Dominant inside presence gives SDSU win over Kansas City


Evan Patzwald, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State men’s basketball team only missed 14 shots throughout the entire game en route to a 67-49 win over Kansas City Friday night at Frost Arena.

The Jackrabbits shot 24-of-38 from the field in the game and a big part of that was the team’s commanding presence in the paint. SDSU (14-6, 8-3) outscored Kansas City (11-11, 7-6) 42-18 inside the paint.

“They weren’t helping down much at the beginning of the game,” said the Kirkwood Community College transfer, Luke Appel. “It just left one-on-one matchups down there, so we really exploited that.”

Appel finished with a career-high in points finishing with 17 points, shooting 6-of-9 on field-goal attempts, and grabbed five boards.

“He’s a terrific offensive player and can create an angle down in the paint with his shoulders,” said head coach Eric Henderson postgame. “It’s hard to keep him from getting an angle. We need him to continue to play well down this remaining stretch.”

The Jacks only made two 3-pointers in the entire game, both coming in the second half. They only had eight attempts. The Roos shot 6-of-25 on threes in the loss.

“We knew they were going to pressure us a lot,” said junior forward Matt Denlinger. “We thought it would be a really physical game and thought we could use it to our advantage, and it worked well tonight.”

Dentlinger scored 13 points on the night, while Baylor Scheierman had another double-double putting up 13 points as well and 11 rebounds.

For the Roos, senior Brandon McKissic led his team with 13 points in the first half, but only scored four in the final twenty minutes. This was part of the reason why they were outscored by 13 in the second half of the game.

SDSU kept their Summit League title hopes alive with the win but are going to need a little help if they want to capture the crown. They need to win tomorrow night’s game vs. Kansas City and need a split from the NDSU-USD series to claim first place outright.

“We’re aware of the scenario,” said Dentlinger. “At the same time, we’ve got to continue and get better every game. We can’t have lapses like we have the past three weekends. We just got to focus on playing our own game, playing physical, and taking care of the ball.”