The third time was a historic charm for the Black Hills State University men's basketball team.
The Yellow Jackets, after two close losses to Colorado School of Mines this season, knocked off the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's top seed in the semifinals of the RMAC Tournament Friday night in Golden, Colo., 86-77.
With the win, the Yellow Jackets will play in the conference title game for the first time in it's program's history when they take on New Mexico Highlands Saturday night. Highlands downed Regis 87-77 in Friday's other semifinal.
It's only the second season that BHSU has qualified for the conference tournament since joining the RMAC and moving to Division II. Friday night's win was also the second for the program in the tournament, coming off a 73-70 win over Colorado Mesa Tuesday night in Spearfish.
The Yellow Jackets were on fire from the outside for much of the night against the Orediggers, who hadn't lost on their home court since Feb. 2, 2018, an 18-game win streak.
Black Hills State hit 15-of-34 3-pointers from four different players, led by senior Dez Stoudamire, who was 6-of-10 from behind the arc, scoring a game-high 26 points. Makaleb McInnis was 4-of-9 (18 points), Sava Dukic 3-of-5 (15 points) and Stefan Desnica 2-of-6 (10 points).
Overall, the Yellow Jackets were 30-of-60 from the field, to 30-of-68 for the Orediggers, including 7-of-20 3-pointers.
As impressive as the BHSU offense was, the team's defensive might have been more impressive. The Jackets put the clamps on the Orediggers' two leading scorers — Mason Baker (15.3 ppg.) and Ben Sonnefeld (14.0 ppg). Both scored just eight points on a combined 4-of-18 from the field.
Brendan Sullivan led Mines in scoring with 19 points and Ben Clare added 18.
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Black Hills State and Mines battled back and forth early in the game before the Jackets scored 10 straight points for a 20-10 advantage. BHSU was still up 10 (28-18) before the Orediggers battled back to regain the lead at 39-37 before BHSU led 41-39 at halftime.
Leading by three early in the second, Stoudamire and the Jackets went off, building a lead as big as 16 points. Stoudamire hit three 3-pointers, while Dukic and Desnica added single treys each.
Mines only cut the final deficit under 10 points on a last-second 3-pointer.
Antonio Caply also had a big game on the boards with 14 rebounds and three blocked shots to go along with his five points.
Black Hills State, 18-10, will look to continue it's postseason magic against New Mexico Highlands. The Jackets own a pair of wins over the Cowboys this season — 81-70 in Spearfish and 66-65 in Las Vegas, N.M. Tonight's first tip is at 7 p.m.
In the women's semifinals in Grand Junction, Colo., Westminster and No. 1 Colorado Mesa will play for the title Saturday night.
Mesa stopped Colorado School of Mines 62-54 and Westminster defeated Regis 67-54.
The women's title game will tip off at 6 p.m.