SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- No. 4 seed South Dakota State took care of business in its Summit League Tournament opener Sunday evening, taking down No. 5 seed Denver, 83-73, at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
SDSU (16-16) saw three players reach double figures, led by Mike Daum's 33 points. Daum hit 13 of 15 from the charity stripe and led all scorers. Reed Tellinghuisen added 18 points along with a team-high nine rebounds and Chris Howell joined the Jackrabbit duo in double figures, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.
Down 7-4 early, SDSU took command with 10 unanswered behind a pair of Tellinghuisen 3-pointers to lead by seven past the under-16 media. The Jacks moved the advantage to double figures (24-13) inside 10 minutes to play, and soon doubled up the Pioneers, 34-17, on a Daum 3-pointer at 6:53.
Denver clawed back to single digits over the final four minutes of the half, however, and the Jacks led, 43-36, at the break.
State burst out of the locker room on an 18-5 tear, going up 20 (61-41) at 15:30 as it looked to squash any DU comeback hopes.
From there, however, the Jacks went cold from the field for over seven minutes as Denver crawled to within 12 (67-55) past the 10-minute mark. SDSU recovered, though, to post the next eight points, stretching its lead back to 21 as Denver faced a nearly four-minute scoring drought of its own.
The Pioneers chipped away at the deficit as the clock wound down, but SDSU's lead held up as the Jacks advanced.
South Dakota State is now 15-5 all-time in The Summit League Tournament. The Jacks have reached the semifinals eight times, including seven straight.
Mike Daum has scored in double figures 29 times this season and in 11 straight games. He now has 11 30-point games for the year.
Daum's 33 points is tied as the seventh best scoring performance in Summit League Tournament history. He is tied for fifth for the tournament record with 13 free throws tonight.
Daum and Reed Tellinghuisen combined for 32 of SDSU's 43 first half points.
In four Summit League Tournament games, Daum now has 92 points and 32 rebounds for an average of 23 points and eight rebounds per contest.
Tellinghuisen is now 16 points away from joining State's 1,000-point club as the 47th member.
Fourth-seeded South Dakota State advances to face top-seeded South Dakota at 6 p.m., Sunday in the Summit League Tournament semifinals.