DENVER -- South Dakota State picked up its fourth straight win Thursday with an 81-77 victory over Denver inside Magness Arena.
SDSU (21-6, 9-1 Summit League) shot just 37.9 percent as a team, but locked down defensively to survive a late Pioneer charge and leave the Mile High City with the win, maintaining its lead in The Summit League standings.
The Jackrabbits led by as many as 20 in the contest, dealing with a pesky Denver squad that charged back to within four inside the final 15 seconds. State used six free throws in the final minute to seal it.
David Jenkins Jr. led all scorers while matching his career-high of 31 points, drilling six 3-pointers in 36 minutes.
Reed Tellinghuisen tallied his 70th career double figure game with 16 points, while Mike Daum logged his sixth consecutive double-double with 13 and 13 rebounds.
The teams combined for 64 free throws in the game, with State hitting 20 of its 28 attempts and Denver finishing 26-of-36 at the line. DU (10-14, 4-6) shot 38.1 percent as a team and had five in double figures, with Jake Krafka, Daniel Amigo and Ade Murkey scoring 14.
State hit its first five shots of the night and opened an 11-3 lead early, forcing a DU timeout at 17:40. The Jacks stretched the lead to 11 (20-9) moments later with a Daum 3-pointer, but saw the Pioneers hang around until the seven-minute mark. At that point, a pair of Brandon Key free throws put SDSU's lead into double figures (30-19), where it stayed until 4:26 of the second.
Up 14 (45-31) at the break, SDSU opened the second on an 8-2 run to take a 53-33 lead four minutes in, but went cold from there as the Pioneers began to chip away.
The Jacks saw their lead cut to 12 (55-43) with nine and a half to play, and a burst of seven straight from the Pioneers made it 65-56 just past the five-minute mark.
Down the stretch, SDSU had to fight through adversity as three Jackrabbits fouled out. Denver hit three 3-pointers in the final 2:35 and trailed, 80-76, with 14 seconds on the clock, but SDSU came through with a defensive stop as the clock wound down and improved to 6-4 in road games this season.
• South Dakota State is now 14-6 all-time against Denver and have won four straight in the series.
• Reed Tellinghuisen made his 119th career start, tied for first all-time alongside Austin Hansen (1999-03). Tellinghuisen is also alone in third with 131 games played.
• Mike Daum has recorded a double-double in nine of 10 league games this year.
• Mike Daum moved into second at SDSU with 537 career free throws. He passed Don Jacobsen (532; 1958-61) for second place in the first half.
• Mike Daum is now seventh at South Dakota State with 759 career rebounds, passing Larry Nickelson (755; 1975-78).
South Dakota State closes the weekend Saturday at Oral Roberts. Tipoff from the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma is set for 7 p.m.