BROOKINGS, S.D. — South Dakota State men’s basketball shook off a cold start and rolled to a 21-point victory Wednesday evening at Frost Arena, topping North Dakota 87-66 in front of 2,271 fans.
The Jackrabbits (14-7, 5-1 Summit League), shot 50 percent from the field (58 percent in the second half) and won their fifth straight game.
Douglas Wilson led the Jacks with 22 points in 24 minutes of action, burying nine field goals with a 4-of-5 effort at the line. Matt Mims scored a career-high 14 points off the bench, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
Alou Dillon added a career-high as well, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, tallying all of his points in the second half.
Noah Freidel added to the scoring with 16 points and recorded six rebounds, while Baylor Scheierman pulled down seven rebounds and dished four assists.
“I’m really proud of those two guys, Matt Mims and Alou Dillon, because of how those two young men stepped up in the second half,” head coach Eric Henderson said. “As far as our team, we got off to a little bit of a slow start but we were able to bounce back and hang in there before a nice little run helped separate us in the first half. I didn’t love our efforts on the boards in the first half, but again we hung in there. I’m certainly proud of our bench tonight and it was a great team win for the Jackrabbits.”
A David Wingett 3 gave State its first lead of the night (8-7) at 15:35, but the Jacks’ cold start continued as SDSU hit just two of its first 15 shots and trailed, 13-8, nine minutes into the game. From that point on, however, SDSU rolled by sinking 10 of its next 11 from the field.
A free throw from Matt Dentlinger out of the under-12 reset stopped a nearly five-minute Jackrabbit scoring drought, and soon after a run of seven consecutive from Wilson tied the game at 18. That burst included the start of a larger 27-3 run that helped the Jacks break away. Overall, SDSU outscored the Fighting Hawks by 21 over the final 10:45 of the half to carry a 41-25 lead into the locker room.
North Dakota came out of the break hot, putting together a run of eight unanswered to bring SDSU’s lead to single digits before the under-16 media timeout. The Fighting Hawks came as close as six (56-50), but the Jacks ended any comeback hopes with a 9-0 run midway through the period, capping the scoring burst with a Freidel 3-pointer at 9:13.
Leading 65-50 at that point, the Jackrabbits continued to push and took their largest lead of the night (87-64) on an Aaron Fiegen free throw inside the final minute, using a strong effort from the bench to close out the win.
- South Dakota State is 86-104 all-time against North Dakota and 8-1 in games at the Division I level.
- The Jacks have won 19 consecutive games at home, tied for the nation’s third-longest active home winning streak.
- 10 Jackrabbits have posted a double-digit scoring performance this season.
South Dakota State heads for Vermillion this weekend to take on the South Dakota Coyotes Sunday. Tip is set for 3:30 p.m. inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.