Douglas Wilson tallied his third double-double of the season, Noah Freidel buried five 3-pointers on his way to a 20-point performance and the South Dakota State men's basketball team fought off a pesky Samford Bulldogs squad at home for an 86-77 win Wednesday night.
A single-digit game from start-to-finish, fans at Frost Arena witnessed nine lead changes and nine ties throughout the contest as the Jackrabbits improved to 6-3.
Wilson finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, going 10-of-12 from the line. Freidel was 7-of-12 from the field, adding seven rebounds and a pair of steals.
Alex Arians reached double figures as well in a 12-point performance, hitting all four of his charity stripe attempts with a pair of 3-pointers.
Brandon Key's six assists came alongside six points, while Matt Dentlinger dished four assists out of the post alongside eight points and eight rebounds.
"I'm certainly proud of the fight our team showed tonight," head coach Eric Henderson said. "I was a little disappointed in the first half that we lost a few of the 50-50 balls. What I was most proud of, though, was the final 10 minutes when we made some adjustments. Our guys competed and we started coming up with those 50-50 balls. That was the difference in the game."
State led by as many as seven (19-12) in the opening 10 minutes of action, but the Bulldogs rallied to take a 24-21 edge thanks to nine unanswered before the six-minute mark. The Jackrabbits broke out of the slump with a Freidel 3-pointer at 5:47, then used two more treys from the Tea native to go back in front, 34-29 after an 8-0 burst.
That advantage held the rest of the half as the Jacks took a 43-38 lead into the locker room, but the Bulldogs drew even in the first minute of second-half action. Back-and-forth action ensued from there, as Samford flipped the advantage to take control near the midway point of the half.
Down 70-69 after free throws followed the under-eight media break, Freidel buried his fifth 3-pointer of the night to spark the Jackrabbits on a 7-0 run to gain separation down the stretch.
Samford crawled back within two (79-77) with 1:38 to go, but SDSU sealed the win as Wilson scored the final seven points of the game. That capped a stretch that saw the junior transfer pour in the last nine points for SDSU and 11 of the Jackrabbits' 14 final points before the buzzer.
• This is the first-ever meeting between Samford and South Dakota State.
• Matt Dentlinger saw a streak of 13-consecutive made field goals (dating back to the Arizona contest) snapped midway through the first half.
• The Jackrabbits have secured a winning record in November for the third year in a row.
• SDSU's 13 consecutive home wins ranks as the sixth-longest active streak in NCAA Division I.
• Noah Freidel and Douglas Wilson set new career scoring highs in the win.
South Dakota State heads for Indiana next, taking on the Hoosiers Saturday at 4 p.m. EST / 3 p.m. CST.