SIOUX FALLS — The Summit League Tournament just can’t help itself.
It had more history to make.
A night after South Dakota State became the first-ever top seed to lose to the No. 8 seed, Purdue Fort Wayne standout John Konchar made history of his own.
The senior guard recorded the first triple-double in tournament history as the third-seeded Mastodons routed South Dakota 96-70 in Sunday night’s quarterfinals at the Premier Center.
“I’ve seen so many of them,” Purdue Fort Wayne head coach Jon Coffman said.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t had more of them in his career,” Coffman added. “He dominates every role.”
He also made history.
Konchar’s stat line of 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 helped the Mastodons (18-14) advance to tonight’s (Monday) 8:30 p.m. semifinals against Omaha.
Asked about it later, Konchar basically shrugged it off.
“It’s pretty cool, but we got the win, so that’s all I care about now,” he said.
And Konchar nearly had his triple-double by halftime, when his team took control.
The Coyotes (13-17) came into the tournament as perhaps the field’s hottest team, but didn’t play like it in the first half.
“Embarrassed is a strong word, but I think everyone feels embarrassed by what just happened,” head coach Todd Lee said.
Purdue Fort Wayne set the tone early, and made 11-of-19 three-pointers, shot 59 percent, held the Coyotes to 29 percent and built a 52-25 halftime cushion.
Konchar’s numbers at halftime?
Eight points, eight rebounds, nine assists.
He eventually reached triple-double status with 7:35 remaining, when the Mastodons had a 78-50 lead.
For those who have followed Konchar’s career, it was nothing new.
Earlier this season, he became the first player in Division I history to eclipse 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 200 steals.
“I don’t like watching what I saw tonight, but I do appreciate guys like John Konchar,” Lee said, “because he’s a special player.”
Konchar had plenty of help in Sunday night’s win, as well.
The Mastodons put five other players in double figures: Kason Harrell (21 points), Matt Holba (15), Dylan Carl (15), Dee Montgomery (11) and Marcus Deberry (10).
Guarding the three-point line was actually USD’s game plan, according to Lee.
“I know it doesn’t look like it,” he added. “We actually did. And we did not compete at the defensive end of the floor.”
The injury-plagued Coyotes closed the regular season with four wins in five games, but couldn’t pull the upset.
“Yeah, we won our last four of five, which was good to see, but we laid an egg tonight,” said junior Triston Simpson, who had 12 points and eight assists.
“And I feel awful for the seniors, that we couldn’t get them to the NCAA Tournament in their last year.”
Sophomore Stanley Umude, an all-league first team selection, led the way with 21 points, while junior Tyler Peterson scored 15 points.
The Coyotes will lose Trey Burch-Manning and Logan Power from this season’s squad, but will see Tyler Hagedorn (injured all season) return to the court next season.
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