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@ SIOUX FALLS, SD:
Erik Kangas scored 21-P and Johnathon Jones had a double-double with 16-P & 10-A
to carry Oakland University (22-11) to its school record ninth consecutive win. The Golden
Grizzlies ran past host South Dakota State (13-20) 74-56 in the semifinals of the Summit
LGE men's basketball tournament Monday night.
The Grizzlies have now won 22 games, the second most in school history, trailing the
school record 24 wins OU accomplished during the 1996-97 season, the final year of D-2
play. OU also improved to 3-1 in semifinal games in its eight-year tourney history and are
now 8-6 all-time in the tournament. The Grizzlies will appear in the title game for the third
time in five seasons (2005, '07, '09), facing top-seed North Dakota State.
Jones pushed his national leading assists mark to 260, which now ranks second in Summit
single-season history, trailing UIC's Craig Lathen's 274 during the 1983-84 season.
Keith Benson led OU on the glass with 14 rebounds, scoring nine points to just miss a
double-double. Blake Cushingberry went 2 of 3 from long range and scored 8-P off the
bench. Ilija Milutinovic tied a career high in points with nine.
Oakland never trailed in the game and held a double-digit lead throughout. The Grizzlies
made half of their shots in the opening 20 minutes, 14-for-28, and built a 20-point lead to
close out the half, 38-18. OU also knocked down 6 of 12 shots from behind the arc and held
the Jackrabbits to 29 percent shooting in the opening half on just 7-for-24.
Anthony Cordova scored a game-high 22 points for the Jackrabbits and was the only SDSU
player to reach double figures.
The third-seeded Grizzlies will take on top-seed North Dakota State (25-6) in the championship game Tuesday night on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
OU H-COACH GREG KAMPE: ""I thought we really guarded them well tonight. We knew that
if (Anthony) Cordova scored 40 points, we would win the game. We had to really contest
every 3-pointer tonight and I think we did that."
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