Jacks blow out Vandals in nonconference finale

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

In its final test before a brief holiday break, South Dakota State cruised past the University of Idaho, 85-57 Saturday afternoon at Frost Arena. 

SDSU (9-6) led the majority of the first half, with the largest lead being 18 points, but the Vandals (4-7) went into halftime down by just 12. 

Idaho’s senior guard Trevon Allen took control for the Vandals, tying his career high with 29 points and adding four rebounds. Allen averaged 17 points a game coming into Saturday.

“We tried to stop him,” SDSU head coach Eric Henderson said. “He is a good player … he really has a great change of pace, he does a good job coming off of screens and he’s very balanced.”

To combat Allen’s scoring effort, SDSU looked to multiple scorers throughout the game, but in the first half, Douglas Wilson and David Wingett shined.

Wilson led SDSU with 12 points, followed by Wingett with nine points and four rebounds in the first half.

Out of half time, sophomore Alex Arians made plays to further the Jacks’ lead. He ended the game with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. 

The unselfish offense the Jacks showed against the Vandals, allowing four players (Wilson, Wingett, Arians and Matt Dentlinger) to score in double digits.

“When you have 20 assists and four guys in double digits, those are statistics that prove and show the unselfishness,” Henderson said. “I’m really proud of the team for that and not worrying about their own numbers but caring about the team and how successful we are.”

Senior guard Brandon Key ended the game with a team-high five assists to go along with six points. He went down with an injury early in the second half and never returned for the Jacks. No update was immediately available.

Midway through the second half, the Vandals switched to a zone defense. The switch seemed to open up the inside for Wilson and Dentlinger, who ended the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

“Our zone offense is pretty good, we aren’t fazed by it,” Arians said. “We have selfless bigs, if there is an option for them to score, we will get it to them.” 

Wilson finished with 18 points and five rebounds of his own.

After a short break for Christmas, the Jacks will kick off Summit League play at the University of Nebraska Omaha at 4:30 p.m. Dec 29. They return to Frost Arena Jan. 2 to face Oral Roberts at 8:15 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the women’s team.