MINNEAPOLIS – Despite a snowy and cold night, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits managed to stay hot inside the U.S. Bank Stadium, where they defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers 82-50.
Mike Daum, the Kimball, Nebraska native, paced the Jackrabbits with 24 points, 11 rebounds and an assist. The 24-point performance matched the season average for Daum.
Daum routinely bullied Panther defenders and scored eight of his points inside the paint.
Daum also recorded his 2,449th point that put him 81st on the NCAA’s all-time scorers list. Daum passed the likes of former NBA players such as Chris Mullin, Glen Rice and Steve Alford.
It wasn’t just Daum for the veterans who got in on the fun.
Skyler Flatten continued his impressive start to his final year in a Jackrabbit uniform.
The senior guard from Clark, South Dakota entered his senior season averaging 5 points per game in his career. This season, Flatten has seen an uptick in usage, which has resulted in a major production increase. Flatten is averaging 14.2 pointers per game.
“Just my teammates having confidence in me, believing in me and my coaches that believe in me, they always tell me to be more aggressive, so I got to give all credit to them,” Flatten said in a post-game interview.
David Jenkins, Jr. had 16 points and connected on two 3-point field goals. Jenkins Jr. also added four rebounds and two assists.
It was another game for the Jackrabbits where a freshman stepped up in a big way. Alex Arians played a big part in the Jacks’ hot start and scored 10 of his 11 points in the first half.
South Dakota State scored 17 points off of turnovers, while UNI scored three. SDSU also had 38 points in the paint.
As a team, the Jackrabbits shot 51 percent; compared to the Panther’s 31 percent field goal percentage.
“Really happy for how our guys played tonight, I thought they had good focus from start to finish, we know that Northern Iowa is extremely well-coached a team that has had tremendous respect and we have so much respect for [UNI] coach Jacobson and their program,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “So, for us to play like we did tonight, just really proud from start to finish.”
South Dakota State never trailed throughout the game and their biggest lead was 32 with 1:27 remaining in the first half.
The 66,860-capacity stadium was filled with 3,184 Jackrabbit and Panther fans.
Up next, the Jackrabbits face off with the Memphis Tigers December 4, in Memphis, Tennessee.