Summit Men: SDSU 69 NDSU 53
After 20 minutes in Brookings Saturday it appeared South Dakota State’s 25 game home winning streak was in serious jeopardy, as the Jackrabbits trailed North Dakota State by six points at Frost Arena.
Boy what a difference a half of basketball makes.
The Jacks came out of the locker room shooting in the second half, going on a 19-3 run in the first 9:06 of the second half to win going away 69-53. During that run, SDSU was spreading the wealth offensively as Nate Wolters, Chad White, and Jordan Dykstra all hit three-pointers to give the Jacks the lead for good.
After being bottled up by a swarming NDSU defense in the first half, SDSU guard Nate Wolters responded in the second half, finishing with 26 points and seven rebounds. In his last six games against the Bison, Wolters is averaging 27 points a game, including a pair of 30 plus point games. Tony Fiegen and Dykstra each added 14 points.
The Jackrabbit defense was very effective against North Dakota State’s Marshall Bjorklund, limiting the nation’s most accurate shooter to just one basket on three attempts. NDSU was once again with out leading scorer Taylor Braun, who has a broken foot. His replacement, Mike Felt, had nine first half points and finished with 12 points and four three-pointers. Trayvonn Wright picked up the scoring slack for the Bison with 16 points.
South Dakota State did something a lot of teams haven’t been able to to against North Dakota State this season, out rebound them. The Jacks held a 30-29 edge on the glass. The Bison led the Summit League coming with a plus nine rebounding average thru the the first eight games.
This is the second straight game the Bison have blown a second half lead on the road. They let a nine point lead slip away in their first conference loss at Western Illinois last Saturday.
For the Jackrabbits, they move into a second place tie with the Bison in the Summit League, both teams are 7-2 in conference play. The win was the 26th straight at home for SDSU, third best in the nation behind Syracuse and Kansas.
The victory also bucked a trend in this series. The Jacks earned a split with the Bison after falling in Fargo by three points last month. These two teams hadn’t split a season series in seven years.
South Dakota State now hosts another rival this week as South Dakota comes to Frost Arena Thursday night. North Dakota State is home to Kansas City Thursday.