals: 26-59 FG, Three-pointers: 10-25 (Jones 5, Preiner 3, Thomas 2), 9-15 FT, 33 Rebounds (Preiner 8, Burley 8), 21 Fouls (Jones 5), 17 Assists (Preiner 5), 2 Blocked shots (Preiner, Burley), 7 Steals (Jones 2).
Dakota State - Spencer Adams 21, Donald Stewart 11, Luke Lamb 2, Keith Biggers 16, Jesse Bean 15, Yusef Gray 7, Jordan Snyder 2, Keith Lee 4, Cameron Krump 2. Totals: 25-49 FG, Three-pointers: 7-16 (Bean 3, Adams 2, Stewart, Gray), 23-34 FT, 33 Rebounds (Biggers 8), 16 Fouls (Biggers 5), 14 Assists (Adams 4, Bean 4), 14 Turnovers, 4 Blocked shots (Stewart 2), 5 Steals (Gray 2).
MADISON, S.D. - Three Dakota State University players were named to the 2012 State Farm Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Men's Basketball All-Tournament, announced after the conclusion of the men's championship game Sunday evening. Trojan Donald Stewart was selected as the tournament's most valuable player.
Stewart averaged 17.5 points per game in helping Dakota State win their first-ever A.I.I. conference tournament. He also recorded four blocked shots during the tournament. Stewart shot 63.2 percent from the field (12-for-19).
Other members to the State Farm A.I.I. Men's All-Tournament team are (A.I.I. tournament statistics average):
• Matthew Lee (Dickinson State) - 19.5 points per game, 62.1 percent from the field (18-for-29), 2.5 steals per game, 11 rebounds per game
• Travis Burley (Jamestown) - 17.5 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game
• Keith Biggers (Dakota State) - 16.5 points per game, 66.7 percent from the field (12-for-18), 9.0 rebounds per game
• Jesse Bean (Dakota State) - 17 points per game, 57.9 percent from the field (11-for-19), 1.5 steals per game, 3 assists per game
• Casper Hasseldahl (Dickinson State) - 18 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game, 1.0 blocks per game