FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Nate Wolters scored and SDSU single-game record and Division I single-game season-high 53 points and added an SDSU single-game record nine 3-pointers in a come-from-behind 80-74 win at Fort Wayne on Thursday.
"What happened tonight is a lot of time in gym for Nate, and sometimes kids get in a zone, they feel it, and it doesn't matter what they do, you can't stop them," head coach Scott Nagy said. "That was the case tonight, and Nate knew it, the players knew it, I knew it"
The Jackrabbits improve to 19-6 overall with the win, and to 10-2 in The Summit League, while the host Mastodons fall to 10-15 overall and to 3-8 in the league.
Wolters scored 38 of his points in the second half, one more than the entire IPFW team, finishing the night 17-of-28 shooting overall, 9-of-14 from 3-point range and 10-of-11 from the free throw line.
"They were sagging off of me and my felt pretty good tonight, I was able to knock a couple down and just got into a little bit of a rhythm," Wolters said. "It's a good accomplishment, but it's a big win for us, we had to have it. We knew that they were gonna come out and play hard, they played tough, but we were able to put together a big second half and pull away."
The 53 points not only tops his previous career-high of 36, but breaks the SDSU single-game mark of 44 points, set by Dave Thomas against Coe College on March 10, 1973. His nine 3-pointers tops his previous high of five, set in the season-opener at Alabama, and breaks the SDSU mark of eight, a mark set by Jason Sempsrott on Jan. 12, 1996 vs. North Dakota State, and by Randy Suarez against Augustana on Feb. 7, 1987.
As for the game, The Jackrabbits came out cold and trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before going into halftime down by eight points at 37-29.
The second half didn't start much better, even after the Jacks cut the lead to six at 37-31 early, IPFW pushed the lead back to 11 points at 44-33 with just over 17 minutes to play.
That's when Wolters and Tony Fiegen, who finished with 11 points, began to get SDSU back in the game with a 17-3 run that got the Jacks to within three at 50-47 with 11:22 to play.
From there, SDSU climbed back to tie the game at 52, the first of seven ties in the second half before Wolters put the Jacks up for good at 70-68 with 1:47 left in the game on his record-tying eighth triple of the game.
SDSU never trailed again, and got some key free throws from Wolters, Fiegen and Chad White to seal the win down the stretch.
The Jackrabbits look to make it nine wins in a row, and reach the 20-win mark for the second straight season on Saturday, when they take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in Rochester, Mich., at 4 p.m. CT, in a game that can be seen live on Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Detroit and on Fox College Sports Atlantic.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series with IPFW 10-8, with wins in each of the last seven games … SDSU improves to 2-4 in games played in Memorial Coliseum, where the teams played in front of an announced crowd of 1,362 … the last player in SDSU to score at least 40 points in a game came on Dec. 19, 1980, when Steve Lingenfelter scored 40 at Fresno State, a game SDSU lost 79-65 … Wolters surpassed the 30 point mark for the second time this season and for the 12th time in his career … in addition to his scoring, Wolters three assists in the game gives him 602 for his career, making him just the second player in SDSU history with at least 600 assists, and leaves him just four assists shy of the SDSU record of 605, set by Brian Norberg from 1995-99 … SDSU improves to 6-4 this season when trailing at the half, and to 7-0 when scoring at least 80 points