Men’s basketball cruises past MVSU

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

Coming into Sunday afternoon, Mississippi Valley State had let three out of its five opponents score over 100 points, South Dakota State fell short of becoming the fourth but had no troubles with the Delta Devils at Frost Arena.

The Jacks (5-3) shot 57% from the field on their way to an 84-54 win over the Delta Devils (0-6).

It started early with SDSU going on a 24-6 run in the opening 10 minutes and holding MVSU to 24.2% shooting and 17 points in the first half.

“I love the way we played today,” SDSU coach Henderson said. “… Not every team we play is going to allow us to do that. Certainly, we’re not going to be able to do that every night — we’re going to have to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket off the bounce. But today we just moved that thing so well.”

While the outcome was never in doubt, the Jacks came out of halftime flat compared to the first half.

“We had a good first half but just didn’t come out with focus in the second half,” sophomore Alex Arians said.

The Delta Devils took advantage of that by doubling their points in the first seven minutes of the second half, scoring a total of 37 points.

Leading the Delta Devils, Michael Green scored 19 points followed by Caleb Hunter with 16. MVSU ended the second half shooting 41.2%, but it wasn’t near enough.

The lopsided score allowed for SDSU’s bench to get more playing time than normal. Sophomore Alou Dillon recorded six points, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocks in 19 minutes of playing time.

“It is good to get him back, we’re going to need him,” Henderson said of Dillon, who missed the teams’ previous three games.

Other reserves that made an impact were freshmen David Wingett and Baylor Scheierman, who both finished with 10 points, adding five and six rebounds, respectively.

Sunday was also Epilepsy Awareness Night at Frost Arena. Several members of the Jackrabbit basketball family and Jackrabbit Nation are impacted by the neurological disorder. Purple is the international color representing epilepsy awareness, so both teams wore purple warmup shirts and fans waved purple rally towels to raise awareness in an act that hit home for Henderson.

“When you do things like that, it makes you sit down and reflect,” Henderson said. “… It’s not easy what (those affected) have been through, but you don’t make excuses. You have to live life to the fullest. … Everybody has a few bumps in the road. It’s how you approach it — you be a fighter and you do it.”

Following Sunday’s win and a strong showing Nov. 21 at No. 14 Arizona, the Jacks will look to keep the momentum going against Samford at 7 p.m. Nov. 27, in Frost Arena.

After Thanksgiving, the Jacks head to Bloomington, Indiana, to take on the University of Indiana. The game will start at 3 p.m. Central on Saturday, Nov. 30.