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Daum, Jacks sneak past Leathernecks

ABBY+FULLENKAMP+Junior+point+guard+Brandon+Key+%280%29+goes+for+a+layup+during+the+second+half+of+the+game+against+WIU+March+3.+The+Jacks+won+66-60.+SDSU+will+play+March+5+in+the+semifinals.
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Daum, Jacks sneak past Leathernecks

ABBY FULLENKAMP Junior point guard Brandon Key (0) goes for a layup during the second half of the game against WIU March 3. The Jacks won 66-60. SDSU will play March 5 in the semifinals.

ABBY FULLENKAMP Junior point guard Brandon Key (0) goes for a layup during the second half of the game against WIU March 3. The Jacks won 66-60. SDSU will play March 5 in the semifinals.

ABBY FULLENKAMP Junior point guard Brandon Key (0) goes for a layup during the second half of the game against WIU March 3. The Jacks won 66-60. SDSU will play March 5 in the semifinals.

ABBY FULLENKAMP Junior point guard Brandon Key (0) goes for a layup during the second half of the game against WIU March 3. The Jacks won 66-60. SDSU will play March 5 in the semifinals.

Trenton Abrego

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State is the number one seed in the Summit League Tournament, but it sure didn’t look that way during their 66-60 victory over eighth-seed Western Illinois Leathernecks.

The Jacks struggled throughout the game, and at one point trailed by as many as nine points, and for nearly 25 minutes.

Western Illinois took advantage of a Jacks team that seemed unable to shoot the ball. The Leathernecks took a 32-29 lead going into the half.

Coming into the game, South Dakota State bolstered the top scoring offense in the Summit League, with an average of 85 points per game. The Jacks also shot 47 percent from the field on average.

“I think overall, we are a team that most nights we shoot it pretty well,” said head coach T.J. Otzelberger after the game.

Tonight, wasn’t one of those nights.

It was clear the Jacks simply weren’t comfortable for much of the game.

As a team, the Jacks shot just 32 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc.

Despite not being able to shoot the ball, the Jacks were able to grab 14 offensive rebounds compared to the Leathernecks’ four.

SDSU needed a contributor badly tonight, and they got it by none other than junior Mike Daum.

Daum scored a game-high 33 points and had 19 rebounds — the second most in an individual performance during a Summit League Tournament game. Daum connected on three three-pointers and had 12 points from the free-throw line.

“I felt like the ball was coming towards me,” Daum said in a post-game conference.

Daum was the only Jackrabbit to score in double figures.

Other scorers for the Jacks were senior Reed Tellinghuisen with nine points and junior Tevin King with eight points. King provided a spark for the Jacks coming up with 11 rebounds.

Freshman sensation and Summit League Freshman of the Year, David Jenkins Jr., had a rough first outing at the Summit League Tournament, scoring three points, one for 10 from the floor.

For Western Illinois, they did seemingly everything they wanted to in their game plan, except come away with the victory.

“We did a great job executing on both sides of the floor, there were just some things we couldn’t overcome,” WIU head coach Wright said after the game.

The Leathernecks shot 44 percent from field goal range and 26 percent from three-point range.

Offensively, Western Illinois had three scorers in double digits.

The Leathernecks were led by freshman guard, Isaac Johnson, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Junior center Brandon Gilbeck had 14 points and seven rebounds, and senior Dalan Ancrum finished the night with 13 points.

Up next, the top seeded Jackrabbits will face the winner of Fort Wayne and North Dakota State at 6 p.m. Monday, March 5.

Until then, the Jacks will game plan for the winner of that game and try to regroup after a hard-fought win.

“Things didn’t come easy for us,” Otzelberger said. “They stuck together; they gutted it out. I’m proud of our guys.”

 

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Daum, Jacks sneak past Leathernecks