South Dakota State men's basketball improved to 2-0 on the year with a 78-61 victory over Alabama State Friday evening, taking down the Hornets in front of 2,279 fans at Frost Arena.
The Jackrabbits, led by four double-figure scorers, shot 45.3 percent from the field and never trailed in their nation-best 22nd consecutive home victory.
Mike Daum notched a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double with four assists. Skyler Flatten finished 6-for-12 from the field with 17 points and five rebounds and Tevin King added 12 points, five boards and a team-best five assists on 4-for-4 shooting.
Matt Dentlinger reached double figures for the second-straight night, adding 10 points to the Jackrabbit offense to go alongside a seven-rebound performance.
"That wasn't the prettiest game I've ever been a part of-on either end I think," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "I'm proud of our guys for the way they came out and thought we had great energy from the start but that faded throughout the course of the game. It felt like our offensive execution was really good, especially that first half.
"Defensively, (we were) not quite where we wanted to be. So we're continuing to preach to our guys that we're playing against ourselves and trying to be at our best, and certainly that wasn't the case there in the second half and they had a lot to do with that. I mean, their zone-we hadn't seen a lot of zone up to this point. I've spent a lot of time working on it and it's something we definitely need to commit to. But credit to them for mixing it up and putting us on our heels."
South Dakota State started fast as Skyler Flatten scored the game's first six points, but found itself in an offensive shootout for much of the opening half as Alabama State used a hot hand from beyond the arc to stay within striking distance early.
Tied at 8-all, SDSU scored seven unanswered to gain separation just past the under-16 media, only to see Alabama State hang around and pull back within four (20-16) at 10:44.
The next five minutes of action saw the Jacks' lead grow to double figures (39-28) on a Dentlinger layup, and although the Hornets closed it to seven moments later, a 9-0 scoring burst allowed SDSU to pull away for good late in the half and carry a 54-38 advantage into the locker room.
The Jacks grew their lead to 22 (60-38) behind a pair of David Jenkins 3-pointers to begin the second half, and although SDSU faced a seven-plus minute scoring drought midway through the second half, a strong defensive showing limited the Hornets from making a significant run.
Flatten hit a 3-pointer at 4:41 to stop the drought and put the Jackrabbits ahead 73-57 and ended any threat of a Hornet comeback as SDSU closed out the victory.
• South Dakota State is 2-0 all-time against Alabama State.
• Mike Daum is now 88 shy of Nate Wolters' school record 2,363 career points. He is tied for 178th on the NCAA's scoring chart with 2,275 career points.
• The Jackrabbits are eighth currently with 30 straight nonconference home wins.
• Mike Daum recorded his 34th career double-double and 58th career 20-point scoring performance.
• The Jacks posted a double-digit rebounding margin for the second-consecutive game, pulling down 41 boards as a team compared to ASU's 26 rebounds.
South Dakota State closes its season-opening homestand Saturday against Bemidji State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. from Frost Arena.