South Dakota State ran away with its 20th win of the season on Saturday night at Frost Arena, using a balanced offensive attack and stifling defense to cruise to an 82-45 win over IUPUI.
“Tonight we were good defensively. I would’ve been easy to look ahead to Saturday, but our players didn’t do that,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “We had good focus to us tonight and defensively we were super sharp, and the nice thing is that we’re starting to shoot the ball like I though we would at the beginning of the year.”
The Jackrabbits, who improve to 20-7 on the season overall and to 11-3 in The Summit League, shot 53.8 percent for the game, going 28-of-52 from the floor and 11-for-22 from beyond the arc.
On the defensive end, the Jacks held the Jaguars to 35.8 percent shooting, 19-for-53, and to just 18.8 percent from long distance, 3-for-16.
On top of that, SDSU finished plus 19 on the glass, 40-21, thanks largely to Jordan Dykstra, who led all players with a career-high 15 rebounds to go along with his 14 points for his team-best sixth double-double of the season. He also tied for game-high honors with four assists.
Nate Wolters led the Jackrabbit offense with 18 points, adding four rebounds and a pair of assists in 27 minutes on the floor, 10 minutes below his season average.
Chad White also finished with 14 points after going 5-for-5 from the floor, with four of those makes coming from behind the 3-point line.
Donovan Gibbs led the visitors with 16 points and with six rebounds in the loss, which drops the Jaguars to 6-21 overall and to 1-12 in league play.
The Jackrabbits closed the first half on a 14-3 run to take a 41-21 lead into the locker room at halftime, and then extended the run to 21-3 early in the second half to push the lead to 48-21 with 17 minutes, 50 seconds left in the game.
SDSU lead by as many as 40 points on two occasions late in the game in salting away the team’s school record 29th consecutive home win and second straight 20-win season.
The Jackrabbits return to action on Saturday in the 41st Annual Pork Classic against league-leading Western Illinois. The Jacks also plan to honor seniors Tony Fiegen and Wolters in a ceremony after the game.
The Jacks and Fighting Leathernecks tip at 4:05 p.m. from Frost Arena.