Summit Men: SDSU 67 USD 54
South Dakota State used torrid shooting early to jump on top of South Dakota Thursday night, cruising to a 67-54 win in front of a sold out crowd at Frost Arena in Brookings. The win was a school record-tying 27th straight at home for the Jacks, the ninth straight for the home team in this series.
The Jackrabbits hit eight of their first 11 shots and four of their first five three-pointers to build an early 14-point lead against the Coyotes, who were looking for their first win in Brookings since 2000. Nate Wolters drained three of SDSU's seven first half three-pointers.
The South Dakota State defense was making life difficult for South Dakota at the other end of the floor. The Jacks forced ten first half turnovers and held Coyote big man Trevor Gruis scoreless until there were three minutes gone in the second half. Gruis came into the game as one of just four players in the Summit League in the top 11 in scoring and rebounding.
USD did cut the SDSU advantage to five points midway through the first half, as the Jacks went on a stretch where they went cold from the floor - hitting just four of 19. But after pushing the lead back to nine (36-27) at the break, South Dakota State blew the game open in the second half, using an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 22.
SDSU controlled the boards and the basketball in this one. The Jacks outrebounded the Coyotes 36-31 and pulled down 15 offensive boards. On offense, South Dakota State turned it over just eight times, one below their Summit League average. They lead the conference in that category and are the sixth best team in the nation when it comes to giving up the ball.
SDSU put four players in double figures. Wolters led the way with 19 points and is on pace to become the first player in NCAA history to finish with 2,300 points and 600 assists in a career. Jordan Dykstra notched his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
USD had just one player in double figures, Casey Kasperbauer with 15 points. The Coyotes 54 points was 27 points under their Summit League leading 81 points per game coming in. USD had also made more three-pointers than any other Summit League team coming in, but went just five-of-14 from behind the arc.
The Jackrabbit win, as well as a North Dakota State 71-34 rout of Kansas City, creates a three-way tie for the lead in the Summit League with idle Western Illinois.
SDSU hosts the last team to beat them in Brookings, Kansas City, Saturday at 4:00pm. That Roos win came in January, two years ago. USD moves on to Fargo to take on NDSU Saturday at 7:00pm. Western Illinois has a 2:00pm game Saturday at IUPUI.