BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — With career highs from Alex Arians and Luke Appel, South Dakota State men’s basketball claimed an 80-62 victory over Denver Saturday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits (15-4, 6-0 Summit League) finished 48.3 percent from the field with five in double figures. SDSU boasted a plus-six advantage in rebounds, a 30-20 advantage in the paint and 11 team 3-pointers to take down the Pioneers in front of 1,595 fans.
Arians paced the squad and matched his career-high of 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep, sinking his first four attempts from behind the arc. Appel grabbed a season-best seven rebounds and added 12 points, while Matt Mims was 2-of-3 from 3-point range and finished with 10.
Baylor Scheierman turned in career double-double No. 21, finishing with 11 boards and points, matching Douglas Wilson in the points column.
Denver’s KJ Hunt led the Pioneers with 18 pints, while Coban Porter added 16.
SDSU built a 12-4 lead early, holding the Pioneers without a bucket through the first three and half minutes of action. The Jacks’ hot start continued with an 11-0 run moments later, pushing the advantage into double figures (23-6). Arians capped the rally with a triple at 11:03, one of four he buried in the first half.
All told, South Dakota State hit as many 3-pointers (nine) in the opening frame as Denver had field goals, and rode the strong shooting to a 44-23 halftime lead.
The Pioneers came out firing in the second half as their offense found their footing, but the Jackrabbits held off any serious charges initially, keeping their field goal percentage above 50 percent through the under-12 media break.
Ahead 63-45 with eight minutes to play, South Dakota State was forced to work through a cold streak as the Pioneers crawled to within 12 (70-58) with less than two minutes on the clock. That was as close as Denver would come, however, as State closed out its 12th consecutive win inside Frost Arena.
- SDSU is 6-0 in Summit League play for the first time in program history.
- The Jackrabbits are now 136-7 at home dating back to 2011-12, leading the nation in home winning percentage over the past 10-plus seasons.
- State hit double-digit 3-pointers for the third consecutive game and for the ninth time this season.
- Alex Arians matched his career-high in points (19) and set a new career-best with five 3-pointers made.
- Baylor Scheierman is now second all-time at SDSU with 21 Division I double-doubles. Mike Daum leads that chart with 54.
The men are scheduled to head for Summit League newcomer St. Thomas next week. The Jackrabbits and Tommies face off Jan. 20 in St. Paul, Minn.