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South Dakota State Wins Summit League Opener at IUPUI

SDSU Basketball
(Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

South Dakota State blew open a close game late, scoring the final 13 points of the game to win the 2014 Summit League opener, 86-70 at IUPUI Thursday night.

Jordan Dykstra and Cody Larson combined for 48 of the Jackrabbits points in the game, as SDSU won for the fifth straight time overall, extending their win streak against the Jags to eight.

SDSU hit the first basket of the game but then cooled off quickly, missing their next four shots, and IUPUI took advantage, running off eight straight points to go up 8-2 a little more than four minutes in. Early on, the Jags were in control inside on the offensive end with eight points in the paint.

The Jacks found themselves offensively, with Larson and Dykstra controlling the low post and Jake Bittle nailing a 3-pointer to key a 12-4 SDSU run, tying the game at 12 at the 12 minute mark.

After five different lead changes, SDSU got some separation later in the first half, sparked by Bittle with a layin, then a steal and assist to Larson, who then reeled off three straight baskets to open up a six point Jackrabbit lead.

Larson was 6-of-11 shooting in the first half for 13 points.  He and Dykstra helped SDSU outscore IUPUI 18-6 in the paint the rest of the half.  Dykstra 5-of-10 from the floor with 12 points as the Jacks led at the break 38-32.

IUPUI was very balanced offensively in the first 20 minutes, with Khufu Najee, Ian Chiles, and Mitch Patton each with eight points.

Early on in the second half, the Jacks forced turnovers and got Patton and Marcellus Barksdale in foul trouble with three each, as SDSU opened up a 48-36 lead with 16:34 left.

Over the next five minutes, the Jacks went cold shooting, while IUPUI climbed back in the game, cutting the lead to 52-49, as Chiles led the Jags attack with 21 points.

But with SDSU nursing a 73-70 lead with 2:55 left, Larson hit down low and was fouled, prompting a protest from IUPUI head coach Todd Howard, who was whistled for a technical foul.  The Jacks tacked on three more free throws to bump their advantage to 78-70 and they never looked back.

Brayden Carlson added 19 points, Bittle finished with 10, as SDSU turned their poor start shooting the ball in to a 52% night from the floor. South Dakota State was also 24-of-29 from the free throw line.

The Jacks defense also stepped up when it had to, forcing 14 turnovers, and outscoring IUPUI in points off turnovers 21-5.

SDSU (9-7/1-0) plays at Fort Wayne Saturday at 6:00pm.


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