Coming off a pair of victories this weekend at Frost Arena, the SDSU men’s basketball team sits atop the standings in the North Central Conference with a two-game lead over second-place University of Nebraska-Omaha.
The Jacks, now 16-3 on the season and 10-1 in conference play, began their weekend with an 81-71 defeat of in-state rivals, the University of South Dakota.
While the Coyotes outshot the Jacks 42.0 percent to 40.9 percent from the field, SDSU made up for that deficit with three-point shooting and free-throws.
Austin Hansen contributed to the Jacks’ 9-6 advantage in three-point shots with four from beyond the arc. Hansen, back from an injury that had him out of his starting guard position, led the Jacks in scoring with 21. He was one of four team members in double figures for the game.
Matt Jones brought in 18 points for the Jacks, while Derrick Schantz had 17 and Andy Moeller scored 15. USD freshman Josh Mueller’s 26 points led the Coyotes and made him the game’s high scorer.
However, neither that nor Steve Anderson’s 14 rebounds were able to stop the Jacks, who remain undefeated in front of their home crowd.
The game drew a season-high 8,232 spectators to Frost Arena. Saturday night, the home crowd saw SDSU pick up a 4-2 lead in the first minute of play and refuse Morningside College the lead for the rest of the game.
The Jacks’ early advantage grew to a 49-26 lead at the half and a final score of 99-60. SDSU was 35 of 61 from the field, outshooting the Mustangs 57.4 percent to 33.3 percent. The Jacks also had a 50-21 rebounding advantage over Morningside. Dustin Cooper led the Mustangs with 19 points.
The Jacks had seven players in double figures in the game, including Andy Moeller with 14. Hansen got 12 points on the game, and Schantz put in 11. Jones and reserves Mike Peek, Josh Cerveny and Jared DeJong each posted 10 points. DeJong’s 10 rebounds also gave him the only double-double of the game.
Morningside has yet to win a conference game.
This coming weekend, the Jacks take a trip to Minnesota for games against the University of Minnesota, Mankato and St. Cloud State University. Friday’s game in Mankato pits the Jacks against an 8-10 Mavericks team on a two-game losing streak in conference play.
The Mavericks are currently 4-6 in the NCC. St. Cloud State is currently third in the NCC, with a 7-3 conference record and a 15-3 record overall.
Junior Jason Kron was named player of the week Jan. 28 for his contribution to the Huskies’ overtime win over Minnesota State, Mankato this weekend. The Jacks play St. Cloud State Saturday in St. Cloud. Both games tip off at 8 p.m.