Jackrabbit men cruise to 2-0 start

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

Behind a balanced offensive effort, South Dakota State dominated Peru State of the NAIA 86-58 Thursday night at Frost Arena.

The game’s opening moments for the Jackrabbits were described as a “tough start” by coach Eric Henderson — SDSU trailed as late into the first half as the under-eight media timeout — yet he is still proud of how they played and executed in the game.

Scoring for the Jacks wasn’t a problem, as every man on the roster scored during the game. However, the Jacks shot just 26.1% from 3-point range on the night, meaning the bulk of the points came from taking the ball inside and getting to the free-throw line.

Junior Douglas Wilson led SDSU with 13 points, followed by sophomore Matt Dentlinger and freshman David Wingett, who each scored 12. Wilson also added a game-high eight rebounds to go along with two assists.

On the other side, the Bobcats struggled to find offense outside of guard Devon Colley all night. Colley scored a game-high 21 points and was the only Peru State player to reach double-figures. Of the Bobcats’ 19 made field goals, 11 were from beyond the 3-point line.

One benefit of the lopsided score was the opportunity for several young players to get minutes early on in the season. All told, freshman accounted for 28 of SDSU’s 86 points.

For some of those young or otherwise inexperienced players, this game helped relieve some nerves and jitters about playing in front of a large home crowd.

“It’s definitely a different environment coming from high school to college,” said freshman guard Baylor Scheierman. “In high school, there was a couple hundred people, but in college there’s a couple thousand.”

Scheierman finished with six points, five rebounds and three assists in 13 minutes

Though SDSU had started to pull away early in the second half, there was a brief moment of intrigue just before the under-16 media timeout.

Peru State’s coach, Bob Ludwig, got ejected from the game for a flagrant two foul for contact with SDSU’s Alex Arians. Ludwig, who came off the bench to protest no-foul call with a referee, collided with Arians as he was sprinting up the court, sending the SDSU sophomore to the hardwood.

“He was frustrated that there wasn’t a foul called at the rim,” Henderson explained after the game. “Bob is a great guy. You get caught up in the moment, but there was nothing malicious about it.”

Moving into a three-game stretch away from home, the Jacks travel to California to take on CSU Bakersfield at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. Following Saturday’s contest, the Jacks head to Los Angeles to face USC at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11.

“We know we are going to have our hands full in California, but one thing that I love about this group is their togetherness,” Henderson said. “They really care about each other and sometimes when you go on the road it is kind of an us-against-everyone type of mentality.”