South Dakota State men's basketball used a strong second half to pull away from North Dakota and claim an 80-55 victory Saturday afternoon at Frost Arena.
Tied at 38 with 18 minutes to play, the Jackrabbits broke out on a 20-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to take control for good, improving to 20-6 on the season and 10-1 in Summit League play.
Winners of nine consecutive, SDSU shot 50 percent for the game and went 17-of-19 at the charity stripe, overcoming a cold start from deep to maintain its first-place spot in the league standings.
Mike Daum posted a 29-point, 20-rebound double-double, going 10-of-19 from the field (10-of-11 from inside the arc) while hitting all eight of his free throws.
Alex Arians and David Jenkins each had 15 points, as Arians was 6-of-7 from the field with six rebounds. Jenkins hit two 3-pointers in the game and added a pair of assists.
Skyler Flatten rounded out the double-figure scorers for SDSU with 11 points, including a pair of highlight-reel dunks in the second half to go with three steals.
Tevin King put together an all-around effort with eight points, six assists and five rebounds in the win.
"I thought it was obviously a tough first half shooting the basketball, starting 0-for-15 from (deep)," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "The way we shot it is not gonna happen too often. We talked about it a lot at halftime, how defense and guarding and getting deflections and steals was gonna get us going on that other end.
"I thought that second half, defensively, was about as well as we've played in a half on that end of the floor and it allowed us to open up that game. I'm proud of our guys for how they they came out of the locker room at halftime. They had great energy and effort."
South Dakota State and North Dakota traded momentum runs throughout the first half. The Jackrabbits led by as many as nine early, but carried just a 33-32 lead into the break as the Fighting Hawks battled back late in the first.
Up one at halftime, Daum buried a trey on the opening possession of the half, but UND answered once again to draw even at 38. From that point on, however, it was all Jackrabbits as South Dakota State outscored North Dakota by 25 the rest of the way.
Arians started the scoring burst with an old-fashioned 3-point play, and moments later Frost Arena came to life as Flatten's steal-and-slam forced a UND timeout at 17:18. All told, the Jackrabbits opened the burst with nine unanswered and ended it with 11 straight, building a 58-40 lead before the 13-minute mark.
UND stopped the Jackrabbit burst shortly thereafter, but with 7:22 left in the game South Dakota State opened another 12-0 run to push its lead past 20, where it stayed until the final buzzer.
- South Dakota State is 104-85 all-time against North Dakota and has won six straight in the series.
- Mike Daum entered today's game 15th on the NCAA's scoring list with 2,854 career points. He is now 14th with 2,883 points, passing Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina). He is one shy of Elvin Hayes for 13th.
In two games against North Dakota this season, Mike Daum is averaging 31.5 points and 20.5 rebounds per game.
- David Jenkins climbed from 41st into a tie for 39th on SDSU's all-time scoring list with 1,043 career points, drawing even with Pete Leiferman (1989-93). Jenkins passed Jim Sutton (1954-57; 1,035 points) in the game.
- The Jackrabbits surpassed the 20-win mark for the 25th time in school history.
South Dakota State heads back on the road next week for a pair of games, beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. at Omaha.