BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — The South Dakota State men’s basketball team turned in a dominant second half performance Sunday afternoon during its 23rd straight win inside Frost Arena, topping Purdue Fort Wayne 75-62.
Facing a double-digit deficit for much of the first half, South Dakota State opened the second with 12 unanswered as the foundation of a larger 40-7 run. All told, the Jacks outscored the ‘Dons by 23 over the final 20 minutes to flip the script and defend home court.
SDSU is now 20-8 overall and 11-2 in Summit League play, claiming sole possession of first-place in the league standings.
Matt Dentlinger led the way with his fifth double-double of the season, pulling down 10 rebounds to go with 18 points. Dentlinger buried all eight of his field goal attempts and both free throw efforts, and set a new career-high with five blocks.
Douglas Wilson added 17 on 7-of-8 shooting, while David Wingett had 14 points with a trio of 3-pointers. Both Jackrabbits have five rebounds, sitting third on the team in boards behind Baylor Scheierman (six rebounds, nine points) and Dentlinger.
The Mastodons used a 12-0 run of their own in the game’s opening moments to take control early, and with 13:36 on the clock, went ahead 14-4. Transition dunks from Wilson and corner 3s from Wingett and Scheierman came during brief Jackrabbit scoring spurts, but South Dakota State went into the locker room trailing, 36-26.
“(Purdue Fort Wayne) had a great deal of energy to start the game,” head coach Eric Henderson said. “Our first half wasn’t very pretty, but our second half was pretty special. In the first 12 minutes I think we outscored them 40-7. And the most important number is that seven because it created the 40. I’m really proud of our guy’s ability to bounce back and play a great second half.
“Things weren’t going in a good direction and we knew we needed stops to get in a flow offensively. Our defense led to some easy baskets and got our crowd going, and when that happens we start to feel pretty confident,” he said.
Jackrabbit spurts of 12, 15, six and seven unanswered filled the first 12 minutes of SDSU’s second half play-by-play as SDSU pushed its lead over 20 for the first time on Wingett’s free throws at 8:38 during the final run.
- South Dakota State is 21-13 all-time against Purdue Fort Wayne and 13-2 at home against the ‘Dons. The Jacks swept the 2019-20 regular season series.
- The Jackrabbits have won 23 straight at home, currently tied for the nation’s second-longest active streak.
- The Jacks have won 20 games in seven of their last nine seasons, including three-straight.
- Matt Dentlinger posted double-doubles in each of the last two games.
- Douglas Wilson has reached double figures in 25 games.
South Dakota State heads North for a midweek game in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Jackrabbits and North Dakota Fighting Hawks tip at 7 p.m. Wednesday.