South Dakota State men's basketball clinched its second-consecutive Summit League regular season title Saturday with an 86-66 victory over Western Illinois on Senior Day at Frost Arena.
The Jackrabbits (24-7, 14-2 Summit League) earned the No. 1 seed in next week's Summit League Tournament, as Tevin King, Skyler Flatten and Mike Daum were honored postgame after winning the crown outright for the second year in a row.
"I'm really proud of our team for how they competed today, especially as the game wore on," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "It's never easy on senior night (because) there's a lot of other things going on. A lot of emotions, a lot of things that you're going through, but I thought our guys were able to lock in at points in time and do the job we needed to come out with a victory."
SDSU made 49 percent of its shots, draining 13-of-29 (45 percent) from beyond the arc with a near-perfect 15-of-16 effort from the free throw line.
Flatten led the scoring attack with 31 points, draining six 3-pointers in nine attempts. He carried the Jacks early, notching 23 points in the first half.
Daum posted his 52nd career double, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds while burying four 3-pointers.
David Jenkins Jr. added 12 points and Alex Arians scored 11, while Tevin King and Owen King each had four assists.
Western Illinois was led by Kobe Webster's 17 points.
State built a 15-7 lead in the game's first seven minutes, but saw the Leathernecks crawl back within three (18-15) before the under-12 media break.
The teams traded buckets from there until the final four minutes of the half, as WIU kept it close until a 12-2 Jackrabbit rally to end the period sent South Dakota State to the locker room ahead, 49-33.
Western Illinois started the second half hot, climbing to within seven before the under-16 media. That was as close as the Leathernecks came, however, as a Jenkins 3-pointer and Flatten dunk opened a quick 7-0 spurt to help State push its lead back to 15 (60-45).
A Daum 3-pointer at 8:18 put the Jackrabbits up 20 (72-52), where it stayed the rest of the way as SDSU closed the regular season on a high note.
- The Jackrabbits have now won five Summit League regular season crowns as T.J. Otzelberger picked up his second as SDSU's head coach. State shared the regular season title in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and won it outright last year.
- South Dakota State is 26-4 all-time against Western Illinois, having never lost at home to the Fighting Leathernecks.
- Mike Daum is now ninth on the NCAA's all-time scoring chart with 3,026 career points. He passed Hersey Hawkins (3,008) in the game.
- Mike Daum has scored 10 or more points in 55 career home games, hitting double figures in every contest at Frost Arena in his career.
- At least three Jackrabbits scored in double figures in 30 of 31 games this year.
South Dakota State earned the No. 1 seed for next week's Summit League Tournament and will have a rematch with Western Illinois in the opening round on Saturday, March 9. Tip-off from the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls is 6 p.m.