South Dakota State celebrated Military Appreciation Night at Frost Arena on Thursday with a dominating 79-51 win over Summit League front-runner Fort Wayne while wearing new camouflage uniforms.
The Jackrabbits third straight win boosts their record to 13-10 overall and to 5-3 in The Summit League, while the Mastodons leave with an 18-7 overall record, 6-2 in the league.
Both teams came out hot, and made it look like the game may be a shootout, but the Jackrabbit defense bucked down, holding the visitors to 35 percent shooting for the game, 19 of 54, and held them to 29.6 percent in the second half on 8 of 27 shooting.
“I didn’t like the way the game started, we gave them their first three baskets, and then from there we started to play defense, and really our defense tonight led to everything else; it led to energy on the glass, it led to passing the ball extremely well, shooting the ball well. The kids did a good job of executing the game plan” head coach Scott Nagy said. “I loved our offense tonight, it had a good pace to it, we changed few things from the last time we played them and it really worked for us, but defense was the answer for us.”
Offensively, the Jackrabbits shot 56 percent in the fist half, going 18 of 32 from the floor, including a 5 for 6 mark from 3-point range. For the game, SDSU went 31 of 62 from the floor overall, and 10 of 19 from long distance, 52.6 percent.
After a pair of ties and four early lead changes, the Jacks took the lead for good on a Brayden Carlson layup with 14 minutes, 5 seconds left in the first half that put SDSU up 13-12, part of a 15-5 run that ended with the Jacks up 26-17 with 9:46 left in the first half.
SDSU pushed the lead to as many 15 points in the first half before taking a 43-30 advantage into halftime.
IPFW scored first in the second half to cut the lead to 11 points, but SDSU fired back with a 27-7 run that put the Jacks up 31 points, and put the game all but out of reach for the Mastodons.
Jordan Dykstra finished with a game-high 18 points, adding a season-high four assists and five rebounds. Cody Larson added 17 points and five rebounds, while Chad White pitched in with 15 points in going 5 for 7 from 3-point range. Carlson finished with seven points and a game-high six rebounds.
SDSU finished plus 12 on the glass, 42-30, with a 15-11 advantage in offensive rebounds, which resulted in 13 second chance points for SDSU, compared to four from IPFW.
The Jackrabbits look to build on the three game winning streak on Saturday, when they host IUPUI in Frost Arena at 4 p.m. in the 42nd Annual Pork Classic. The Jaguars fell to 5-20 overall and to 0-8 in league play after a 66-60 loss at North Dakota State on Thursday.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series with IPFW 12-9, with wins in nine of the last 10 games ... the teams played in front of 2,144 fans at Frost Arena on Military Appreciation Night ... the Jackrabbits wore donated camouflage uniforms that will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project ... SDSU improves to 9-1 this season when leading at the half and to 13-3 when finishing with more rebounds than its opponents ... the 28 point margin of victory marked the highest for SDSU this season ... White’s 15 points in the game gives him 1,170 for his career, moving him from 24th to 23rd all-time at SDSU, nine shy of passing John Thomas (1,178 points from 1966-69) on the SDSU all-time scoring list ... Carlson moved from 45th to a tie for 41st all-time at SDSU with 1,010 career points, nine shy of moving up to 39th on the list ... Carlson played a season-low 27 minutes, while White played a season-low 24 minutes ... SDSU started a game with three 1,000 point career scorers for the first time since March 7, 2010, the final game of the 2009-10 season, when Garret Callahan, Kai Williams and Clint Sargent all played in The Summit League Championships, a 71-66 loss to IPFW
By Ryan Sweeter