Jacks rout UND by 35 points

Skyler Jackson, Sports Editor (He/Him)

It was a wire-to-wire performance for the South Dakota State men’s basketball team, as they cruised to a 96-61 win against North Dakota at Frost Arena.

It was SDSU’s fourth straight win by double digits and extended their winning streak to nine in a row. They remain undefeated in the Summit League and are 10-0 at home this year. They are also 29-1 at home all-time under coach Eric Henderson.

“I’m really proud of our group,” Henderson said. “I thought we had good energy and good focus and we were locked in from the start.”

The Jacks (18-4, 9-0) were in control from start to finish, jumping out to a 24-6 lead midway through the first half and never looked back. The 35-point win is their second-largest margin of victory this season.

And they dominated the Fighting Hawks (4-17, 0-8) on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Jacks had a pretty efficient night, shooting 57.8 percent from the field, including nearly 70 percent in the second half, and hit 12 of their 23 three-point attempts. They also outscored UND 48-26 in the paint.

On defense, SDSU shut down UND, as they shot only 36.1% from the field and were 8-29 from the three-point line.

“I know our offense gets talked about a lot, and rightfully so at times,” Henderson said. “But I thought defensively I was really proud of our guys’ engagement and understanding of what we were trying to get accomplished.”

Overall, five Jackrabbits scored in double figures on Thursday. They were led by Douglas Wilson’s 23 points and six rebounds. Baylor Scheierman added 13 points and six rebounds and Zeke Mayo had 11 points. Off the bench, Luke Appel added 13 points and Matt Mims had 11 points.

“It was just our normal gameplan inside out,” Wilson said. “Tonight, the coaches and my teammates just really harped on me being more aggressive in the paint.”

For UND, their season struggles continued, as they were held to only 21 first-half points and none of their starters scored in double figures. One of the few bright spots for them was shooting 9-9 from the free-throw line.

They did have two players score in double figures coming off the bench. Ethan Igbanugo led both teams in scoring with 24 points and shot 7-7 from the foul line. Brian Matthews chipped in 10 bench points in 17 minutes.

Up next for the Jackrabbits is another conference rival, as North Dakota State comes into Frost Arena. The last time these two teams met, SDSU walked away with a narrow 90-86 win in Fargo.