South Dakota State used 22 second chance points to overcome 19 lead changes, 12 ties and 3,408 raucous fans in a 68-67 double overtime win over Big Sky favorite Montana on Saturday night at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont.
The win, which boosts the Jackrabbits record to 9-3, gives SDSU its first true road win on the season, while Montana falls to 4-4. The Jacks also snapped The Grizzlies 15-game home winning streak.
“The rebounding is what won it for us, because we obviously shot the ball terribly,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “When you go on the road and shoot 37 percent, they’re some other things you did right. We rebounded and we defended; the rebounding and the defense late won it for us.”
The Jackrabbits won the battle of the boards 47-34, including a 15-4 edge on the offensive glass, which they need to overcome a rough shooting night, as they shot 37.7 percent for the game on 26-of-69 shooting.
After holding Montana to 38.5 percent shooting in the first half on 10-of-26 shooting, which resulted in a 25-22 SDSU lead at halftime, the Griz come out in the second half and shot 52.4 percent, converting on 11 of their 21 shots from the field.
The Jacks tightened their grip, however, in the overtimes, holding to Montana to 36.4 percent from the field (4-of-11), while shooting 35.7 percent (5-of-14).
Trailing by one with 12 seconds left in regulation, Montana’s Mike Weisner missed his first of two free throws, but made the second to tie the game at 53. Nate Wolters missed a three at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
SDSU scored the first six points of the extra frame, but it came down to free throws again, this time by Kareem Jamar, who went to the line with five seconds left and the Jacks up 59-58. He made the first one, but missed the second. The Griz got the offensive rebound, but Keron DeShields’ 3-pointer at the buzzer missed its mark, sending the game to a second overtime tied at 59.
Just like the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime, the second extra period came down to free throws, this time by the Jackrabbits and senior captain Tony Fiegen, with the 8.9 seconds on the clock and the Jacks down 66-67.
Fiegen made them both to give SDSU the lead, and Brayden Carlson came through with a steal at the other end to seal the win.
“I think I’m most happy for Tony,” Nagy added. “To see how our players responded to him in the locker room after the game, he is so loved by our guys because they know he’s a guy that they can all count on.”
Fiegen finished the game with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for his first-career double-double. Jordan Dykstra led the Jackrabbits with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Despite not scoring in the first half since his freshman year, Nate Wolters scored 15 points, moving into second place on the SDSU all-time scoring charts in the process. He also added nine rebounds and five assists.
Carlson added 10 points and four rebounds for the Jacks in the win.
Mathias Ward led a trio of Grizzlies in double figures with 17 points. Jamar added 16 and Weisner 13 points in the loss.
The Jackrabbits continue their six game road trip on Wednesday, when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Belmont at 7 p.m.
Courtesy: Ryan Sweeter, SDSU