SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- History batted its eyes at IPFW again Monday night, as the Mastodons used grit, six 3s from the splendidly unconscious Mo Evans and a larcenous defense -- 14 steals and 18 turnovers -- to knock out South Dakota State 64-60 and reach The Summit League tournament championship game for the first time.
The championship game, not the first time part, being the main point. Which is why history got stood up.
"Oh, definitely not," IPFW guard Pierre Bland said, when asked if the victory had sent them over the moon. "I was talking to the team right after the win, and they were a little bit excited. But I told them we still had unfinished business.
"We came here with the goal to win the conference championship. We need to stay composed and get ready tomorrow for another game."
It's an attitude that speaks volumes about just why they've now won a school-record 24 games. And why they're going to the finals for the first time in four tries. And why a berth in the NCAA Tournament is now something considerably than a pipe dream.
The Dance is the goal. The dancin' shoes, however, will keep.